Eyes of the Roshi
Ethan Marten, Adam Nguyen (executive), Richard Marten (executive) for Light Age Films
directed by Jon Mark Nail
starring Adam Nguyen, Eric Roberts, Ethan Marten, Amanda Dunn, Michael Carey, Justin D. Clements, Jonathan Marten, Stacy Whittle, Mark J. Zillges, Seth Marten, Chris Van Cleave, Newton Miller, Terrance Afer-Anderson, Denis Reidy, Hoy Lee, Lucas Nguyen, Madeline Reinke, Quang Nguyen, Sarah Linebaugh, Kevin Tan, Justin Cotterell, Nico Romero, Brandon Cook, Nick Lakey, Len Seward, Phillip Martin, Richard Marten, Phuc Dinh, Daniel Bui, Loc Nguyen, David Wicker, Jessie Yamiolkowski, Nathan Liebold, Emily Hall, Mari Mann, Jacob Sterle, Ricky Chaplain, Brian Beatson, Robert Steven Ross, Stephen Oliverira, Ross Becker, Trevor Struble, Mark Willis, Brian Maurer, Nick White, Justin W. Miller, Jimmy Murdoch, Conner White, Gatlin Clifton, Joseph Giles, Logan Oliver, Mark Tyler, Thomas S. Amoroso jr, Travis Little, Zachariah Nealy, Zachary Allen
written by Jon Mark Nail, Joseph Baum, contributing writers: Adam Nguyen, Dan Cava, Mari Mann, music by Wade Mosher, fight choreographer: Len Seward
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Vietnam, the 1970s: Young Adam (Quang Nguyen) discovers the body of his
girlfriend (Sarah Linebaugh), raped and murdered, and upon finding the
culprit Ho (Kevin Tan) nearby, he gathers the people of his village to
exact justice - but someone from the crowd pulls a gun and shoots Ho in
Flashforward 40 some years, to rural USA: Adam (now played by Adam
Nguyen) travels through the country looking for work - and drifting
through a small town, he sees Bonney (Mark J. Zillges) and Tull (Newton
Miller) getting in trouble with a bunch of bullies. And when he takes out
the lead bullie Shelby (Justin D. Clements), they give him a job as a
farmhand in gratitude. And they need a fighter like him, too, as Shelby is
the son of local rich guy Hogan Dodd (Chris Van Cleave), who believes
himself above the law (and pays the police to further that belief), and
who of course wants revenge for that. And the more martial arts-savvy Adam
successfully defends himself, the more furious Dodd gets.
But there's another side to the story, too: You see, back when, Ho
didn't die when shot in the face, he only got horribly disfigured, and now
he (played by Hoy Lee) wants revenge, and thus springs Carey (Ethan
Marten), a highly psychopathic hitman from prison to get him just that.
Carey in turn hires bounty hunter Booker (Eric Roberts) to track down
Adam, and tracking him down he does, but he and his bumbling sidekicks
(Jonathan Marten, Seth Marten) soon figure Ho is too dangerous client for
them to handle and try to take care of him - something that completely
Somehow, Dodd catches wind of Carey closing in on Adam, and he invites
him to join him and his men on their raid of Bonney and Tull's ranch to
smoke out and eliminate Adam - which was a good choice, because while Adam
takes out Dodd's men pretty much by the dozen, Carey, despite being a
psychopath, is also a man with a plan ...
Eyes of the Roshi is actually a pretty cool low budget martial
arts movie, first and foremost because it treats its audience to more than
just men kicking and beating each other senseless - ok, there's plenty of
that, too, and it's well done, but what really makes the movie work is
that it peppers its rather simplistic basic genre plot with plenty of
unusual plottwists, fun and eccentric characters, cool dialogue, and a
bunch of scenes that are just whack in a good way. And of course, a strong
cast, with Eric Roberts once more proving himself to be the king of cool,
also helps making this a more than worthwhile experience.
And in closing, it needs to be added that the fact that most of the key
actors are well beyond the typical age for action heroes is really