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Only The Strong is a 1993 live-action film starring Mark Dacascos and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.
Louis Stevens (Dacascos), having completed his tour as a Green Beret in Brazil, returns to his old Miami neighborhood to find that the local high school has been overrun by drug dealers. He intervenes in a dispute with one of the more prominent dealers, an act that ends with the gangsters being forced off campus. Seeing this, Louis' old teacher Mr. Kerrigan (Geoffrey Lewis) brings a proposal to the principal of teaching Capoeira (which Louis learned while in Brazil) to several of the school's worst at-risk students as a means of instilling discipline into them.
However, Louis' earlier intervention with the drug dealer does not go down well with the local drug kingpin Silverio, who is himself a Capoeira master and proceeds to viciously beat Louis as a warning not to interfere. Louis eventually recovers, but what follows is a fight to liberate the neighborhood from Silverio's influence.
Only the Strong provides examples of:
- Badass Boast: Between Silverio and Louis during their second confrontation:
Silverio: This time, I play for keeps.
Louis: And this time...I don't play.
- Badass Teacher: Louis himself, although technically he's not a member of the school faculty.
- Benevolent Boss: Silverio is this to his henchmen and a good deal of the people in his section of the neighborhood. As Orlando says about his cousin, "They're either scared of him or they think he's Robin Hood."
- Berserk Button: Silverio does not take it well when he learns that Louis has wrecked his chop-shop.
- Big Bad: Silverio.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Cool Teacher: Louis. Kerrigan and Dianna qualify as well.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Silverio does this to Louis during their first meeting.
- Dreadlock Rasta: Silverio's enforcer sports the hairstyle.
- Drugs Are Bad
- Heel Face Revolving Door: Orlando, Silverio's cousin, has to choose between his respect for Louis and his loyalty to his cousin. He chooses the former.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Donovan.
- Or Senseless Sacrifice... heading back in to save a musical instrument and then dying of smoke inhalation.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Louis is perhaps better known to TV viewers as Eric Draven or Mani. Also, Ryan Bollman (who played Donovan) had earlier appeared as the Big Bad in Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice.
- Hot Teacher: Dianna.
- Inner-City School
- Police Are Useless: It's justified, though, as a cop indicates that Silverio's history of intimidating potential witnesses who would otherwise give testimony against him has left the police unable to arrest him on any solid charges.
- Precision F-Strike: Plenty.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Donovan.
- Style Lift: So, you're filming a movie all about Capoeira and its heritage. Who do you hire? A guy who's only ever studied Tae Kwan Doe.
- He did learn Capoeira specifically for the movie and does a pretty decent job for someone who practiced the art for less than a year, but in plenty of fight scenes his style still is barely, if at all recognizeable as Capoeira.
- Retroactive Recognition: Yup, our kickass teacher is Mani from Brotherhood of the Wolf.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Louis goes on one against Silverio's operatives after Donovan's death.
- Save Our Students: The point of the movie.
- Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him: The Dragon thinks Silverio should do this to Louis. However, Silverio refuses on the grounds that doing so will make Louis a martyr in the eyes of the neighborhood and thus cement his positive influence, which would undermine Silverio's power in the process.
- X Meets Y: Dangerous Minds meets The Karate Kid.