Jack (Jino Kang) is a cop and he patrols his old neighborhood. Growing up with his pal Philip (who is also a cop) things were so much better. Together as partners, they’re watching the neighborhood of their youth be destroyed by gangs who just don’t care. Jack’s family grocery store becomes a target for Blades (Kirk Fong), a rising gang leader who has put zero value on human lives. Blades is captured and sent to jail so things quiet down a bit. Jack quits the force to teach Hapkido and to mind the store, it almost seems as if his dreams of peace are being realized. Once Blades is released from jail, things take a huge turn for the worse and Jack will have to put aside his values and fight like he’s never fought before in order to save his family, friends, and neighborhood.
BLADE WARRIOR was Jino Kang’s first feature film. He wrote, directed, starred, edited, and the list just goes on. This is a micro-budgeted film shot on what I believe to be 16mm. The film is rough, you can tell there was a lot of learning along the way but none of that is of any consequence. You see, this film was made to showcase Jino’s skills and to introduce an audience to the fundamentals of Hapkido. It’s very successful in doing both. Kang has that “it” factor, the drive, the skills, and the personality to be an action star. I’m not sure what it is but he reminds me of people like Dan Inosanto (GAME OF DEATH) or Sho Kosugi (REVENGE OF THE NINJA). He has his own persona as well, one that translates to film quite nicely. The story is engaging, the action scenes are expertly choreographed, and while the cinematography shows a lack of experience, it still shows promise and style. It really doesn’t matter though, BLADE WARRIOR was a fantastic introduction to “ACTION STAR” Jino Kang and much better than many expected. This one is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long and exciting career for the actor.