Hak hap (1996) Poster

(1996)

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8/10
Love or hate
winner5523 July 2006
This film appears to draw a borderline - on one side, those who love it, on the other, those who find it unbearable.

To begin with, there is an awful lot of comedy in this film that many viewers are not "getting". Of course jet Li's Mask looks like Bruce Lee's Kato - he's supposed to, it's a joke. The guy who has a time-bomb sewn to his heart - outrageous? of course, it's a joke! Some readers will probably ask, if this film is supposed to be so funny, why all the excessive and gory violence? well, for one thing the tolerance for this level of violence is actually different, from culture to culture; and while Hong Kong audiences would recognize this violence is extreme, it's certainly only slightly more than average for a HK action film.

Also, Black Mask is really the kind of film that takes a genre's conventions and pushes them to extremes, simply because the conventions themselves are wholly unrealistic. After decades of watching people get shot without any noticeable open wounds, many people were horrified to see Bonnie and Clyde and the outlaws of the Wild Bunch spurting blood all over the place. But the fact is, when you're shot with rapid metal projectile, it's almost certain that blood will spurt, especially from an artery.

This film is a Chinese comic book movie. It is true that the Spiderman films never get this gory - but if they were faithful to reality, they would be! Well, despite its comic-book origins, this film is faithful to reality.

The only complaint I have is the flashy, over-stylized filming and editing. If the makers of this film had shot it with an eye to Hollywood-style nostalgia (as, e.g., The Rocketeer, or the recent Sky captain film), I doubt anyone would have found it offensive.

But as it stands, I still had a lotta fun watching this movie.
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8/10
This movie rocks!!
coldstick15 January 2006
I have no idea why this flick is getting such a bad rap by so many IMDb users (Some are saying it's his 'worst movie ever.' What?? Haven't any of you seen Cradle 2 The Grave?) My favorite criticism is that the plot is totally stupid, and just an excuse to hang all of the action sequences on. Duh! What the crap were you expecting from a Jet Li movie? Did you honestly believe that someone thought up the story, then just loaded it up with action? Of course not! Black Mask is awesome, wall-to-wall action throughout nearly it's entire running time. It's also deliciously gruesome, and we get plenty of severed limbs, decapitations, and creative ways of watching the bad guys (and quite a few innocent people, too!) get slaughtered. Most of Li's other martial arts films are nursery-school when compared to Black Mask; there is no holding back on the gratuitous violence, bloodshed, or action sequences whatsoever! And that made me a happy camper. Again: if you go into a Jet Li movie expecting magnificent dialog and an intriguing plot, you are going for the wrong reasons. Black Mask is probably my favorite of his movies (though, beware of the horrendous dubbing).
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7/10
Jet Li rocks!!!
Dan Grant18 July 1999
In Stand By Me, Vern and Teddy discuss who was tougher, Superman or Mighty Mouse. My friends and I often discuss who would win a fight too. Sometimes we get absurd and compare guys like MacGyver and The Terminator or Rambo and Matrix. But now it seems that we discuss guys like Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Jet Li. It is a pointless comparison seeing that Lee is dead, but it is a fun one. And if you go by what we have seen from Jet Li in Lethal 4 and Black Mask, you have to at least say that he would match up well against Chan. In this film he comes across as a martial arts God.

Black Mask is about a man that was created along with many other men, to be supreme fighting machines. Their only purpose is to win wars that other people lose. They are invincible in some ways. Now that is the premise for the film, but what that does is sets up all the amazingly choreographed fight scenes.

Jet Li is a marvel. He can do things with and to his body that no human being should be able to do. And that is what makes watching him so fun.

