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AVENGING FIST was supposed to be the live-action version of TEKKEN the
game, but apparently no one bothered to tell creator Wong Jing about that
little thing called "copyright infringement". Hence the re-title, even
though the whole movie is really one big mishmash of other, better sci-fi
films, mostly lifting plot points and gimmicks directly from Lucas' STAR
WARS films. (i.e. Young boy accepts fate, learns skill, faces brainwashed
father. Sound familiar?)
Notable are the special effects, which are quite good. Some of the fights are not too bad, although they are heavily manipulated by CGI, up to a point where you can't say a single person in this movie actually knows kung fu.
Sammo Hung has a funny cameo, playing up his weight angle. A good looking film, but highly unfocused and too derirative for its own good.
4 out of 10.
"The Avenging Fist" is one of the many HK Special Effect movies to come
over the last few years. It stands out on its own points, though - like
fact that it takes place in the future as opposed to the present or
which means that there's characters jumping around on flying cars and
through neon lights.
The main focus of the story is that of Nova, an agressive young man who feels the need to fight (don't we all?) and is trying to get his hands on a "Power Glove" - not of the Nintendo variety - which increases the user's fighting ability considerably. Nova also has a father who disappeared during the development of the Power Glove, who left Nova records of a fighting style called, of all things, the "Avenging Fists."
After several events, Nova manages to obtain a power glove and proceeds to unleash serious adolescent justice upon faceless baddies. Of course, Nova can't do it all by himself - so a bartender/street fighter by the name of "Iron Surfer" comes into play.
Personally, I think the movie should've been about Iron Surfer (Stephen Fung). Not only does he look a lot more cool and intense than Nova, but he also doesn't have all of the family melodrama that's included in Nova's story. Iron Surfer's just a guy who wants to love a cute girl and beat the life out of anyone/thing that gets in his way... even a surprisingly well animated CG monster. Unfortunately, Iron Surfer just gets turned into a crutch for Nova to take on the main villain with.
Yuen Biao has a decent sized role in this movie, but I was wanting to see more of him. Perhaps there should be a prequel with him and Ekin Cheng (who has a cameo as a younger Sammo Hung) that better explains the origins of the prevalent power gloves/avenging fists... It's unlikely, though.
Regardless, this movie very well accomplishes the SFX action spectacular it set out to be. You could go without seeing it and sleep comfortably at night, but if you're a sucker for these kinds of movies, give it a thorough viewing. "The Avenging Fist" is just fine.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Avenging Fist opens with the premise that the average human can only
use 10% of their brain and the "Power Glove" can unlock the other 90%
leading to greatly increased combat ability. However there are
side-effects and designed for elite police units there is the potential
for disaster if they fall into the wrong hands...
The futuristic setting is based on CGI, which largely holds up to the challenge, though there are limitations such as some of the fight scenes where the moves appear blurred rather than powerful. Otherwise it is well realised.
It had been many years since Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao and Chin Kar-lok had appeared on screen together and they appear to have aged well though their presence cannot guarantee success here. They and other well-known faces in Hong Kong cinema such as Gigi Leung, Cecillia Yip and Roy Cheung also make their presence known among the newer faces such as the uncharismatic lead Stephen Fung.
The acting is surprisingly good in places, especially Roy Cheung as the lead villain and Sammo Hung making the most of his limited screen time and a rare serious role. The main trouble is the plot which is supposed to have been originally based on the Tekken computer games - rarely a good sign as the 'Tomb Raider' and 'Doom' films recently proved. The changes mean that sometimes the story makes little sense and one point seems virtually stolen from 'The Empire Strikes Back' minimising any impact it may have had.
Overall, Avenging Fist is a patchy and ambitious effort that fails to reach it expectations despite the best efforts of director Yuen Kwai and his mixed cast. There are some solid performances and the film generally improves during its running time, but fans of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao may do better looking elsewhere. Avenging Fist is certainly unlikely to bring them many new admirers.
I saw The Avenging Fist after watching Stormriders at a friend's house. I was grossly disappointed in Stormriders just because of the fact that there is no actual fighting. I was expecting the same thing from Avenging Fist, meaning just pretty CGI and a couple fireball here and there. I was actually very surprised that the movie wasnt that bad. What I really liked in the movie were how the fight scenes were mixed with wires and CGI, how sparks would fly off of the fighters' limbs as they strike each other, how the villain used telekinesis very much like in Dark City's final scene, and its main characters looked like Hwoarang and Jin from Tekken. However, the story was very corny, the whole scenery reminded me of the 5th Element, and the actors for the main characters were complete turds (I.E despite the attempted style of Tekken characters they looked like a couple of a-holes you could careless about). All in all it's not a bad movie at all, but it definely could be way better. With every movie Andrew Lau does, I'm sure he learns what people like and don't like. Me personally, I'd rather see good ol' Wire-Fu.
Andrew Lau has now been known in HK cinema as a man who can make good
SFXfilms, he's done it for StormRiders and A Man called Hero, bother of
which were smashed box office of my homeland, Hong Kong. However, with his
newest feature "Kuen Sun" it's a different story.
The plot deals with greed and power in a futuristic Hong Kong, where scientists have created a weapon known as the Power Glove, a weapon that activates a mysterious power from one's brain. Dark, Thunder and War 21 were the three people who possess the three Power Gloves, but War 21 turns on them, taking Thunder along with him. Dark pursues them but no luck. 20 years later, Thunder has been brainwashed and works for War 21, who plans on taking over the world with his new army. Thus two heroes unite to unleash the powers of the Power Glove and bring War 21 down to justice, one of them is the son of Thunder, Nova and the other is a tough fighting bar tender, Iron Surfer.
