Day of the Panther (1988)

Jason Blade, expert martial artist and all-around tough guy, travels to Perth, Australia to avenge the murder of his partner. There are plenty of people in Perth for him to fight along the way and of course a nubile young lady to seduce. It takes about 90 minutes for him to resolve this situation to his liking, which is just perfect.

Now, before any of this can happen we get to watch his partner being killed in the line of duty. She basically is working undercover and gets attacked by some thugs wearing various festive Halloween masks. I didn't understand this part. She's trying to get away from these thugs but she also keeps jumping through walls screaming "HIIIIIII-YAAAAAH" at them. Finally she meets some guy that doesn't just stand there waiting for her to kick him so she just gives up and that's that.

Back to Blade. Jason Blade is an interesting character, mostly because his name is "Blade." You get a lot of scenes of people calling him this. The police chief tells him, "I want you out of this Blade!" and when Blade goes undercover the crime boss tells him, "You're sharp, Blade!" That last one is pretty clever, actually.

Of course there's got to be a love interest and she is awkwardly inserted into the movie. She's, like, the niece of, er, the other white guy that learned kung fu from the Chinese people. During one awesome scene she does a ridiculous "sexy dance" that only people in movies do. She does the sexy dance again later in the movie, but no one is around so it is ineffective.

While I was watching this movie I began to feel nostalgic for the late 80s. Sure there were guns, but this was a time when the gun was used not so much as a means for firing a high velocity projectile into another person's body, but more as something you'd use to make people move around where you want them to go. Like a potentially deadly baton. True to history, Day of the Panther has lots of guns in it (okay, two) but they're used to just add a bit of urgency to the command, "Come with me, Blade."

There's a pretty awesome part at the end of the movie where someone gets thrown off of a cliff onto barbed wire. Just when I thought nothing could top that the cameraman helpfully (and very visibly) extends his hand to help the guy that just fell.

All in all Day of the Panther is an extremely enjoyable movie. It's fun in the "haw haw the music is so funny" way but it's also legitimately entertaining, even if it is just a bunch of kicky nonsense.

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