Besides the martial arts in the film, Black Mask is strong with humour and that is due to the chemistry that Jet has with his co-star, the police officer. They are great together. But to be honest. if anyone is reading this review, they want to know if the film is kick ass in the action department. And the answer to that is a resounding YES!!! Lots and lots of gory mindless action. You will love this film.
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7/10
Seriously awesome fight sequences!
Maree2 April 2002
The story would never win awards, but that's not what it's about... the script was just entertaining and suspenseful enough to make room for the incredibly choreographed fight scenes. Who needs a story with fighting like that? Really, it's worth watching for that reason alone. IF you can handle the gore, of which there is a LOT... none of it done realistically enough to be tough to look at. I gave it a 7.
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8/10
Wham, bam, thank you, Jet Li!!
Jerry-934 November 1999
Anyone who had never seen anything like the fight scenes in The Matrix has never seen this movie. The fight scenes were choreographed by action scene psychopath Yuen Woo Ping, who also did the fights in The Matrix. And the fight scenes are somethin.

Li plays a supersoldier who feels no pain, who now lives a life as a pacifist librarian (ya got me). When other evil supersoldiers begin killing off local drug lords to take over the drug trade, Li teams up with his cop buddy to help stop them.

There are some absolutely crazy things going on in this movie (one badguy gets his arm lopped off with a pane of glass and hardly notices). The fights scenes are filled with flying kicks and punches; the body count is way up there. Li has seldom been better, and he has surrounded himself with a bevy of beautiful female costars (Yip kicks some serious ass as a fellow supersoldier). Anthony Wong even makes a cameo as a drug lord (no suprises there; he makes a cameo in every HK movie). It's unfortunate they don't make action movies like this in the US; I wouldn't have to sit through all of these horrible dubbing jobs to see that action that I crave so much. Recommended.
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6/10
Superhero
kosmasp2 April 2007
Jet Li behind a black mask? Does that work? I think it does. It's not the greatest movie ever made, but it's a fun little action b-movie that you get here.

The emphasis is clearly on the word "b-movie"! You can't watch this movie expecting a Hollywood Blockbuster. Or anything that would resemble a logical story. It is quite literally a "no-brainer". I have criticized movies for being no-brainers before. Why did I rate this one higher? Because I see it in the context. For example, Black Mask 2 is a "no-brainer" ... but there is nothing there that is entertaining. Here you have some jokes that work, but more importantly you have good choreographed action scenes. All of that is missing in the sequel (if you can call it that ...)
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8/10
Great HK action film
Blinking_Fish16 February 2000
I really enjoyed this movie and it was a little difficult do that when your brother is making stupid comments in it ever 30 seconds. But this movie I enjoyed, mostly because I'm used to the usual HK action films. Most of the films like this are don't watch it for the story line, watch it for the mindless action. And mindless action is right. You get to see Jet Li Jump, spin, kick, punch, shoot, make impossible jumps and dodge countless bullets. It's true that this movie was released to a broader audience after Li was in Lethal Weapon 4. That is one of the reasons the ratings on this movie dropped. Most people were probably expecting to see a movie that was as polished as a North American film. But you need to remember most HK film budgets aren't nearly as high as a North American film, and the style in a HK action film is usually very different usually requiring in wire work in a lot of them. If you want to see a good action film you should see this just try to ignore the dubbing.

