I am cruising through the list of “Recently Added” movies to Netfilx, when suddenly, my heart skips a beat. My thumb stops pressing buttons, and what I can only describe as SuperHappyFunTime engulfs me. Only the Strong is highlighted as a new addition to the instant streaming selection, and all I have to do is press a button to see it, RIGHT NOW!!!
My love of movies was given to me at a very young age. Both of my parents loved to go to movies. But it was my father who loved to go to the fighting movies. It was my father who loved the special effects sci-fi extravaganzas. It was my father who taught me to love a movie just because it was entertaining. It was my father who took me to see Only the Strong in theaters. And my lord do I love him for giving me this obsession. To this day, I will go to a piece of crap movie simply because there might be an awesome fight scene in it. Or there might be awesome imagery. Or boobies.
I probably had not seen Only the Strong since I watched it in the theater with my father. So I was a bit hesitant. I have gone back to watch movies that I loved as a kid only to have my memories shattered by giant floating turds. But my memories of seeing capoeira for the first time told me that I had to at least try. Plus it does star Mark Dacascos, who was the true bad ass in Brotherhood of the Wolf. So he has cred with me.
Only the Strong is about Green Beret Louis Stevens (Decascos) coming back to his high school after being let out of the service. He comes back to find that the kids are out of control, drugs are running rampant and there is an evil kingpin who is controlling everyone with fear. Basically, this is an early 90’s movie. Louis instantly gets himself in the middle of everything by defending a student from his drug dealing cousin. His old favorite teacher sees him do this and sees a possibility in turning things around by giving the kids a different role model to look up to.
He is able to talk the principal into letting Stevens take the worst kids and teach them respect and the ability to stick up for themselves and each other. Stevens does this by teaching them capoeira. Capoeira is like dance fighting, but infinitely more awesome than it sounds. If you ever played against Eddy in Tekken, you have seen it.
This leads to Stevens butting heads against the kingpin, which has repercussions. Many movies in the 90’s had a very obvious good guy and an equally obvious bad guy. There was not near as much grey as there is in today’s cinema. But I have to say, that Only the Strong still worked wonderfully for me. If you ever loved Van Damme, Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee movies, I would say you will love Only the Strong.
It is a simple movie, but the fight scenes are so much fun to watch. I promise you that you will not be able to get Ba Na Na Way out of your head for days. And you will be happy about that. Only the Strong is still on Netflix Instant. Or it can be found most anywhere you can rent movies. Go see it now!
Have you seen Only the Strong? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below.