Dojo Review: Beast: Chronicles of Parker
Director: Robert Samuels H.K.S.A.
Action Director: Manny Ayala
Starring: Marco “Da Answer” Johnson, Kimberly Bowden, John “Phoenix” Legrande, David Lavalee, Tom Lugo, Matt Healey, David Luptak, Tarell Kota Bullock
Beast: The Chronicles of Parker tells the story of agent Robert Parker (Marco Da Answer Johnson) who chases an unknown mysterious suspect who may be carrying a lethal toxin. To find the toxin and the suspect Agent Parker is put to the test by Mr. David (David Luptak) and his men all of whom are skilled in different deadly fighting techniques.
Robert Samuels (H.K.S.A) makes his directorial debut in this highly anticipated hand to hand (and hand to weapon) action fest. Director Samuels’ considerable action education (a disciple of legendary action master Sammo Hung and one of a handful of foreign members of the world famous Hong Kong Stuntman Association) comes into play in this action thriller. Samuels along with fight choreographer Manny Ayala, who has cut his teeth with prolific HK action director Tony Leung (H.K.S.A.) craft kinetic action sequences with a mixture of an old school 1980’s and 1990’s Hong Kong action style with a unique urban flavor that is missing in big budget action movies (no shaky cam allowed).
This style of action suits star Marco “Da Answer” Johnson. Marco is a newcomer to the action movie scene and he has “star” written all over him. Johnson also has a distinct swagger that shows a confidence that comes from years of hard training and time honing his craft. “Da Answer” was discovered in the first “Call to Action” held at the prestigious Urban Action Showcase in 2015. Marco, son of the legendary Willie “the Bam” Johnson of WMAC Masters, shows off his incredible speed and agility with deft hand and leg movements. This Wu Shu stylist ducks, kicks, and flips with his own unique flavor which adds more visual flare to the fight scenes. Punctuate this flavor with the pulsating soundtrack courtesy of Owen “Newo Tha Kid” Austin, Jr. and you have action scenes that move and vibrate.
Beast: The Chronicles of Parker is a flavorful entry into the action genre. Director Samuels skillfully mixes the kinetic ballet of martial movement prevalent in 80’s and 90’s Hong Kong action film making with the diversity of Urban Action of 2016 to create his own vision for the genre. Written and produced by Robert Jefferson, Beast is a monster action film at 17 minutes; I cannot wait to see what awaits us in the next Chronicles of Parker.
Be sure to check out the world premiere of Beast: Chronicles of Parker at the Urban Action Showcase November 12 and 13, 2016 in NYC.
*all photos courtesy of Robert Samuels, H.K.S. A.