My rating was an 8.
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Thy name be mindless action. YESSSSS!!
RevRuin24 May 1999
Horrible dubbing. Cheesy overworked plot. Story that's been done and done and done. Implausabilities abound. Plot holes large enough to drive a cliche through. But MAN those fight scenes were incredible! If you go in looking for a serious piece of cinema, you'll leave unhappy. If you can't laugh at how horribly some of the humor flops, you'll be disappointed. If you go in to see Jet Li kicking butt -- something he is incredible at -- you WILL be happy. Scale: 1 to 10. I give it a 7, simply because I said, "WOW!" so many times.
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10/10
One of my favorite Jet Li films, a true action classic
dworldeater17 February 2013
Black Mask is one of my personal favorites in Jet Li's filmography. This is easily , in my opinion his best gun fu film. Black Mask is very much in a sci fi /comic book style , but not in a PG13 Spider Man style . Black Mask is a brutal , ultraviolent wall to wall action classic that should please both fans of shoot em' up, detonation maximum bullet ballets as well as kung fu / martial arts fans. With Yuen Woo Ping choreographing the action and Jet Li as the lead , the fights /action are as good as it gets. There is enough blood and gore to satisfy the most bloodthirsty of action fans as well as some of the finest choreographed wire fu insanity of the period . Black Mask is for me a perfect blend of both styles of HK action . Also, a good job from the cast which has Lau Ching Wan and a cameo from Anthony Wong. The subtitled HK version don't look as good as the US version , but plays much better as a film without lousy English overdubbing and record scratching.
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7/10
Dumb, but fun.
BA_Harrison29 December 2012
Once a part of 701 squad, an elite group of super-soldiers/assassins surgically altered to feel no pain, Tsui Chik (Jet Li) now works as a librarian; but when the remaining members of 701 squad (whose number include the rather gorgeous Francoise Yip) turn to crime, bumping off drug lords to corner the narcotics market and stealing police files to sell to other criminals, Tsui Chik takes on the guise of superhero 'Black Mask' to fight his former comrades.

Black Mask is a frenetic comic-book martial-arts actioner from director Tsui Hark, a rather chaotic film with a plot that makes very little sense but which still succeeds in being highly entertaining thanks to a huge helping of silliness, loads of insane wire-enhanced fighting (choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping), and a fair amount of gore.

Amongst the craziness on offer: characters are blown to pieces, crushed under vehicles, killed by razor edged CDs, and hack off their own limbs to escape capture; Jet Li has a brief but very impressive battle in a graveyard and also performs an jaw-dropping kung fu routine using a high voltage cable as a weapon; and crime-lord King Kau (the brilliant Anthony Wong) is sent his daughter's severed legs in the post!!!

One more thing... if possible, try to find a subtitled version of the film—the dubbing is atrocious.
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9/10
One of Jet Li's best
gangstahippie13 August 2007
Rated R for strong violence including martial arts combat, some sexual content and language. Quebec Rating:16+(should be 13+) Canadian Home Video Rating:18A

I used to have Black Mask on VHS but I gave it to my cousin a long time ago.It was on TV a few days ago however and I decided to watch it.Black Mask is in my opinion Jet Li's best film.The storyline is pretty good and the fight/action scenes are amazing.Seriously if you like martial-arts film then you will love this movie! The film is about a quiet and nice librarian who before was a test subject for this project to create supersoldiers.While he leads a humble life, all the other people who were test subjects have turned to a life of crime.The cops cant do anything about it so he puts on a black mask and basically becomes a superhero who stops these criminals.Black Mask is an entertaining martial-arts/sci-fi film.
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How can you not love this?!!!
verbal_k3010 August 2002
Man, it just doesn't get any better than this! Martial arts stunts, a plot that would make a Jackie Chan movie look intelligent and terribly drawn characters - fantastic! Bless Channel 5 for showing this or I'd never have seen it. Jet Li is amazingly great (soooo wasted in Lethal Weapon 4 when you compare that to this), especially when he jumps up and supports himself between two walls, legs akimbo. Of course all the characters are awful, the plot involving some convoluted crap about a special soldier squad. Don't expect high-brow. Just kick back, relax and let your mind go. Join us, join us...
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7/10
Certainly not Jet Li's best
Fanon5 June 1999
I can't understand why they decided to release this film to introduce the American audience to the dynamo that is Jet Li. Fist of Legend would have been a much better choice. Anyway, Black Mask isn't terrible, but it certainly isn't great either. The final fight sequence is well staged by Yuen Woo Ping who went on to coordinate The Matrix. But the English release suffers from rough editing and dubbing. (I'm begging the Hollywood studios to release these films uncut with subtitles.)Jet Li shows his characteristic charisma in the title role and Francoise Yip has a cool but brief role as the female 701.

