Street Fight (2012) – By Josh Samford

In recent years I have discovered something rather peculiar about nerdism: it seems to relate to just about any hobby. Like most geeks growing up, I had very little interest in sports. I was an indoor kid, hiding out playing my videogames. Playing sports never appealed to me in any way, shape, or form. Yet, during my teenage years, when I discovered MMA and boxing, I found something that I had missed out on during my formative years. So, with my new obsession, I found the energy that I used in my film geek research translated just as well to my being a fight fan. I would spend countless hours watching every fight I could, buying DVDs, renting videos, reading fight magazines or articles, and becoming a well versed fight geek. Funny enough, within recent years I have also found that I am not alone in my love for both cinema and combat sports. I have to imagine that the creators of Street Fight also found themselves in a similar position. With fight/film geeks, we find ourselves feeling quite passionate about the drama created during legitimate fights as much as we enjoy the storytelling that a fictional narrative has to offer. Street Fight seeks to capitalize on fight sports in their most raw setting, and it does so by not taking the most conventional ways out.

Street Fight is a tale of one young Scottish kickboxer who was taken down in the prime of his career. Although he was only one fight away from being the next European champion, Simon lost it all due to a drug addiction that dominated his life. Years later, after having kicked his habit, Simon finds himself unable to do anything with his talents due to his poor reputation. When he finds out about an organization known as "Street Fight," Simon finds that he may have a new lease on life. "Street Fight" is focused on taking the roughest and most violent fighters from all combat sports and giving them an outlet that they wouldn’t normally be allowed within the confines of MMA, boxing, or kickboxing. With his considerable talents as a kickboxer, Simon feels that he could enter into this organization and possibly become a champion of some sort. Although he won’t be a fixture on popular television, at least he would be able to do something with his life. However, there are some very dodgy dealings going on behind the scenes of “Street Fight” and Simon’s success may not be as guaranteed as he at first thought.

Street Fight apparently takes its influence from several real life groups as well as some popular onscreen incarnations. Although it seems ridiculous that in our society people would want to see fighting in an even more raw form than mixed martial arts, there is still profit to be found in watching non-fighters stepping up and attempting to kill one another. Most fight fans want to see talented individuals who have honed their skills in an environment that hopefully protects fighters from serious harm, but there are still folks out there who simply want to see brutality. This is where Street Fight picks up its momentum. Although the fights presented throughout the movie are far from the brutal and nasty looking slugfests that one might see in a run-of-the-mill YouTube street fight video, the basic premise for the movie hangs onto the same interest-grabbing prospect of human cockfighting. Street Fight, however, presents us with a world where street fighting has attracted athletes who are actually full of talent and could be champions within the legitimate world of sports.

Being set in Scotland, the location and the atmosphere of the film are enough to warrant some interest in the movie for me. This location alone gives the movie a certain draw that it otherwise might not have. Not being familiar with much of the independent cinema coming out of Scotland, Street Fight at least gives an atmosphere that many viewers may not be familiar with. In terms of its technical achievements, there are positives and there are negatives. For its good, the movie does have some nice photography. The color correction and the framing all make the product look quite slick, even though I am sure the budget was very limited. The fight choreography, which is a big thing with any martial arts film, is also very well done. Although I am not a big fan of the overly-produced sound effects, which seem slightly less realistic than a Shaw Bros. kung fu movie from the seventies, the fight scenes all look pretty good. Unfortunately, not every aspect of Street Fight is as perfect. Indeed, many of the performances are quite stilted. This is somewhat expected from independent cinema, but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

Street Fight isn’t great cinema precisely, but it certainly has its merits and shows a great deal of promise from a talented group of filmmakers. Polished and well thought out, there are a few hiccups in execution, but Street Fight is a fun and quick watch. You can read more about the film via the official website: