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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I bought the video cassette of this film because it was priced down and
because"A JOHN WOO Production" was written all over the cover of the video.
The box was entitled "THE TRIUMPH" which is the German title of the film
(okay, it's not really German language, but anyway this is the name used in
Germany and Switzerland). So I decided on buying the film because you
can't do much wrong for six or seven dollars (again, of course, dollars
aren't the Swiss currency, but hey, I'm trying to make it easier for YOU to
understand the situation).
I didn't expect much but was quite sure that the film wouldn't totally disappoint me either. I was right. It wasn't disappointing at all, actually it was quite a nice way to spend two hours of your life when you don't know what else to do.
The film is about a young man named Ken who is falling in love with the sister of Hong Kong kickboxing champion Bruce. Bruce is not very pleased to see his sister falling in love with Ken and beats him up pretty badly. Ken wants to challenge Bruce to get his revenge and because of that he also starts to practice. But during the fight Ken accidentally kills Bruce. He is now left by Gloria and when he finally reunites with her he is already heavily injured. He accepts one last fight against the Asian champion in honor of Bruce risking his life.
The acting is not bad at all, actually it's better than you'd expect from this kind of movie. The choreography of the fight sequences is very well done and seems quite real without too many freaky (and therefore unrealistic) moves. The direction is quite good and sometimes highly energetic. The love story also included in this film never gets too sentimental. I was very happy to see that this movie never was unintentionally funny like most of the American counterparts.
Overall an enjoyable film, not exceptional but a good Sunday afternoon film.
My rating: 7/10
I first watched this film many years ago on tape and actually been hunting
it down for quite a while.
Surpisingly being a kickboxer film, it does NOT glorify the Kick-boxing world, in my personal opinion it is more against. With the gruesome deaths and the images of boxers-past suffering from Parkinsons because of the sport does tend to put people off.
Aaron Kwok is as usual very good acting but still playing the Hong Kong Heartthrob role and Sammo Hung being more of a cameo and less active role is a pleasant change.
Some people may watch this film and call it a wannabe 'Rocky' or 'Raging Bull' but I say watch this film and see for yourself.
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