Come Out Fighting
by Daniel Baldwin
War movies have been an action cinema staple since the dawn of filmmaking and men-on-a-mission movies are perhaps the most popular form of war film. Writer/director Steven Luke has carved out a niche for himself on the DTV action circuit making bargain budgeted World War II tales. Come Out Fighting is the latest of these.
As he did in his previous outings, Luke has assembled a nice, recognizable cast of genre actors. You’ve got indie martial arts superstar Michael Jai White (Blood & Bone, Black Dynamite), Kellan Lutz (The Twilight Saga), Tyrese Gibson (The Fast & Furious Saga), and an ever-grizzled Dolph Lundgren (no introduction required). All in all, not a bad assortment of fisticuff-throwing fellas to send into battle against a Nazi horde!
On paper, Come Out Fighting sounds like a fun little flick. In execution, however, it is anything but. The good news is that all of the men above have roles that are larger than cameos. The bad news is that they’re all too good for this film. Try as they might to hold it all together, their collective efforts cannot turn the tide on a bad script and even worse direction.
Anyone who watches the occasional direct-to-video actioner of this type knows to expect things like production design, costuming, and special effects work to not be on par with similar studio-produced fare. The best directors in this field still manage to overcome such limitations with sharper scripts, small but still thrilling setpieces, and low budget movie-making ingenuity. Jesse V. Johnson’s Hell Hath No Fury is an excellent example of this, managing to check off that entire list in spite of its miniscule budget. Come Out Fighting, however, manages none of these things, instead serving up heaping helpings of bad blocking, poor scene geography, and some pretty glaring historical inaccuracies.
It does at least have something on its mind, as it digs into the prejudices that African American soldiers faced from their own white compatriots during the war. As commendable as that is, that simply isn’t enough to salvage an otherwise inept picture. If you’re in the mood for an engaging new slice o’ action-filled WWII entertainment this weekend, you’re better off seeking out the aforementioned Hell Hath No Fury or Jalmari Helander’s now-on-VOD revenger Sisu.