Black Mask has a strange goth style that adds some interest but it is overloaded with gun battles and explosions. More focus on Li's fantastic physical skills were in order. Black Mask is a decent film but do yourself a favor and pick up Fist of Legend if you want to see a tremendous film that really shows Li's skills.
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2/10
A mess of a movie
CaZSuede17 May 1999
Jet Li, is one of the best hand to hand combat fighters in the world. He has been for over 20 years and he puts others in the genre to shame. While he is big in Asia, he is almost unknown here in the US.

Black Mask is supposed to be a breakout movie for him, but it fails horribly. First of all, it is dubbed. While it may have camp value (the dubbing isn't even close and it is flat in tone), it seems inappropriate for the ordinary movie viewer. Secondly, the director in this movie, Daniel Lee, does a horrible job. He cuts scenes so fast, at times, you don't know what's going on. Other times, the camera shakes and wobbles. Fans see Jet Li's movies for the fantastic martial arts. However, the director edits the scenes so fast that you don't even know who's who half the time! Other times, a scene is left hanging (ie Li is beginning to cut a hole in the floor of a jeep, while the badguys arm their guns, two seconds later, both Li and the love interest are already under the car!) Other scenes are so improbable, that they cross over the point of being completely ridiculous (killer CD roms? Just give him Throwing Stars!!!!). Li, needs a director who is less prone to machine gun cutting and more to creating a cinematic mise-a-scene. The added rap/techno music goes from being okay to intrusive. The plot has possibilities but are all squandered by cartoonish characters that take away from any credibility that this movie strives for. And are we really to believe that the love interest would not recognize Simon, because he has a half mask on? Wouldn't the hair, lower jaw, or voice give it away?

If you want to see a Jet Li movie, try Iron Monkey or his classic Shaolin Temple. This disjointed mess is a complete waste of time.....2/10
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2/10
Among Jet Li's worst films
hayabusa-110 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Mild SPOILERS contained herein. I'm spoiling this film to save you the trouble of having to watch it.

Jet Li's movies fall into one of two categories: Shaolin period movies and movies set in modern-day Hong Kong revolving around Triads or Triad like organizations. Each genre has its best and worst films. `Twin Warriors' is Jet Li's best Shaolin era flick while `The Evil Cult' is his worst. `Fist of Legend' while in the recent past is the best `modern era' Jet Li movie. `Black Mask' without a doubt is the worst.

Jet Li plays a self-exiled mercenary who received an injection that gives him superhuman ability, but shortens his life span. In his `new life' in exile he plays a pacifist librarian. When his old mercenary squad goes on a rampage, Jet Li becomes a vigilante determined to stop them. He dons a very silly corrugated cardboard mask so as to conceal his identity from the police (and public) as a librarian, as well as to conceal his true identity to his ex-comrades in arms.

The version I saw was dubbed, and horribly at that. Why does Jet Li capture and hold hostage his library co-worker if he's a pacifist? Is there a love story between them? Why does the police chief not care when he learns of the Black Mask's true identity? The plot is just plain BAD. Bad by way of the superhero cheesiness, bad in the sense that characters are never properly developed, bad in its character interactions, all topped off by a half-explained story I quickly lost interest in.

The action and martial arts sequences are way over the top. Lots of blood, gore (severed body parts aplenty), explosions, and Matrix style superhuman martial arts fiascos are present in the film. Unfortunately this is the films best and only selling point. If you want to see Jet Li playing a vigilante superhero in a Mission Impossible style movie `Black Mask' delivers. For the rest of us Jet Li fans it is a true disappointment. This is one of those movies where Jet Li never gets to be Jet Li: he gets neither the chance to charm us with his charisma, nor a chance to impress us with his impressive yet realistic martial arts ability.

Normally a Chinese knockoff of Ozzy Osbourne would be enough to engross me in a film, sadly `Black Mask' proved to be an exception to that rule. Indeed the antagonist of this movie, by the way he dresses, his long straight hair, and trademark round sunglasses looks like the modern and aged Ozzy Osbourne. However the villain isn't on-screen long enough to make the gimmick worthwhile. I am assuming the likeness to Ozzy was intentional; in addition to the villain's look, he also ran a satanic looking hideout. So much more could have been made from the Ozzy Osbourne villain gimmick! If only the writer, director, or ANYONE had bothered to give a background to and develop the character of the film's arch villain!

