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|Index||32 reviews in total|
If you're like me, after watching roughly 3 billion similarly themed
period piece kung fu and wuxia movies, you're relieved when a
contemporary kung fu flick comes along. This seems to be Donnie Yen's
bread and butter. Sure, he was excellent in Hero opposite Jet Li and
even Circus Kids was entertaining, but his performances in those films
just don't match up to SPL or this film, Flash Point. He seems made for
modern kung fu.
I'll leave plot explanation to others as it's a pretty standard cop-on-the-edge film that seems to have been done to death by Hong Kong over the past 15 years or so. What sets this apart is Yen's phenomenal and somewhat unique brand of kung fu and, for the first time (to my knowledge) his surprisingly good jiu jitsu. The flashy kicks and punches are standard Yen affair, but it's a bit of a shock to watch him pull off a slick arm bar, arm triangle, or leg triangle.
Yen's performance is only strengthened by a very talented supporting cast. There's no push-over fights here...it's like everyone is really fighting for their lives. That alone should be enough to get you past a fairly overdone plot (it's not bad, but if you've seen it once you've seen it 1,000 times). It's definitely worth the 85 minutes of your time if you're even remotely a fan of the genre.
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.
If you're an avid Donnie Yen fan, than no one has to sell this movie to
you. If you like Asian action movies in general, than you'll be
watching this too. What about the others, who are not that familiar
with those types of movies? There's not that much back-story to hinder
the action too much, neither are there real character developments,
this shouldn't be a problem with you (if it is, don't watch the movie)
What should be considered, is the action, that is spot on here. Mixing many styles, Donnie Yen has created some extraordinary fight scenes for this movie. And although I'm for a little bit more character and story driven movies, I liked this one, because it was straight forward. And the action holds up to the promise it gives you ... That's all I can say, now it's up to you, to decide whether you want to watch it or not
to keep it short, i was highly surprised from it's great entertainment
the plot is hollow (good cops vs bad guys) but the good cast, camera work and fight scenes are over the top. speaking of the fight scenes, very impressive style from Donnie Yen (with age 44) and also the bad guys hand out some damage before they go down.
the first movie half is slow, but the ending will round it up. this action flick was nice done by the film crew, they put some work & love in it, something you miss in many HK movies nowadays.
(don't miss the end credits :)
This was a real surprise as on a rainy day in the only Chinese cinema
left in Sydney, to think i only went into Market city for some yum cha
and got a whole lot more than i bargained for.
A fantastic roller-coaster ride of a film, OK so the long slow ride up to the top end of it can be daunting for those with ADD or a high blood sugar level but its sure worth it once you get there. Intense satisfying action shot from every possible angle yet still filled with a spontaneous verite energy unmatched by any Hollywood film i have seen..ever.
Its innovative style while a bit light on plot or dialogue (OK so i am stuck with subtitles which obviously lose something in the translation) overcomes any accusations of pretentiousness that could be leveled at a lot of similar films. The raw energy of the film leaks into every scene however still and explodes onto the screen when the action finally ramps up. Considering the violent nature of the film a lot of the actual killing is suggested rather than replayed in Technicolor from umpteen angles, but we still experience every kick and punch as if it were flying our way.
OK admittedly the story is about as engrossing as 300 or a lot of other HK cop films, IE runs at a primal level deeper than mere plot twists or any complicated subtext. No, its all about the man versus what he sees as injustice and occasionally about a friendship. Mostly though its about the battle for whats right even if thats not quite clear sometimes, by the end you know who the good guys are and as manipulated as you might feel you are rooting for them all the way.
OK I'm running out of superlatives and metaphors now..just go out and watch it if you like a good old school popcorn bash and can handle some underplayed buddy semantics.
Being a fan of Donnie Yen I eagerly anticipated "Flash Point". There
was good and bad in it... first the good: The fight scenes are pretty
awesome - in particular there is one which takes place at a driving
range that lives up to what I was expecting. The introduction of
grappling techniques (paying homage to MMA) is pretty cool.
Cinematography & scenes of HK are at some times very stylish.
