Film: No Retreat No Surrender
No Retreat, No Surrender (a.k.a. Karate Tiger) is a 1986 martial arts film starring Kurt McKinney and Jean-Claude Van Damme.Jason Stillwell is a Bruce Lee fanatic who trains in his father's Los Angeles karate dojo. One night, the dojo is visited by members of an organized crime syndicate, who try to convince Jason's father to join them. When he refuses, he is attacked by the boss's thugs and ultimately has his leg broken by Ivan Kraschinsky, an intimidating Russian martial artist.The Stillwell family relocates to Seattle, but things don't get any easier for poor Jason, who repeatedly becomes the target of harassment by the local bullies. Fed up with the abuse, Jason visits the grave of Bruce Lee (filmed at Lee's actual grave) and beseeches him for aid. That very same night, the ghost of Bruce Lee appears to Jason and begins to train him. Under Lee's tutelage, Jason goes from a below average fighter to a superior martial artist. His training ultimately pays off when, at a local kickboxing tournament, Jason once again comes face-to-face with Kraschinsky and defeats him in the ring.Often compared to another martial arts movie with a very similar plot, No Retreat, No Surrender was followed by two unrelated sequels, neither of which featured McKinney or Van Damme.
This movie contains examples of:
- Advertised Extra: Van Damme only appears in the opening and the final tournament.
- Ascended Fanboy: Jason seems to have spent most of his young life trying to emulate Bruce Lee.
- Chekhov's Skill: The entrapment escape technique Jason learns during his training comes in handy against the Russian.
- Fake Russian: Belgian-born Van Damme plays Kraschinsky in the film.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Van Damme's first major role in America, a full two years before his breakout role in Bloodsport.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: When the thugs attack Jason's father in the parking lot.
- Jerkass: Dean Ramsay and Scott the Fatboy.
- Spirit Advisor: Bruce Lee
- Title Drop: "No Retreat, No Surrender" becomes a mantra of sorts between Jason and his friend R.J.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jason.
- Training Montage: Several, in fact.