|Index||2 reviews in total|
After reading a disparaging review of Hunted Hunter. I was prepared to deal
with the fact, this could be the first Yuen Biao movie which was actually
very bad. I'm glad to say that the reviewer was totally wrong (and must have
been an idiot).
After an 11 year gap Yuen Biao teamed up again with director Ricky Lau (who directed Yuen Biao in the all-time classic Mr Vampire 2). The storyline is about a security guard (stationed by a Hong Kong company in the Philippines) who is framed for the death of a woman. After receiving the death penalty in the Philippines, Yuen Biao manages to escape.
This film is incredible. First of all Yuen Bun (who choreographed the poor Jet Li vehicle Once Upon a Time in China 3) does a terrific job with the martial arts choreography. Although 2 of the fight scenes are in slow motion, it emphasises Yuen Biao's wonderful fighting skills. Yuen Bun choreographs the fighting in the vein of Yuen Biao's all time classic film Righting Wrongs. The fighting is realistic and savage and extremely brilliant. In fact, Yuen Bun was very unlucky, in my eyes not to be nominated for a Hong Kong film award for the Action Direction.
However the film is nearly ruined by two Phillipino actors who wouldn't be allowed even on the set of Sunset Beach. Also the fighting skill of one of the Phillipino actors is so bad, so stilted and so slow is was very painful.
Thankfully, this turned out to be a minor quibble. First of, the film is filmed in an X-Files style of camera work. This is brilliant for this kind of film and hooks you until the end of the film. The lighting is sometimes very dark, very appropriate too for this seminal masterpiece.
Director Ricky Lau gives an immaculate, flawless direction (just like in Mr Vampire 2) which surely makes him one of the most talented directors in not just Hong Kong but in the world. Ricky Lau draws immaculate, flawless performances from the cast, especially Yuen Biao who can so subtly give of his feelings without saying a word. The rest of the cast, apart from the appalling two Phillipino actors, are flawless. Much praise must go to Jessica Hester, (who plays Yuen Biao's wife, who despite believing him, thinks of divorcing him) who not only is so beautiful, but is a fantastic actress as well. In fact the scene where Jessica Hester's character visits Yuen Biao in prison and gives him a burger, and while he eats the burger she shouts at him saying he doesn't respect her and then notices that he has a chain with their wedding ring on it is an all-time classic.
All in all, this film really is an all-time classic, with flawless direction from Ricky Lau, breathtaking action direction from master choreographer Yuen Bun, two wonderful performances from Yuen Biao and the beautiful Jessica Hester and wonderful support from the supporting cast (apart from the two Phillipino actors). This is a must-see film. An all-time classic. This could be the last classic film (probably not though!) from Yuen Biao so it's a must.
This is one serious crime drama with plenty of action and an
interesting angle of Chinese and Philippine law enforcement working
together, albeit reluctantly at first, to catch their man. Framed
murder suspect Lin Yue Feng (Yuen Biao) keeps getting into deeper and
deeper hot water. While trying to clear his name and get to the bottom
of who the real killer is, he manages a few narrow escapes from the
police with his superior fighting and leaping skills. But he can't keep
it up forever. And the police aren't the only ones after him.
Yuen Biao is really extraordinary when he's doing heavy drama like this. It's hard to believe this is the same happy-go-lucky guy you'll find in many of his other movies. Between his acting range and physical skills, there's really nothing he doesn't do exceptionally well. If only he spoke English, he'd be as huge in the US as he is overseas.
My only complaint about this movie, and not enough to knock any points off, is the use of slow- motion in some of the action sequences. Slow-motion for a cut or two during a fight is one thing - it can add intensity. But slow-motion for an entire fight? Very bad. It's hard to see the action for the one thing and you don't feel it as much as you do at regular speed. A frustrating distraction. But fortunately, there are plenty of action sequences where they kept it at a proper, normal speed.
Otherwise, damn, this is one heck of a movie. Many times I found my hands clenched or I was biting a finger or something, caught up in the tension. Great stuff.
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