Kuen San has everything we expect from Andrew Lau, stunning SFX, tones of fight scenes and beautiful women. However, this time, I found Kuen San less enjoyable compared with his previous 2 SFX films despite viewing the countless trailers that were on the public transports during my trip to Hong Kong.
Well it's not really bad, it's watchable, however, if you want to choose either StormRiders, AMCH or this, I'd recommend StormRiders... it's, afterall the one that started it all.
Take Demolition Man, Final Fantasy, The Matrix, Star Wars, Crouching
Hidden Dragon and put into a food blender. Mix well for an hour an a
into container, put in the fridge for a little while, serve with icing
In watching this film, you easily can make comparisons with the five films listed above and more, as The Avenging Fist has taken many of the ideas off them and crammed them into this fast-and-furious, high adrenalin, backside-kicking thriller. Oh, and add in 'Tekken' for good measure as well, although the end credits explicitly state that this film was not based on Tekken and not endorsed by Namco.
Tekken, sorry, The Avenging Fist tells of Nova, a son of a police officer who was the master of the Avenging Fist, a series of martial arts moves that were highly lethal. Whilst at the police force, Nova's father was brainwashed by Combat 21, who steals the Power Glove that, to cut a long story short, gives him powers literally untapped by anyone else. Twenty years on, Nova learns of his father's fate, and he seeks to prevent Combat 21's world domination plans.
Ultimately, a film of this description is always going to be targeted at a younger audience, and inevitably a certain amount of cheesiness and unimaginative fantasy are both always going to appear. But, the film does go beyond that. Computer graphics reminiscent of The Matrix and Final Fantasy and choreographed martial arts of CTHD quality add immensely to the film. Also a little bit of subplot (yes it has some!) does go a long way too in the movie.
But one of interesting decisions in the film were the choice of leads, who are a young bunch, and yet were teamed up with veterans of the the martial arts genre. With the success of The Stormriders and the like, you might have expected Ekin Cheng to lead the cast. But all credit to Wang Leehom and Stephen Fung as they did an excellent performance. I would have loved to have seen more of Kristy Yang, though.
Ultimately, the young cast do equal the performances of the veterans, and despite all the criticism I seem to have written more about than I probably should have, it is a thoroughly enjoyable film. One for a good-spirited evening.
Overall, a pretty poor attempt to do "The One" on a Hong Kong Budget.
Sammo Hung and an almost unrecognisable Yuen Biao are wasted in pivotal
roles as the Hero's mentor and evil father, respectively.
The irony is that while the characters joke about Sammo having put on weight, it's Yuen Biao who needs the metal mask to cover his chubby jowls.
I thought that with Cory Yuen on Action Choreography we'd at least have some interesting fights, but it's mostly characters "gesturing hypnotically" while the SPFX guys add in all kinds of cheesy lightshow effects.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
THE AVENGING FIST follows many modern-day Chinese films by having a
central cast of young, attractive actors and chucking in a couple of
old hands in minor scenes. The old hands this time around are former
sparring partners Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, who both made many
fantastic films during the 1980s. Here, they're relegated to minor,
almost demeaning parts (certainly in Sammo's case) but nevertheless
turn out to be the best things in the movie.
The plot to this is a muddled and confused one, in which there are lots of clichéd genre elements mixed together. There's a central father-turned-evil storyline lifted straight from STAR WARS that vies for attention with some Nazi-style bad guys (are there any other?), a well-animated but inexplicable CGI beastie, tournament battles, hover boards and a Power Glove that gives its wearer lots of, well, power. The storyline really only exists to hang together a load of disparate action scenes, which are chock full of computer wizardry, mainly of the MATRIX type slow motion, cameras spinning round. There are lots of pretty colours too but it all becomes headache inducing (rather than cool) after about five minutes.
The young cast are bland and uninspiring, and once again there are no up-and-comers to look out for; nobody here shines. The best actor is Yuen Biao, appearing either behind a silver mask or as a hologram for much of the movie, and he does get to kick ass in a couple of scenes; undoubtedly these are the best in the film. Sammo is present in a sadly non-fighting role as a police detective whose watch tells him how long he's got left to live! Other than the appearance of these genre stalwarts, THE AVENGING FIST is a crashing bore.
Well maybe I'm wrong since I do not know the Chinese names for the characters, but calling it Legend of Tekken is beyond my comprehension! The plot has nothing to do with the game! the characters do not look like anything from the game, and the story is placed in the future. When I first heard of the movie, they said Sammo Hung was to play Heihachi, but in the movie he is an inspector wearing a silvery hat, and a good guy! But enough of that! a futuristic Stormriders is also what I would call it. It has some Martial arts in it(the training sequences with Yuen Biao is good stuff) but there are a lot of CGI in this flick, but I liked it! the story is so so, the sequences with the young heroes and their "love-affairs" are boring and slows the movie down. All in All an o.k. flick, it is great to see Yuen Biao in action again, that alone is reason enough to watch this!
This is such a lousy movie man. Not worth watching it at all in my opinion. When i was in Honh Kong this Christmas i thought it would have been cool and awesome but it was off very fast. The rating there were bad and i thought no way. I was disappointed when it was off that fast and really want to watch it one day. Then just yesterday Feburary 2, 2002 my sister brought it on dvd and i was so surprised that is out so fast. I watch it and it bore me to death for the whole hour and a half. No bright spot in this movie at all in my mind and no wonder it was off the theatre so damn fast and the rating was right on. Out of 10 in my opinion i rated it 2.5 and a D- movie. Not worth paying to watch it but renting it is fine to me. Is a science fiction type movie and the action sucks like crap. No acting, plot and it make no sense. I hated the movie the one but this is even worse cause at least Jet Li can fight. The only thing is a bright spot at least it has a pretty girl to watch in Gigi Leung. That's it.
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