222. Lion Strike: Ring of Fire 3 (1994)

Ring of Fire 3 Lion Strike.jpg

*The Warlock is already in his lair, on the couch wearing standard attire*

Warlock: Yeah, no bullshit tonight. We’re getting right to the movie. Tonight is Ring of Fire 3, the 3rd and final movie of the Ring of Fire series. In this caper, Johnny Woo goes on a weekend getaway with his son only to figure out he’s unknowingly got a disc both the American AND Russian mobs want. So let’s get started with Ring of Fire 3.

 

Directed by Richard Jacobsen, Joe Hart and Paul G Volk

Written by Joseph John Barmettler, Art Camacho, Joe Hart and Don “Dragon” Wilson

 

*Warlock reads the tagline*

Warlock: “Dr. Johnny Woo becomes involved in a global mafia arms cartel when they kidnap his son Bobby.”

Warlock: So he’s got a kid with Julie now?

 

*Dr. Johnny Wu (Don “Dragon” Wilson) spars on the roof with some guy (Timothy D Baker)*

Warlock: Its Sal from Bloodfist 2. Guess Brad and Chuck were busy that day.

 

*Don Vicaro (Wally Rose) is in the hospital with Vito (Carl Ciarfalio). Vicaro thinks he’s gonna get the gas chamber and he’s too old to go to prison. Vito tells the police guard to get lost*

Warlock: “Bring me the New York Times…or don’t come back!”

 

*Vito tells Vicaro that they’re gonna get him out. All of a sudden a helicopter flies up. The sniper outside shoots the guard dead. A blonde man and woman pull guns outside the room and take out the other guard. Vito rushes Vicaro to the roof as two more people join them. Johnny and the partner run downstairs as Johnny breaks the key off in the door, nobody goes in or out*

Warlock: Quick thinking Johnny.

 

*Partner runs downstairs and is shot dead by Vito’s crew. Johnny retreats back upstairs to the boiler room. The crew make it but Johnny springs to action, wiping out two guys immediately. He shoots a third guy dead as Vito shoots the exit door open, leading Vicaro to the roof. Johnny then shoots both the blonde man and woman dead*

Warlock: That was pretty cold, yet satisfying.

 

*Johnny runs to the roof and drops the guards and Vito but Vicaro flies away. Vicaro puts a gun to the pilot’s (Kevin LaRosa) head and says to get his grandson, which is Vito.  Johnny beats the shit out of all 3 men on the roof as the chopper goes back to get Vito. Johnny outraces Vito to a gun and shoots him dead as Vicaro screams out “Vitoooo!” Vicaro opens fire on Johnny but Johnny runs off the roof and hangs on to a ledge. Johnny opens fire on the chopper and it explodes*

Warlock: Are you kidding me? A little pistol blew up a chopper? Give me a break.

 

*A badly beaten woman is brought in, Johnny tells his colleague to get her to ICU. All of a sudden a biker gang barges in and demands service. Johnny tells them to shut up and wait their turn. The bikers get violent and Johnny wipes them all out*

Warlock: This guy creates his own patients still, I love it.

 

*The lead biker rides his bike inside and Johnny kicks him off, crashing through a window*

Warlock: How stupid do you have to be to assault a doctor at a hospital?

 

*A chopper brings a bald guy to a meeting at a mansion. One of the lackeys runs around getting everyone to sit down. Louie (Robert Costanzo) prepares to give a speech*

Warlock: Good evening, my name is Joey Tribbiani Sr.

 

*Louie introduces the latest nuclear weapon to hit the market and then the dignitaries at the table. Woo Fong of the Hong Kong Triad,  Solko Yanabashi of the Japanese Yakuza, Carlo Lopez (Art Camacho) of the Mexican cartel and Vladimir Kruskev (Morgan Hunter) of the Russian mob*

Warlock: Art Camacho again.

 

*Carlo asks if they can trust Louuie and Louie says the feds are the enemy, not him or anyone in the room. They are the future of the new world order*

Warlock: 2 years before the new World order hit the scene in WCW.

