Forgotten Action Cinema: Red Sun Rising

Fans of Don “The Dragon” Wilson understand the fact that the majority of the man’s work is, shall we say, somewhat lacking, to say the least. There are very few titles in Wilson’s storied filmography that are genuinely entertaining. “Out for Blood” — a title that probably should have gone to Steven Seagal — and “Moving Target” are, for me, the cream of his cinematic crop, though I think it can be argued that director Francis Megahy’s 1994 endeavor “Red Sun Rising” is his best. Granted, it’s still a low-budget martial arts flick with all of the trappings, but it showcases a strong performance from Wilson and a plethora of enjoyable fight sequences. The film tells the story of a Japanese cop who travels to the United States to find the bastard responsible for murdering his partner. Along the way, he gets into the middle of a gang war and falls in love with a snarky detective. It’s typical STV malarkey, though Wilson and co-star James Lew do an admirable job of keeping the action interesting enough for viewers to ignore the script’s inherent stupidity. Also on-board for most of the flick are veteran actors Edward Albert, Michael Ironside, Terry Farrell — as a racist cop, no less — and the immortal Mako, one of my all-time favorite character actors. Toss in a villain who has the ability to do an extraordinary amount of damage to his enemies using only two fingers and you’ve got yourself a monstrously enjoyable 90’s action flick that deserves to be discovered by Don “The Dragon” Wilson fans and action aficionados alike. If you can find a copy at a reasonable price, I highly recommend picking it up. The original trailer for “Red Sun Rising” resides below. And whatever you do, for the love of God, don’t look James Lew directly in the eyes.