The first thing that you need to know and could probably guess from this film, is that the story is as cliche as it looks. The story revolves on a murder revenge story where the main character goes out onto the streets in order to find and kill her sister’s murderer. You’ve got the training montage, you’ve got the reluctant trainer, you’ve got the obvious bully type characters to antagonize the protagonist, it’s all there.
What really and honestly disappoints me is the technical issues throughout the film that could’ve been easily fixed given more time in the editing room. There are multiple occasions where the audio takes you out of the experience, characters will be talking outside and you can hear the background audio dip in and out so that the characters can be heard correctly. But then even that will fail when the actors talk so quietly that you’ll need to turn up the volume, only to have the speakers explode with sound once music kicks in. Moments where a character is talking on the phone but sounds like that he’s actually in the next room really lets the film down as a whole.
However even if the technical aspects were flawless, it couldn’t save the rest of the film which features some generic dialogue and some actors who feel like they couldn’t care less about being there. Having these UFC fighters on screen must’ve been where the majority of the estimated $27 million dollar budget went. At least if you had hired WWE wrestlers you might be able to get a better performance out of them, whereas these UFC fighters feel disconnected from the film and would rather be somewhere else.
Without being too negative about this film there are some positive elements shown throughout. The establishing shots filmed on a drone showing off the streets and the city are really well presented and look amazing, even some of the fights in the film are well choreographed. Moments like this are planted throughout the film but are sadly overshadowed by the flaws located everywhere.
What’s strange about Fight Valley is that there is a small presence of an anti-violent message, characters talk about how that the revenge won’t solve anything, that once the main character goes home the issues surrounding her sisters death will be there and that there will always be more fights. Even the films ending is bitter sweet when it comes to a resolution, I specifically take issue with this as a message. You cannot start having an anti-violent message when throughout the film you are constantly showing how bad-ass it is accompanied with intense music. Including notable names from UFC who’s main occupation is entertaining people in violent competition, It just doesn’t add up.
Overall, the film feels rushed and poorly made in aspects with its average story of revenge which could’ve used some more time spent on it before sent out to general release.
Dir: Rob Hawk
Scr: Rob Hawk
Cast: Susie Celek, Meisha Tate, Erin O’Brien, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg
Prd: Ariel Gramazio, Mike Gramazio, Susan Helfrich, Arthur Maurizio, Rocco Michaluk
DOP: Rob Hawk, Rocco Michaluk
Music: John DeSentis
Run time: 90 mins
Fight Valley is released on DVD on the 3rd October 2016.