Now the bad: Kind of moves slow in the first half. In fact after the initial 5 minutes of action the next 20 minutes drags. The plot is not that great, and in the first half of the movie the action isn't enough to make up for this.
All in all, I've been a little disappointed with Donnie Yen's last two - this one and Dragon Tiger Gate. Neither raises the bar or comes close to the amazing SPL of 2005.
Flashpoint is a beautifully shot film that moves a long at a fast pace.
I was never much of a Donnie Yen fan but I have been converted to one
after seeing this film. Hollywood needs to bring him back, at least as
an action choreographer. The action scenes in this film are far more
sophisticated than anything Hollywood is doing.
Wilson Yip did an amazing job as director. It's a shame this didn't get a U.S. theatrical release. If Hollywood is smart, they will recruit him.
Bingbing Fan is a beauty that should also be brought to Hollywood.
Flashpoint doesn't break new ground in terms of it being a typical cops and gangsters flick, but it is as good as any of them.
The fights are excellent and realistic.
Flashpoint is highly recommended for HK movie fans.
Flashpoint features some of the most intense and bone crunching action
ever filmed. Here Donnie Yen shows us why he is the king of martial
arts action films.
The camera-work is spot on and captures the intensity and struggle of the combat with the close up shots, whilst letting us see the incredible display of martial arts fighting with the longer shots. The fight scenes are spectacular yet remain convincing and realistic. The shoot outs in this film are also brilliant, much better than I expected in fact. Anyone who appreciates the John Woo style gun-play shouldn't be disappointed.
As with most martial arts films the plot is pretty predictable and straight forward. The film could have also done with a few more fight scenes as the story wasn't particularly captivating.
In short this film is a lot like Kill Zone, however I think Donnie Yen has continued to push the boundaries and has outdone himself in the action department with this one. Whilst Killzone remains a better all round film, Flash point is equally as good in its own right.
Forget about the plot! While it is not bad it is only present to set the mood! It does take up a whole hour however! So you have to endure it! But believe me it will be worth the wait! When the real action begins you will be in for a treat! Intense Donnie Yen displaying his wonderful mix of Wushu and Jujitsu! His use of martial arts in this movie does make sense! It is realistic and practical! It is called mixed martial arts! ( read interview with Donnie Yen,use Google: article Donnie Yen on flash point combat.) This new type of martial arts offers different and refreshing possibilities to the genre! And it looks great on the screen! If it didn't (no matter how practical) I would not accept this style! The final fight between Donnie and Colin is what the fight between Sammo Hung and Donnie should have been in "SPL"! This shows that Donnie is always learning and wanting to improve himself! I can't even imagine what Donnie's next movie "Painted Skin" again directed by Wilson Yip would be like ! This golden duo should keep on making movies together! In comparison to previous movies ("SPL" and "Dragon Tiger Gate" made by Wilson Yip and Donnie) "Flashpoint" is the best of the bunch!
I've been a fan of Donnie Yen for over twenty years now and had heard
that the fight action in Flashpoint was amongst his best work. I hadn't
heard wrong: the hard-hitting full-contact mixed martial arts scenes
are as awesome as they say.
It's a shame then that the plot for Flashpoint is so unremarkable, a routine Hong Kong police dramacops vs triadswhich introduces lots of indistinguishable characters in such quick succession that, for a while, it's hard to work out precisely who is good and who is bad.
The dull plot trundles along, with the occasional brief spot of action or brutality to spice things up, and it gradually becomes clearer who is who: Archer Sin (Ray Lui), Tony (Collin Chou) and Tiger (Yu Xing) are Korean brothers who run a smuggling operation, Sam is a gangster who has ratted on his bosses, Wilson (Louis Koo) is a plucky young undercover cop working with tough police inspector Jun Ma (Yen), and Julie (Bingbing Fan) is Wilson's really hot girlfriend. So far so mediocre.
The final third of the film, however, is a whole lot better. A non-stop, blood-soaked, showdown between Ma and the bad guys, with incredible gunplay and some of the most painful looking fight choreography I have ever seen, it is everything I had hoped for and more, leaving the viewer with a better impression of the film overall than it probably really deserves. Hence my more than reasonable rating of 7/10.
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