 

*6 guys go over a battle plan and says to move*

Warlock: Who are these goons?

 

*One guy says he doesn’t know about robbing the mob*

Warlock: Yeah probably not a good idea.

 

*2 guys make their way to a locked door. Meanwhile the lackey informs Louie that they’re being robbed. Louie tells him to take care of it. Two guys open a safe and start emptying the money from it in a bag. The second guy is Silvio (Michael Jai White)*

Warlock: A young Michael Jai White in the house.

 

*Silvio and his partner go to escape as several cars pull up with goons. A shootout occurs with the gang bangers getting wasted. Silvio is wasted as the leader somehow makes it to the car and drives off. The goons follow close behind*

Warlock: Are we supposed to care about anybody here?

 

*Back at the hospital, Johnny’s colleague gives him shit for causing patients instead of curing them. Johnny says he needs to go after the city councilmen*

Warlock: Are we gonna get a name for this guy? This movie is shit at developing people and we’re only 20 minutes into it.

 

*Back on the road, lead thug is still driving away from the goons. Back in the hospital, Johnny mentions that is son Bobby (Jonathan Hiroshi Wilson) is wondering when he’s gonna get a new mom*

Warlock: Woah wait, what happened to Julie?

 

*Colleague gives Johnny the key to his cabin and tells him to take Bobby up there. Meanwhile head thug evades one of the cars as Johnny drives home. Thug stops to check out something and then flips his car. The goons surround him, grab him and the money before the car blows. Johnny pulls up as Head Goon and Head Thug wrestle with the money bag. Johnny says he’s a doctor and checks on Head Thug. Head Goon pulls a gun and Johnny springs to action.  Johnny takes out the goons with hand to hand combat until the cops show up. The goons all beat it as Johnny tends to the Thug. The paramedics show up as Detective Lopez (Michael DeLano) runs up*

Warlock: So none of the funny characters from the first two movies are back, but HE is?

 

*Lopez asks if he can make the goons, Johnny says he’s fine. The thug is led away and asks for his bag. The paramedic mistakes Johnny’s bag for the bag of money and grabs Johnny’s bag instead*

Warlock: Ah the old switcheroo misunderstanding storyline. What a surprise the thug is going to get.

 

*The cruiser is blown away by the Head Goon and so are the paramedics in the ambulance. Head Goon opens the bag and figures out its the wrong bag. Head Goon “Where’s the disc? Where’s the moneyyyyy” They kidnap the thug as more cops arrive and drive off*

Warlock: This guy’s voice is super annoying.

 

*Vincent (John Del Regno) is Head Goon and Louie gives him shit for the switcheroo at the house. Louie grills Head Thug and browbeats him. Head Thug is named Fingers (Marcus Aurelius) and Louie breaks his fingers and Fingers says he’ll do anything. Louie says he believes him and shoots Fingers in the head. Louie tells Vincent to go find the doctor and get the disc back*

Warlock: Johnny better be ready for war.

 

*Johnny and Bobby prepare for their cabin trip*

Warlock: I think that’s Don Wilson’s real life son.

 

*Maria the maid (Natalie Barish) sends them on their way and Johnny tells her where they’ll be*

Warlock: Oh great, they’re gonna come for her first.

 

*Just as Johnny leaves, Vincent shows up to Johnny’s house. They ring the bell and Maria answers. Vincent asks where Johnny is and Maria asks for ID. Vincent pulls a gun and we cut to the cabin*

Warlock: He wasn’t even aiming at her. He was aiming to her left. Horrible editing job.

 

*Johnny figures out he’s got the wrong bag as Bobby runs off. Johnny tries to use his cell phone but it doesn’t work*

Warlock: Ah the old cell phones, the size of a brick and never worked.

 

*Bobby and Johnny check out the fish they’re going to catch as Vincent calls for Louie. Louie answers and Vincent says Johnny is up at a cabin. Louie tells him to head up there and get the disc back. Johnny and Bobby drive to town and spot a caged cougar*

Warlock: Awww der smittens.

