When is a terrible movie good?
When it entertains.
This is the rationale behind the phrases "guilty pleasures" and "so bad it's good," and the reason why I really enjoyed the fightin' femme flick D.O.A. Dead Or Alive.
It's based on a video game, so anyone who goes into this expecting high art or even a coherent, rational narrative is just setting themselves up for disappointment. The plot – what little there is – is concisely described by one of the producers in the "Making Of" featurette as "Charlie's Angels meets Enter The Dragon," and that's pretty much all of it. But – it's fun.
Directed by HK action director Corey Yuen, whose multitude of credits include the quintessential Michelle Yeoh/Cynthia Rothrock ass-kicker, Yes Madam, and the entertaining (and underrated) So Close, D.O.A. is pure, mindless entertainment. Yuen is best-known as a martial arts choreographer on various Jet Li and Jason Statham films, so you know that the action scenes are extremely well done. But more than that, they're filled with humor, and even characterization – no two characters in this movie fight the same.
The film is pure eye candy, with the largest cast of bikini-clad butt-kickin' babes since Andy Sidaris passed away. Devon Aoki, the ninja hooker from Sin City, and statuesque siren Jaime Pressly are the main stars, and both acquit themselves nicely, managing to create likable characters out of the cyphers they've been given to play. Eric Roberts is a suitably campy villain, and Kane Kosugi, the son of 80's "ninja" star, Sho Kosugi, does his father proud as one of the few male fighters.
It's dumb, loud, flashy, and fast, and I enjoyed it a lot. Even my wife liked it. Your mileage may vary, but hey, from the description I've given in this review, you probably already know if its your slice of cheesecake. It's sure mine.
Here's the trailer;