`Black Mask' was the first Jet Li film released on video in the USA after Lethal Weapon 4, and I'm glad I stayed away from it until now. It may well have ruined my whole perception of Jet Li as a martial artist and actor. If you want to see Jet Li at his worst, rent `Black Mask' and `The Evil Cult' and make it a double feature or horror, both intentional and unintentional. Otherwise stick to moves that utilize the talents of Jet Li, and have plots that are semi-well thought out and plausible. 3/9 stars.
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Furious action and good characters
ParanoidAndroidMarvin1 March 2003
I first saw Black Mask when it was released on video in the U.S., after it's run in the theaters. At the time I was not very impressed. This probably had to do with the fact that I had seen very few, if any, Hong Kong movies prior to this. However, after recently viewing it for a second time my opinion has changed and I would now say that it is an excellent movie.

Black Mask is an action movie with a vengeance. I was surprised that I didn't remember how brutally violent it was. There is enough blood spewing, bullet wound gushing and severed parts in this film to fill up a few movies. Characters are shot, struck, exploded, impaled and burned just to name a few of the killing methods employed in the movie. This is not to say that the film is an incessant barrage of violence; there are also quiet character driven moments. I believe that these moments are particularly successful because they are a stark contrast to the furious action sequences.

These contrasts exist also in the main character, Simon. As Simon he is pacific but as the Black Mask he is aggressive. As the movie progresses, so does his personal journey to find balance between his two sides. I believe this journey is a theme that runs through the movie consistently, at times in a more subtle way, which lends to my opinion that the movie is a well made and strives to develop characters more than the standard action movie. This is apparent in the character of Rock, who comes to question his convictions and methods. In the end, his beliefs would seem to be confirmed rather than denied, but the character has made the journey to this discovery, and that is an important factor in giving the film depth.

The Black Mask character has more than a passing resemblance to Bruce Lee's character Kato from "The Green Hornet." I don't know if the Hong Kong version of the film gives a nod to this, but the english dub finds female characters commenting on his "retro" Kato look. I don't know anything about the development of the film in Hong Kong, but I think it's a safe assumption that the character is inspired by Kato. It's something I'll be looking in to. Speaking of the dub, I actually find that it is excellent. It's not rushed or over the top as many dubs are. The characters speak at normal rates are appropriately low key when they need to be. Naturally, this lends greatly to the end product of the english version of the film.

Black Mask is an excellent action movie that features great fight scenes with the amazing Jet Li. The supporting cast is also excellent. The lead villain walks the fine line between "credible bad guy" and "B-Movie megalomaniac" with marvelous results. He's just a little too weird to be real, but he's not over the top at all. All things considered, it's a great movie and I'd encourage you to check it out!
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1/10
Terrible!
Conaray15 May 1999
The movie was awful. The theater was dead with silence 'cause everyone was embarrassed to be in there watching such trash. I think someone gave Jet Li a lobotomy and made him perform a script with dialogue written by a five year old. The martial arts are 'ok', but when put next to the Jackie Chan movies and "The Matrix" you're better off seeing one of those.
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1/10
The worst movie I've ever seen.
Ranseus7 June 1999
Save yourself and your money. This film is an insult to the mylar it's printed on. If this is a showcase piece for Jet Li he can end his career now.

The cinematography is terrible, the story is under-played, and the action scenes take place in environments that make them difficult to follow.

