Movie Only the Strong (1993)

Watched once before.
Watched 20101023.
Watched 20130713 (Netflix, Instant)
Only the Strong (1993) Sheldon Lettich. 99 min

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A former soldier named Louis Stevens returns to his former high school and during his visit beats up a local drug dealer. With the entire student body responding positively to Stevens victory, Stevens former teacher Mr. Kerrigan proposes that Stevens teach capoeira to a group of delinquents.

The students are initially resistant to practicing capoeira and Stevens strategically lets them go, holding just one of the students back. They train through the entire day and even through the evening. By the next day, the student successfully uses what he learns to defend himself against another student. This convinces the majority of the class to start training.

Eventually, Stevens introduces the students to capoeira music. During the class, Stevens trys to convince Orlando, one of the students, to play the berimbau. Orlando, however, responds poorly and leaves the class. In the evening, Stevens finds Orlando and questions his behavior. Orlando still gives Stevens attitude and eventually his cousin Silverio, a local drug lord, shows up. Silverio also knows capoeira and fights Stevens. During the fight, Silverio's men clap and chant, disrupting Stevens rhythm and he loses the fight. At the end of the fight, Silverio declares that Stevens capoeira is good enough to teach Orlando.

Orlando joins in on the training and eventually Stevens takes the class on a trip to the beach. During the trip, Orlando reveals he was suppose to be doing a job. Upon returning from the trip, Silverio is waiting for Orlando. Stevens and Silverio get into another dispute, ending with threats from Silverio. Eventually Silverio and a couple of his men make their way onto the school grounds and put Mr. Kerrigan's room on fire. Donavon dies while trying to save the berimbau from the fire and Stevens is fired.

From here, the movie resolves with Stevens seeking revenge. Watch the movie to see what happens!

Oh man... to watch this movie again... haha. I came in at the point where the students have been brought to the fire station.

I would have to be honest and say that some parts of this movie are cheesy, while other parts have their fill of poor acting and dialogue. The music, however, is solid and the movie as a whole is enjoyable, provided you're a fan of capoeira. If you've never been exposed to capoeira before, then I would recommend you don't watch this movie, because I wouldn't want you to have the wrong impression of a great martial art. If you're a fan of capoeira, then you should watch the movie, because there are only so many movies out there dedicated to just capoeira.

Instant Comments:
At 1 hour 11 minutes in, Orlando mentions the title of the movie.