‘Life After Fighting’ Ending Explained & Movie Recap: Does Alex Manage To Save The Girls?

If you have a thing for old-fashioned action movies, mainly the ones where a single good guy takes on the entire bad world, Life After Fighting must have been a lot of fun for you. Australian actor and martial artist Bren Foster’s directorial debut (where he also stars in the lead role) is far from a perfect action movie. It is a bit too long, and the editing is weak; in fact, there’s a whole subplot the movie could have done away with. But the final hour of it is action-movie lovers’ wet dream, and that’s what counts. Life After Fighting has a straightforward narrative and a very comprehensive ending. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at it, especially the bloodied, action-packed climax, which is clearly the main deal.


Spoiler Alert

What Is the Film About?

Martial arts instructor Alex Faulkner’s life revolves around the Taekwondo school he teaches at. Alex is a former world champion who abruptly left the ring after losing a game. The current world champion, Arrio Gomez, keeps sending requests to fight Alex. He believes it is absolutely necessary for him to beat Alex to establish his supremacy, but Alex continues to ignore him. Later in the movie, Alex does give in to Arrio’s requests and eventually beats him. What I fail to understand is the point of this whole plotline, which has absolutely nothing to do with the actual story. 


When single mom Samantha comes to enroll her five-year-old son Terry at Alex’s school, the two sort of hit it off. Even though Alex has the strict rule of not dating a student or the parent of a student, he can’t ignore the instant connection he has with her. There’s one issue, though: Samantha’s ex-husband, Victor, who still can’t get over her and obviously is not too happy with the idea of his ex-wife and the karate coach. In fact, Victor doesn’t hesitate to come to Alex’s school and threaten him with his enforcer, Milan. Alex has no problem neutralizing the threat, though, by teaching Milan a lesson. Shortly after, two random guys, Ethan and Ryan, join the school, pretending to be students, only to cause disruption during training. It becomes quite clear that the two want to fight Alex, and they genuinely believe that they can get the better of him. Realizing these two aren’t going to listen, Alex silences Ryan by handing him quite a beating, which prompts the duo to leave, at least for the time being. Just when things are looking normal again for Alex, with his school running in full swing and his new relationship blooming, two little girls, Violet and Laney, both students of his, get kidnapped right outside of the school. Violet, in fact, is his family; her mom, Julie, is Alex’s cousin, who works as the receptionist at the school.

Who kidnapped the little girls? 

From the moment Victor is introduced, you know for a fact that the guy is not good news. But does being obsessed with his ex-wife also mean he would kidnap little girls for doing something as terrible as trafficking them to Romania? I’m sure y’all considered the possibility of Victor not being involved in the kidnapping, especially the scene where he seems to be concerned about the safety of his son at Alex’s school, given what has happened. But it wouldn’t have made any sense if the mastermind behind the terrible thing was anyone but him. And Samantha had to be the one finding it out before anyone else. However, while we wished for her to get away and break the news to Alex as soon as possible, she gets caught by her garbage ex-husband. Like what always happens in a movie like this, her phone runs out of charge at the worst possible time. But thankfully, her text to Alex mentioning the address gets delivered. Smart of Samantha to write the most necessary thing in such a clutch situation!


Does Alex manage to save the girls?

It’s admirable how Foster sets up his lead character as a reasonable man who tries his best to not resort to violence as much as possible—and then having no choice but going into full Liam Neeson from Taken mode in the final hour. He doesn’t have to do much investigation, though, thanks to the text he receives from Samantha. Upon reaching the location, he sees Victor getting away in Samantha’s car, with Terry alongside. Alex finds it a little difficult to find out about the kidnapped girls and his girlfriend. But thanks to the kids showing presence of mind and making lots of noise by kicking the metal cages, Alex reaches them soon. He’s simultaneously shocked and relieved to find Violet and Laney there, along with other girls. Samantha tells him about Victor, and the two decide to go to the police. But this wouldn’t be a movie if things worked out like that, right? 

So Victor has to be insane enough to kidnap his own son and blackmail his ex-wife. What’s he asking for in order to spare Terry? He doesn’t mind letting Violet and Laney go, but the four other girls must be handed over to him for shipping off to Romania. To show he’s being dead serious, Victor chops off Terry’s pinky finger, cementing his place in the “worst movie dads ever” lists. But isn’t it quite surprising that there’s someone who’s even worse than Victor? Who else but his sidekick, Milan? I liked that Foster didn’t choose to give his villains any redeeming qualities and made them completely despicable human beings; this makes the whole Alex beating the crap out of Victor and company extremely satisfying. Of course, out of everyone, Milan deserved the most brutal torture: the guy literally threw a little girl to the ground, resulting in her death, and then he boasts about being a pedophile. Meanwhile, Ethan and Ryan turning out to be team Victor is not really surprising and only adds some value to their earlier appearance. I would have liked if Alex had killed Victor without facing any trouble, per se, and the movie ended then and there, in a deadpan manner. But Foster obviously wanted to spice things up with a bit of drama and emotion, resulting in both Samantha and Alex taking bullets from Victor before Alex finally killed the ex-husband. You do get the scare of the hero dying in the end, but thanks to his student Simon, who works for the police, Alex survives.


Life After Fighting ends with a welcome home party for Alex, who clearly deserves it. Alex is most likely done with fighting, but we would very much like it if Foster made more bare-knuckle action movies like this in the future.

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Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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