If you're expecting a Jackie Chan style film, you will be sorely disappointed. Jet Li is an outstanding martial artist, but his skills can't draw this howler up from the depths it plays at.
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9/10
In Black Mask, Jet Li plays a super-killer turned pacifist, who has to fight against other super-killers. Jet Li kicks!
Achmed22 May 1999
In Black Mask, Jet Li plays a bio-engineered super-killer turned pacifist, who has to fight against other super-killers. Bad plot, bad sfx(60 million dollar budget), but the fighting scenes were excellent! Jet Li is the greatest martial-arts star alive!
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8/10
A Good Intro to Jet Li and Hong Kong Nastiness
LeonLouisRicci23 August 2014
Martial Arts, Hong Kong, and Superhero Fans are going to Like this Ripe and Rippling Action Movie that brought Jet Li into the American Cineplexes with a Re-Release of a Movie that was Made in Asia for Asians.

But there is No Denying that US Audiences were Primed for this Type of Thing. There is a Different Aesthetic with these Foreign Films and they Capture an Ambiance that has become Fan Favorites ever since Bruce Lee Imports made there way to America. Cultists have Never Looked Back.

Yes, it is Dubbed and has an Americanized Music Soundtrack but it also has All of that Super Nuttiness Only Found in these Hybrids. Over the Top in Every Respect from the Silly Comedy Stuff to the Wire Work to the Bloodletting and Gore.

There is One Scene for Example You would Never Find in a Hollywood Movie of Any Repute. To Scare a Character into Submission He is Mailed His Daughters Legs in a Flower Box (She was only 6 years old) and there they are for Everyone to See. It is this Type of Exploitation that Transfers the Asian Acceptance for Something Like That Without a Blink that is Unacceptable in the American Psyche and makes these Movies Stand Out.

It is that and Other Things from these Imports that are so Remarkable and Against the Grain. It is the Unimpeded Audaciousness that makes these Types of Movies have such a Huge Cult Following. There is an Other Worldly Wackiness that is there for those that Crave Their Action with an Adult Comic Book Feel.

Overall, this is a Jet Li Movie with Superhero, Sci-Fi, and Hard-R Action that Introduced Him and because it was Made in His Home Country it is Uncensored and Raw. His American Movies may be Better Produced and Slicker but this Type of Thing was Grittier and a Whole Lot More Nasty Fun.
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Good mixture of ideas, and talent
ebiros218 October 2011
This is probably the movie that made Jet Li well known in the States. The mask obviously reminds you of "Kato" in Green Hornet, and that homage alone was enough to secure this as one of the classics of Hong Kong martial arts movies.

A genetic experiment to create super soldiers is deemed a failure. All are ordered to be destroyed. One of them survives, and finds a peaceful life as a librarian until the old acquaintances shows up to finish their job.

The production of this movie is not its good part. It reminds you of the dingy atmosphere of '70s Hong Kong movies. But the idea is brilliant, and casting little known Jet Li at the time for the lead was a spectacular success. He really is believable as genetically enhanced super soldier. Very young Karen Mok plays an unwitting hostage to Li, and adds sideline to the story.

This genetically enhanced soldier scheme continued with other movies such as Huk Mau (Black Cat), which is in the same vain as this movie, with also "Black" as part of its title.

With fantastic moves like this, who wouldn't be a star ! Jet Li became the premier super star from this point on, which still is on going.
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7/10
Watch the HongKong original cut instead of the U.S. release cut.
honorhorror25 November 2009
What more could I say? The Americans totally hated it because the U.S. cut was so bad, although you could detect the underlying goodwill in it.

Talking about the U.S. theatrical release(along with the newly released Blu-ray Disc version), it's faster and tighter than HK cut, the background musics were all changed from the dark, grim HK musics to Hip-hop musics; and there were a lot of gruesome scenes cut out. Though, the dubbing was a notable job given that they tried to capture the original actor's voice and tone. But, the problem is Hak Hap(Black Mask) the movie was designed and meant to be dark, grim, super-disturbing and totally gruesome. Very unfortunately the U.S. release just skimmed the cream they wanted, which in return completely changed the movie's undertone(HK release was rated 18+) to be even more comical and amateurish.

