Film: Only the Strong
Only The Strong is a 1993 live-action film starring Mark Dacascos and distributed by 20th Century Fox.Louis Stevens (Dacascos), having completed his tour as a Green Beret in Brazil, returns to his old Miami neighborhood to find that the local high school has been overrun by drug dealers. He intervenes in a dispute with one of the more prominent dealers, an act that ends with the gangsters being forced off campus. Seeing this, Louis' old teacher Mr. Kerrigan (Geoffrey Lewis) brings a proposal to the principal of teaching the art of capoeira (which Louis learned while in Brazil) to several of the school's worst at-risk students as a means of instilling discipline into them.However, Louis' earlier intervention with the drug dealer does not go down well with the local drug kingpin Silverio, who is himself a Capoeira master and proceeds to viciously beat Louis as a warning not to interfere. Louis eventually recovers, but what follows is a fight to liberate the neighborhood from Silverio's influence.
Only the Strong provides examples of:
- Badass Boast: Between Silverio and Louis during their second confrontation:Silverio: This time, I play for keeps.Louis: And this time...I don't play.
- Badass Teacher: Louis himself, although technically he's not a member of the school faculty.
- Benevolent Boss: Silverio is this to his henchmen and a good deal of the people in his section of the neighborhood. As Orlando says about his cousin, "They're either scared of him or they think he's Robin Hood."
- Berserk Button: Silverio does not take it well when he learns that Louis has wrecked his chop-shop.
- Big Bad: Silverio.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Cool Teacher: Louis. Kerrigan and Dianna qualify as well.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Silverio does this to Louis during their first meeting.
- Dreadlock Rasta: Philippe, Silverio's enforcer, sports the hairstyle.
- Drugs Are Bad
- Everybody Was Capoeira Fighting
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Orlando, Silverio's cousin, has to choose between his respect for Louis and his loyalty to his cousin. He chooses the former.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Donovan.
- Or Senseless Sacrifice... heading back in to save a musical instrument and then dying of smoke inhalation.
- Hot Teacher: Dianna.
- Inner City School
- Police Are Useless: It's justified, though, as a cop indicates that Silverio's history of intimidating potential witnesses who would otherwise give testimony against him has left the police unable to arrest him on any solid charges.
- Precision F-Strike: Plenty.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Donovan.
- Style Lift: So, you're filming a movie all about Capoeira and its heritage. Who do you hire? A guy who's been raised on kung fu.
- He did learn Capoeira specifically for the movie and does a pretty decent job for someone who practiced the art for less than a year, but in plenty of fight scenes his style still is barely, if at all recognizeable as Capoeira.
- To be fair, the physical skills required for wushu and capoeira are quite similar. It's just a matter of learning the movements and rhythm.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Louis goes on one against Silverio's operatives after Donovan's death.
- Save Our Students: The point of the movie.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Philippe thinks Silverio should do this to Louis. However, Silverio refuses on the grounds that doing so will make Louis a martyr in the eyes of the neighborhood and thus cement his positive influence, which would undermine Silverio's power in the process.
- X Meets Y: Dangerous Minds meets The Karate Kid.