A young man learns the fighting techniques of Sanda from a coach. The two become best friends as the young man prepares to enter an underground tournament, competing against some of the top fighters of the world.
An undercover cop struggling to provide for his son and ailing wife, must infiltrate a ruthless gang. But things turn sour when another cop blows his cover and he quickly finds himself battling for his life and the lives of his family.
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.
Ma Jun, a cop known for dispensing justice during arrests, teams with Hua Sheng, who's undercover, to try to bring down three merciless Vietnamese brothers running a smuggling ring in the months before the mainland's takeover of Hong Kong. The eldest, Xian Wei Cha (called Zah), is arrested in an operation that exposes Sheng and almost gets him killed. His girlfriend, Qiu Di, who's been unaware of Sheng's profession, wants to see him quit. Jun pursues the gang tirelessly, sometimes ignoring police protocols. Zah's trial approaches, witnesses are in danger, and a showdown is inevitable. Written by
In the parking garage scene, it took Yu Xing 39 takes in order to complete the simple shot of him leaping over the gate when attacking the man in the car. Donnie Yen attributed Yu's difficulty to nerves, as this was his first movie with Yen and the scene was his first to be shot in the film. An outtake of Yu crashing through the gate and breaking it is included in the movie's final credits. See more »
When the man is shot on the roof of the parking structure, even though the movie depicts events in 1997, there is a modern silver BMW 5-series parked next to the victim's car. It is a 2004-2007 (pre January 2007 facelift) model. See more »
In his black leather jacket and oozing plenty of charisma, Donnie Yen's Inspector Ma Jun quite resembled his other character in SPL, which was also directed by Wilson Yip, because at one point Flashpoint was supposed to be an SPL sequel. But in any case, the character is slightly tweaked. Early in the movie, Ma Jun tells it straight to the camera that as a cop, his job is to apprehend criminals, and it's as simple as that. And the trailers would have you believe here's a man who's lightning quick with his punches, throws and kicks.
However, you've got to wait until the hour mark for all that. For action junkies, your patience is severely tested, but the wait is well worth every minute you're put on hold. I've caught the trailer at this year's Hong Kong Filmart, and it was one that had action and more action, with nary a line of dialogue. But in the movie, much time is devoted to attempts in building characterization, until the story realizes it better give what the audiences are here for, to see Donnie Yen kick ass.
Having teamed with Wilson Yip in earlier action productions like SPL and Dragon Tiger Gate, Donnie Yen returns as action choreographer for Flashpoint, and the cast adopts the fighting style called MMA - Mixed Martial Arts, which is something of a blend of various martial arts techniques, that audiences probably haven't seen before stylistically in close combat scenes. Flashpoint boasts some incredible action sequences with explosive hard hitting fight combinations, and the sole complaint I have is I can't get enough of it! What more, as learnt from SPL having real martial arts exponents like Sammo Hung and Wu Jing fighting opposite himself, it made the sequences look more authentic, and the pace at which they can go at each other much more frantic. Collin Chou (Seraph from the Matrix movies) stars as one of the chief baddies, and watching the two awesome gladiators duke it out is nothing short of edge of your seat material - you'll feel their pain!
But as I mentioned, you'll have to be patient during the story's buildup. Writer Szeto Kam Yuen (SPL, Exiled, Dog Eat Dog) weaves in yet another undercover story into Flashpoint, with Louis Koo's Wilson as the mole within a gang of Vietnamese brothers Ja Ge (Ray Lui, in an over the top impersonation of Tony Leung's Big D in Johnny To's Election), Tony (Collin Chou) and Tiger (Xing Yu). A simple romance tale is worked into for Wilson with Fan Bing Bing as love interest Julie, but as expected, action movies seldom have much time devoted for love scenes.
Without a doubt, Ma Jun as a character overshadows them all with his motivations and drive. His temper is as quick as his reflexes, and he doesn't tolerate bull from the top brass, which resulted in rather muted (or negligible) action for about three quarters of the movie because his behavior is reined in by order. And there is a scene though which will make you question his excessiveness, and wonder if his doggedness in pursuit and apprehension actually clouds his ethical and moral judgment.
Flashpoint is still an awesome action movie when the time came for it to deliver the goods, highlighting that Hong Kong action films still have what it takes to innovate within the genre. Oh, and stay tuned during the end credit roll for scenes of outtakes, which shows plenty of training that the cast had to undergo to perfect their MMA techniques. Sure packs quite a punch in this compact 90 minute movie.
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