Cagefighter (aKa Cagefighter: Worlds Collide) is a 2020 action sports film written, produced, and directed by Jesse Quinones (Calloused Hands, Vigilante Britain, Surviving History, and The Cable). It was produced by Shayne Putzlocher (The Doorman, Girl, Hounds of War, Dead Shack, Vampire Dog, Welcome to Nowhere, and Beyond). It premiered on FITE TV. The original limited theatrical run was cancelled and it was released on Video on Demand due to Covid-19.
Reiss Gibbons (played by: pro MMA fighter Alex Montagnani from Devil You Know, The Underdog, and Here I Come) is the greatest champion to ever fight in the MMA promotion Legends. He is a 5-time champion and has just come off a win. His manager Reggie (played by: Elijah Baker from The Batman) feeling on top of the world with waves of endorsement deals and movie offers. Legends owner Max Black (played by: Gina Gershon from Face/Off, Showgirls, Bound, and Red Heat) wants to book another fight for Reiss were she reveals to MMA talk show host Stephen Drake (played by: pro wrestler Christian from WWF, Haven, Shoot ‘Em Up, and Dark Rising) that she has decided to put Reiss against Pro Wrestling star Randy Stone (played by: pro wrestler Jon Moxley from All Elite Wrestling, WWE, CZW, and 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown). Drake and the whole MMA community including Reiss and his wife Ellie (played by: Georgia Bradner from Cocaine Godmother, iZombie, and Supernatural) think this is a publicity stunt and that Stone will not succeed like all wrestlers who transition to MMA too soon.
The hype though attracts a large audience with even other pro wrestlers like Matt Hardy (TNA), Tommy Dreamer (ECW), and Bubba Ray Dudley (ROH) defending Stone. Stone somehow upsets the champion and wins the belt shocking the whole fighting industry. This causes Reiss is lose everything including various promotional gigs. He is forced to fight at a different weight and goes against newcomer and upcoming heavyweight Nightmare (played by: Robb Rennebohm). The legendary Reiss loses again and he decides to retire after being embarrassed. He tries to live a normal life but he finds out that he is broke so he has no choice but to fight again. He gets the help of his old trainer Marcus (played by: pro MMA fighter Chuck Liddell from How High, Kick-Ass 2, Blade: The Series, and UFC) and challenges the new champion Randy Stone to win his title back. Will he be able to overcome his recent troubles in the ring? or Is it over for the aging fighter????
Cagefighter is a solid fighting drama featuring some known names from the MMA and wrestling communities. It’s about redemption and the script is better than expected for this type of feature. Alex Montagnani plays the fighter that’s cocky ar first and he doesn’t think he can lose after all his success. Let’s be honest, Alex Montagnani is a professional MMA fighter in real life and guess what he plays here? It’s not a big challenge to basically perform something similar to what you do everyday so he was actually decent in this. Same goes for professional wrestler Jon Moxley aKa Dean Ambrose, he knew what type of character he was doing here & it worked here. Chuck Liddell is a great example of what I am trying to say. He has been doing lots of independent movies the last few years and he can do action with no problem because he is a great fighter but he has struggled when it came to the actual acting so this environment is perfect for the iceman. This is his best performance in his acting career so far and I think he should do more material like this. Wrestling fans will be excited to see Christian, Matt Hardy, Tommy Dreamer, and Bubba Ray Dudley show up in this. The casting is pretty damn smart and creative here for Cagefighter because it caters directly to it’s target audience. I am confident to say any fan of both MMA and wrestling will really enjoy this one. The acting in this for the most part was just average and nothing special but I will say veteran actress Gina Gershon was really good in this as the owner and she was the best thing about the production. Cagefighter delivered when it came to the action and fights. It won’t be your all time fighting flick or nothing new when it comes to cinema but it’s a good entry for the sub-genre.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and extra from Screen Media Films! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks great and it capitalizes on the world of fighting/wrestling with it’s production design and locations that shine here. It has two different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English: LPCM 2.0 on the disc. The audio is solid but it’s not going to blast through your home set up or be something for reference quality. All of the dialogue is very clean, the fights are elevated, and the music has a decent boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. The only bonus feature on the disc is the almost 13 minute “Making of Cagefighter”. It has interviews with director Jesse Quinones, actors Alex Montagnani, Jay Reso (Christian), Jon Moxley, Gina Gershon, Chuck Liddell, Elijah Baker, Georgia Bradner, and others. They chat about the story and concept. They go over the cast and real life experts involved with the project. Jesse Quinones says it’s been awhile since a film like this was made. He mentions other features like Warrior and Rocky. Alex Montagnani talks about originally just being the fight choreographer but ended up getting the lead for this. The cast brings up their experience with MMA and wrestling. Gina says that’s the reason she wanted to do this movie because it was done by the real people who perform these fights. They joke that they didn’t need stunt work and did all their fights on their own. Jay Reso chats about how he got involved and talks about his role as a producer where helped bring in some of the wrestlers in this. Jesse Quinones comes off very passionate about this production and you can tell it was personal for him. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!