ORDER OF ONE
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
An escaped convict battles an array of kung fu villians as they battle for the mysterious Sword of Destiny.
Is it good movie?
Order of One is a low budget film with barely passable special effects, mediocre acting, a ludicrous plot and stripper quality lead women. And they know it; everything within the running time is intentionally cheesy with certain effectiveness. The question then emerges whatís the end result? Does it fall into the category of failed intentionally bad filmmaking? Or does writer and director Kevin Woodhouse succeed at effectively parodying the 70ís drive-in action genre? The fact is despite the unintentional low budget and less than stellar acting, Order of One is the latter, a throw back bad flick that one canít help but watch with a slight grin stuck to their face. (Of course, this is a presumption, hoping itís a parody.) Even though a non-existent rule exists that cheesiness is best if the entire picture is a mistake, this one somehow works. Actually, whatís most surprising is the action, effectively done and effectively executed. Hell, Iím being generous. Steven Seagal should hire the action director and star Jason Cavalier for his films. Order of One doesnít have anything revolutionary here to offer, but itís better action than anything the pony-tailed-one has churned out lately. In fact, itís a little jarring at first realization of how effective the action is. Sure, the scenes appear shot in some guyís basement and the lighting isnít great, but the action, the obvious center piece of any movie of this genre, is well done despite the goofiness surrounding it. This feat gives Order of One some credibility and raises it above the standard.
Quite clearly, Order of One isnít a serious movie. Within the first few frames this becomes something impossible not to realize. Itís all about being goofy; the actors where this on their heads like a sombrero. It feels like a forgotten classic from the old USA ís Up All Night program. Here, the plot centers on a convict (Cavalier who appears to relish the role) who is thrust into a world of skanky female assassins, cowboy attired hit men with gangster sidekicks, and a crime lord all searching for ďThe Sword of Destiny.Ē In case this mysterious sword has peaked your interest, legend says that it was ďforged from the spear that pierced the side of Jesus on the Cross.Ē Sure... Little time is wasted before the movie forgoes the story and heads into action overdrive. Cavalier is quite effective in the role despite him seemingly having to wipe a grin off his face at times. Heís not the next Chuck Norris, but wait, maybe he could be the next Norris. Why not? And while I highly praised the action (donít go thinking this is an unseen Matrix flick now), director Woodhouse canít help but add a layer of Swiss to the kung fu sandwich. As if a homage to the 60ís Batman show, punches come equipped with phrases like ďSkull Destruction Fist!!Ē and ďNeck Break Fist!!Ē to illustrate the effectiveness of the punch. Itís slap stick, but hell, I laughed. It gives off a retro vibe like an old Sonny Chiba film. Simply enjoyable. Now does this all mean itís canít miss material? Well, if you dig having your favorite brand of cheese melted over your evening film, than Order of One was special ordered for you. Just donít forget your slice of cherry pie.
Video / Audio
Video: 16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Behind the Scenes: 30 minutes worth of behind the scenes material, all of which are great. It showcases what it takes to make a low budget flick. Very interesting. Actually, the best aspect comes from a Stunt School mini, which shows how Cavalier created some of the more elaborate stunts. Extremely fascinating stuff that anyone whoís wanting to learn about cheap filmmaking should watch. Cavalier knows his stuff.
Deleted Scenes: Only two scenes offered, both of which you can see why they were cut.
Blooper Reel: Who doesnít love a blooper reel? Theyíre always enjoyable and gives the actors a chance to show true personalities.
A kung fu comedy, Order of One is an excerise of throw back filmmaking. While this isn't superb stuff, it's an enjoyable one that seems like everyone involved dug making. Order of One won't work for everyone, but something tells me it's not made for everyone.