Reviews: Fight Valley

Fight Valley: One way in. No way out. Read our review before we kick your ass.

There have been many no-holds-barred and illegal underground fight movies before. The list is endless, including Bloodsport, Undisputed, The Circuit, Kickboxer, Confessions of a Pit Fighter, In Hell, and many more. They've been popular enough that whole franchises have been created from them. The one thing that all of these motion pictures have in common is that the main characters are all male fighters. The real MMA world, and the film industry, have been dominated by male superstars until the recent popularity of Gina Carano in Strikeforce and Ronda Rousey in the UFC.  Their beauty and great fighting skills have led to them being able to parlay themselves into the world of acting, with both making appearances in the Fast and Furious franchise as well as other films.

I kick. I stretch. And I kick. 

Writer and director Rob Hawk has seen the opportunity to take advantage of the burgeoning popularity and sex appeal of the UFC female fighters and created a story that features three of its current stars, Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm, and Meisha Tate. All three have varying levels of time appearing in this film, Tate being the one with the most actual screen time. The story revolves around a tough town called Fight Valley, where women compete in illegal street fights for money. 

Hawk has experience in directing music videos and television shows, and he shows what he has learned, essentially creating one long music video. It features multiple crane, and most likely drone, overhead shots mixed with constant hip hop, rap, and metal music. There is plenty of action, fighting, and some nudity that would please most UFC fans and fans of these types of pictures. There are some nice training sequences that combine Rocky and old school traditional Shaolin techniques. The final fight scene between Tate and Cyborg is probably the best of the picture, with a mix of grappling and street fighting. 

I hope you brushed your teeth. 
None of the choreographed fights come close to comparing to Jean Claude Van Damme or Scott Adkins, but they are professional actors with years of movie martial arts stunts and choreography experience. The acting is weak, which is to be expected for this. What is surprising is that the best acting comes from the professional fighter Tate, who shows more acting ability than Rousey has so far in her few performances. With her recent women’s title victory over Holm, it would not be surprising to see her begin to appear in larger budgeted productions.

Most of the music was created by Mikey Rukus, who has created over four hundred theme songs for athletes and MMA organizations. There was also music scored by Cloud Hex, a production team based out of Australia that creates hybrid-orchestral beats using various devices.

What we end up with is a wild movie that fans of the UFC and the various underground fight flicks are going to get great enjoyment out of. It is a fun ride if you don’t take it too seriously.

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-Raul VanTassle