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The Octagon (1980)

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I just can't see this as a review excerpt - it wouldn't draw a lot of viewers - but it sums up "The Octagon" pretty well.

I actually would have rated this movie much lower, but the final 20 minutes, where Chuck invades the Ninja training camp and confronts his 'brother' almost saves the film. ALMOST.

Aside from Lee Van Clief, Chuck Norris is the best actor in the film, which ought to set off warning bells in your head. Chuck does his usual stoic, quiet-spoken tough guy shtick here. He at least isn't actively annoying as an actor, and he still can move impressively when the time comes for a martial arts smack down. (One thing you can say for Norris, he did improve somewhat as an actor, and by the time 'Code Of Silence' appeared some years after this, he was considerably more expressive.) However, the screenwriter and director apparently never passed Screen Writing 101, because they make poor Chuck narrate almost every scene with intrusive whispered voice-overs (in a layered echo effect, no less) where he endlessly explains his moral dilemmas and his anguish and anger at his estranged brother...to HIMSELF...over and over again. You just aren't supposed to do this, people...you're supposed to SHOW the viewer what's going on, not TELL and TELL and TELL and TELL the viewer.

Also, nothing against Karen Carlson personally, but at this stage in her career, she was one of the worst actresses alive. We are talking 'Hayden Christianson in Star Wars II' bad. To call her performance here 'wooden and stiff' is to insult the concepts of 'wooden' and 'stiff'. Some of this probably isn't …

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