 

*Kelly (Bobbie Phillips) is the park ranger that rescued the cougar. Johnny and Bobby introduce themselves. Johnny is there to pick up dinner and BOBBY asks her out. Kelly says his mom wouldn’t appreciate it and Bobby says “Mommy’s in heaven.”

Warlock: Oh great, they killed Julie off. No wonder Brad and the gang are gone.

 

*A truck full of good ol boys show up and Kelly walks off. Johnny introduces hinself to Sheriff Watkins (Jim Kline) ansd say they’re going fishing. Watkins says the trout is the best he’s ever tasted up at the lake. He tells them to have fun and walks off. Meanwhile Kelly spots the good ol boys truck and figures out they’re the ones who set the trap for the cougar. The Sheriff drives off as Kelly confronts the two good ol boys. They hit on her and try to intimidate and she kicks the crap out of both of them. Four more good ol boys walk out and she says she’s confiscating the traps and the truck. Sensing she’s out numbered, Johnny walks up and goes to town with Kelly, beating the daylights out of the good ol boys*

Warlock: Damn she fights better than Lucy Lawless.

 

*A cowboy (Cash Scot Casey) watches and rides off on a horse. Johnny asks her out to dinner, Kelly says she’d love to. Johnny says 8 o’clock. Kelly “That be great.”

Warlock: Note to self, if you want to ask a girl out, help her beat local townsfolk stupid.

 

*Back at the lake, Bobby catches a trout but it gets away. Johnny has Bobby help make dinner as Kelly shows up. She brought a toy gun for Bobby*

Warlock: Love to see Johnny’s expression if it were a real gun.

 

*Vincent and the goons show up to the cabin. Later Johnny kisses Bobby goodnight and sits by the fire with Kelly. Kelly asks what happened to Julie and Johnny says she was killed by a drunk driver. He asks if she’s ever been married and she says no. She spends her time up on the mountain. She says it gets pretty boring up there and Johnny asks how she learned how to fight. Kelly says she learned how to fight in the army. Kelly was stationed in Iraq and she got sick when she saw the human shields. She put in for a discharge and went home*

Warlock: Damn. Kind of a cop out.

 

*Johnny says goodbye to Kelly and kisses her deep, Bobby pops up and smiles. Kelly awkwardly leaves as Bobby says “Yes!”*

Warlock: You’re not Kevin McCallister, buddy.

 

*Kelly drives off as Johnny walks back into clean up dinner. Johnny checks out the wine glasses as Vincent and the goons find the cabin. He’s got 4 men with him. They surround the cabin but one of them is shot by an unknown assassin*

Warlock: What the hell? Kelly is gone and Johnny is inside. Who the hell could that be?

 

*Vincent and the the 3 goons shoot the place up as Johnny and Bobby take cover. Vincent tells them to give up the bag. Johnny pops up and strangles one of the goons. Vincent and one of the goons enter the cabin and no one is there. Vincent says to blow the place and get out of there. Johnny wipes out the other goon. Vincent and the final goon run out and Johnny caps the goon. Johnny gets the drop on Vincent and makes him put his guns down. Vincent calls for Bobby in the cabin to come out and Vincent blows the cabin. He laughs maniacally as he runs off*

Warlock: Hoooooly shit, they didn’t….

 

*All of a sudden Kelly pops out from behind a tree with Bobby in her arms. They all embrace*

Warlock: There’s your unknown assailant.

