An enjoyably (in a so bad it's good way) mindless and goofy-as-hell cross between "Mortal Kombat", "Charlie's Angels", "V.I.P." (which was written by "D.O.A." writer JF Lawton, as well) and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "D.O.A." is the film adaptation of the "Dead or Alive" series of fighting video games. There was also the scantily-clad spin-off of "D.O.A. Xtreme Beach Volleyball", which is briefly acknowledged here.
The film opens with Christie (Holly Valance), Tina (Jamie Pressly), and Princess Kasumi (Devon Aoki) each getting their own little introduction before getting an invitation to fight in the "D.O.A." fighting championships, run by billionaire Donovan. It's not long before the girls get suspicious of Donovan's motivations behind holding the fight, suspicions which are confirmed when they're held in his secret underground lab.
The film is nothing much beyond an all-out action fest, but in the hands of legendary martial arts choreographer Corey Yuen, the scenes have a high-flying (often literally) energy that's entertaining and more lively than they would have been in the hands of another director. The fights are hyperactive, cartoonish and CG-assisted at times, but still fun.
There's very little in the way of character development - as one might expect - and the plot is thin (the movie itself is about 78 minutes plus credits.) Still, a few of the performances aren't too bad - Pressley manages the film's over-the-top humor well, while Aoki actually gives some weight to her character's quest to find her brother. As one might predict, Eric Roberts makes for a perfectly cheesy villain.
Overall, "D.O.A." is utterly mindless, but the film clearly doesn't take itself seriously and provides some fine action sequences. "D.O.A." is not great cinema by any means and certainly not the best that director Corey Yuen has accomplished over his long career, but the picture was more silly fun than I thought it would be.
VIDEO: The film is presented by Genius Products/Weinstein Home Entertainment in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film's poppy color palette looked appropriately vibrant throughout the show, with the various hues looking quite bold. Sharpness and detail were not outstanding, but the picture usually looked crisp and well-defined. Some slight edge enhancement was spotted, but no artifacting or other concerns were seen.
SOUND: The film's Dolby Digital 5.l presentation remains as energetic as the movie, with the surrounds kicking in for various effects and reinforcement of the loud score during the film's many fight scenes. Audio quality was fine, as effects had quite a bit of punch behind them, and dialogue seemed clean and clear.
EXTRAS: A "making of" featurette and the film's trailer.
Final Thoughts: "D.O.A." is not great cinema by any means and certainly not the best that director Corey Yuen has accomplished over his long career, but the picture was more silly fun than I thought it would be. The DVD presentation offers fine audio/video quality, but minimal extras. A light rental recommendation for those in the mood for a silly, mindless, "So Bad It's Good" action flick.
The Film C+