Now let's talk about the original HK release. This movie is like a hidden gem, a prototype for the whole "matrix" tide and era. The fighting scenes are totally awesome even the camera works were a bit "old-school" among HK movies. However the style the movie created was a unique blend of Kungfu and pop culture. With all the leather, black costumes and decorations, this movie features a batman-like superhero in a black mask against a run-of-the-mill gang of multinational super-soldiers lead by a punk heavy metal rock star boss. Yes it sounds like imaginations of a retarded child, but it works. It's so impressive that the whole movie's gonna give you nightmares featuring foreigners fighting a bloodbath battle in leather coats. In year 2002 they made a sequel which had a PG-13 rating, but without Jet Li and Liu Qing Yun. And you know how bad that was because Li and Liu were the core characters in the movie and had strong personalities and an interesting friendship. And, did I happen to mention Francois Yip? Her roundhouse kick was totally cool, even cooler than the villain boss because she didn't use a stuntman for all the fighting. Did I mention she was also smoking hot? Anyway, there are a lot of things to like about the movie.

However, the movie also suffered from a lot of problems. First off, it's a mediocre script made at its best potential, which means this production team deserved a better screen-writer. There are a lot climaxes in the entire 100 minutes but they often felt like far-fetched and don't totally make senses to the audiences(US version was even worse because all the character developments were cut). Anyway, you can't ask too much out of a comic-inspired action movie. Also, this movie is entirely improper for children. I won't recommend it to you if you are less than 20 years old. It's saturated with disturbing contents including blood, gore, sado-maso costumes, extreme brutal violence and so on. Along with the style of the movie, it can be called a wet dream for heavy-metal rock music fans and action fans. (the U.S. cut was milder, but if you want to see it, see the HK release for what it is.) 7/10. Status: inspiring, hidden, undervalued, adult.
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8/10
The fun of Hong Kong film-making
peter_okelly15 June 2009
OK, it's not a perfect movie by any means but I disagree with the overall IMDb opinion that it's really really bad. I watched a lot of Hong Kong flix in the 1990's and loved the era dearly. I never saw 'Black Mask' at the time and only saw it last week for the first time. Apart from the embarrassingly poor dubbing which my DVD copy didn't give me the option to turn off, the movie contains the raw energy and bravado that permeated Hong Kong movies during this time. I still stick to my guns in the opinion that, when it comes to action, these guys, no matter what their budget, add an element of magic to the screen no Bourne Supremacy, Casino Royale or Mission Impossible (I'm not knocking these movies - I just reckon they lack the spontaneity of this one and feel too regulated) will ever achieve. What is it? It's the feeling that the film-makers were experimenting as they shot and edited, not afraid to leave in some blemishes so as to learn lessons for the next time. For me, this makes watching movies, all the more fun and dangerous.
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7/10
Good Stuff !
mikelcat14 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Very good martial arts film and Jet Li is the best since the master himself Bruce Lee .Li is excellent as the low key librarian/cop who saves all time and time again . He has a presence and a look that is riveting and believable as the kung fu king that you don't mess with .Francoise Yip is simply beautiful in that mixed race original way that is unique because of her mixed heritage , she has an innocence and an allure all at the same time that I found unforgettable .The villain , the man with the sunglasses and long hair was very good as well but I can't find his name in the credits , can some one help me out with that ? Thanks ! Enjoy Hak hap or Black Mask , in any language its good entertainment !
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5/10
A mixed bag
no-skyline22 May 2007
Jet Li stars in this wire-fu actioner effort as a super trained commando type unable to feel pain or emotion who escapes from an evil master to live a normal life. Drawn into using his skills once more to defeat his old squad he must also protect his new found friends.

I liked this movie it's not the best Jet Li has done but it's good entertainment and has some good if slightly outrageous fight scenes. The bad guy is good value for money and seems to have stepped right out of a comic book, Francoise Yip is also very effective is Li's one time comrade. However Li's friends sometimes get in the way of the action and the Tracy character is fairly irritating (how often did i wish she'd get shot so we could move on with the movie!). The tough guy cop is quite funny in places but overall its about a 7/10 movie.

7/10 - Good action solid plot and overall a fun film for any martial arts fans.
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