 

*Kelly asks what this was all about. Johnny cracks open the black bag and finds the money and disc inside. Johnny “Whoever they are, this is what they want.” Kelly says they need to get to the Sherrif’s. Kelly’s truck has been smashed up by Vincent. Its 6 miles to the Sheriff’s, Kelly says they’ll have to walk. Meanwhile back at Louie’s, Vincent says they got jumped by 20 ninjas and hasn’t recovered the disc yet. Louie says to come back. Kruskev says Louie is annoying him. Louie tells him about Johnny foiling his plan. Kruskev “This is not good my friend. You will let me find him for you.” Louie “You want to let Psycho off the leash?” A Russian soldier stares him down and Louie says, hey, more help the better. The soldier’s name is Sitjkoff (Chris Nelson Norris) and he likes to kill Americans going back to their KGB days.  Sitjkoff is then brought to the lake region via helicopter*

Warlock: Now the shits on.

 

*Kelly, Bobby and Johnny make it to Bronk’s (Ancel Cook) hideout. Kelly needs his help and Bronk asks if the noise on the lake had to do with them. Kelly wants Bronk to watch Bobby as they go fetch the Sheriff. Bronk “Y’all be careful.”

Warlock: Ya;all come back now, ya hear?

 

*Kelly spots a bear trap and disables it. She tells him to be sharp. Meanwhile Vincent, Sitjkoff and the KGB boys search for Johnny. Sitjkoff has Johnny dead to rights but Vicent alters the shot at the last second. Vincent yells at Sitjkoff that they needs the disc first AND THEN kill him. Johnny and Kelly take cover as Sitjkoff tells his men to spread out. Johnny and Kelly run for it only to get surrounded*

Warlock: Half hour left, how are they gonna drag this out?

 

*Sitjkoff mocks Vincent for letting Johnny get away. Sitjkoff “You are no fighter.” Johnny “Try me.” Sitjkoff “Maybe I will.”

Warlock: There’s your one on one showdown later.

 

*Vincent calls him Boris and Sitjkoff yells at him and says that’s not his name. Sitjkoff threatens Kelly and Johnny tells them the disc is over there. The KGB guy gets caught in a bear trap as someone tosses a grenade. Kelly “9 against 2, I like the odds.” as they run away*

Warlock: He’ll take 5, she takes 4….simple.

 

**Kelly and Johnny split up*

Warlock: Mr. America’s biggest no no.

 

*Vincent and Sitjkoff split up their men to perimeter search*

Warlock: Both parties are guilty of it.

 

*Johnny drops from a tree and takes out a KGB guy then steals his gun. Sitjkoff finds the guy on the ground dead and runs off angry. Johnny uses the slingshot tree gag to disarm one the Yakuza goons. He pulls a knife and Johnny disarms him again. Johnny finishes him with a spinkick. He grabs the dude’s Uzi and runs off as Vincent is exhausted. One of his men vanishes and he gets spooked. He radios Tony but no one answers. Johnny commandeers the radio and fucks with him*

Warlock: “I’d like to order a large cheese pizza”

 

*Vincent and his goon fire blindly into the forrest as Sitjkoff and 3 men stop. Vincent runs up and Sitjkoff says he’ll handle it. Sitjkoff says give them the disc and they’ll go free. Johnny counters by saying there are two ways out of this, walk away now or hauled off in a bodybag. Sitjkoff “I accept your challenge.”

Warlock”: This is gonna be a hell of a fight.

 

*Sitjkoff threatens Vincent and tells his men to press on. They spot Kelly and Johnny but one of the KGB guys is blown away by a grenade. We get a shootout, 5 against two. Sitjkoff throws a grenade as Johnny and Kelly escape just before it blows. One of the KGB guys get caught in a large net and Vincent scoffs “Aww we’re not getting out of here alive!”

Warlock: Ya think?

 

*Down to 4 against 2, they shoot at Johnny and Kelly as Johnny’s AK is out of ammo. Johnny and Kelly circle back to surround them as Sitjkoff has his guys disperse as well. Kelly runs out of ammo and runs for it. Vincent’s last guy steps in a bear trap. Meanwhle Johnny pops up and fights the last KGB guy one on one with Sitjkoff watching. Johnny throws the guy downa nd Sitjkoff pulls a gun. Kelly runs up and kicks it out of his hands. He throws her down and they have the one on one fight*

Warlock: Alright here we go.

