Alive [1993]

Based on the popular video-game series, Corey (The Transporter) Yuen's DOA: Dead Or Alive brings together cheesecake titillation and martial-arts action in a lightweight slice of exploitation that's sure to keep its largely young and male audience happy. Jaime Pressly (My Name is Earl) is top-billed as a pro wrestler who joins a no-holds-barred brawling competition on a remote island; once there, she discovers that the tournament's sponsor, Donovan (Eric Roberts at his toothiest and oiliest), has nefarious plans up his sleeve, and the competitors (which include Devon Aoki, Holly Valance, and the always impressive Kane Kosugi) must bond together to fight a common enemy. As with 2007's The Condemned, DOA: Dead Or Alive is the 21st century equivalent of an early '70s drive-in movie: Proudly loud and lunkheaded, its main function is to cram as much fighting and bikini-clad women into its running time as possible, and to that end, it's enormously successful. Director Yuen understands this, and wisely skews the tone towards the broadly (ahem) tongue-in-cheek; Pressly (whose knack for comedy doesn't get as much mileage here) and the rest of her castmates look good and move well, and the fighting, while not on par with Hong Kong or Thai standards, is plentiful and flashy. If you come expecting this and nothing else, you'll have a fine time with DOA: Dead Or Alive. --Paul Gaita

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