 

*Sitjkoff gets the upperhand but Kelly hits him with a branch. Johnny and Kelly run off as Sitjkoff screams that he’ll get Johnny. Vincent runs up and calls him a lunatic. He screams at Sitjkoff and Sitjkoff caps him. “I told you not to call  me Boris”

Warlock: And there’s my biggest no-no “Take out your own guy.”

 

*Back at Louie’s, he paces around. Kruskev tells him to relax because Sitjkoff doesn’t fail like Louie’s men. Kruskev calls him a dick as we cut to Bronk’s farm. He’s dead*

Warlock: Oh isn’t that wonderful. Nice security.

 

*Johnny  an Kelly find the Sheriff in his car, he’s been shot.  A chopper flies overhead and Sitjkoff taunts him that he’s got Bobby. Sitjkoff says to be at Louie’s in 4 hours with the disc or Bobby dies*

Warlock: 15 minutes left, let’s end this.

 

*Johnny takes the Sheriff’s truck to head off to Louie’s. Kelly stays behind with Sheriff*

Warlock: If I was Louie, I’d have Carlo call in his cartel boys for backup.

 

*Louie calls Sitjkoff a monkey and is pissed that 14 of his men are dead. Kruskev goes to Bobby and calls Louie a loud, smelly man. Kruskev tells Bobby he’s going to get Johnny for him.  Johnny goes to Lopez for help. He hands him the disc and Lopez figures out the nuclear weapons data is on it. Lopez tells him the Russian mob controls the black market. Lopez says he and Johnny will take Louie down together*

Warlock: 2 against a thousand, wonderful odds.

 

*Johnny storms Louie’s mansion. Kruskev and Louie pop up with guns and let Bobby run into Johnny’s arms. Lopez sneaks around behind. Louie calls him a psycho and tells him to hand over the disc. Johnny goes to hand it over and Kruskev shoots Louie instead. He goes for the disc and Lopez caps him. Lopez is knocked down by Sitjkoff. He shoots at Johnny and Bobby but they run off*

Warlock” I hate “Take out your own guy.”

 

*Sitjkoff chases Johnny and he takes his shirt off*

Warlock: NOW its time for the one on one fighht.

 

*Johnny takes out some random goons before we get to the one on one confrontation. They point guns at each other ande Sitjkoff puts his down. Sitjkoff “Now, I think I try you.”

Warlock: Gonna settle it the old fashioned way.

 

*Sitjkoff gets the upperhand and goes to hang Johnny up in chains. Johnny fights back*

Warlock: Ateast they could have had a ring of fire, like the movie implies.

 

*Johnny beats Sitjkoff from pillar to post and snaps his neck*

Warlock: Johnny wins…flawless victory.

 

*Lopez carries Bobby over and they are victorious. Next scene is Bobby and Johnny fishing, Kelly joining them. Johnny and Kelly kiss as Bobby catches a trout. End credits*

Warlock: Cookie cutter but not the worst I’ve seen.

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: 4.5 out of 10. I have a feeling the movie was originally called just Lion Strike but for whatever reason, the movie big wigs decided to bring back Dr. Johnny Woo for one last hurrah. They wrote Julie out of the script and replaced her with an ex-marine badass but the story itself was blah. Its not the worst but nothing great either. Every movie is completely different in the series. The first one was a Chinese Connection ripoff, the second movie was a The Warriors ripoff and the third movie…well take your pick. If you can find it for free, its worth a look but otherwise don’t bother.

Final Grade: 4.5 out of 10: Below Average

 

*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Not the best way to end of the Ring of Fire series but there was only one way to go anyway. I maintain that it was originally not supposed to be a Ring of Fire movie but was later turned into one, but the overall premise was the actual ring of fire which was not seen in the second of third movie. They killed off Julie and didn’t even mention the gang from the first two movies even though Lopez came back for more. Oh well, not the worst I’ve ever seen. That about wraps up andother below average adventure, have a pleasant evening.

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