A martial arts instructor from the police force gets imprisoned after killing a man by accident. But when a vicious killer starts targeting martial arts masters, the instructor offers to help the police in return for his freedom.
Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »
A near retired inspector and his unit are willing to put down a crime boss at all costs while dealing with his replacement, who is getting in their way. Meanwhile, the crime boss sends his top henchmen to put an end to their dirty schemes.
In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.
During the Japanese invasion of China, a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home when his city is occupied. With little means of providing for themselves, Ip Man and the remaining members of the city must find a way to survive.
A vicious killer named Fung goes around Hong Kong killing top martial arts exponents and leaving a secret weapon called the Moonshadow as his calling card. When a convicted killer and kung fu expert named Ha - formerly working as a martial arts instructor before accidentally killing a man and being imprisoned and convicted for the crime he didn't intend to do - hears of this, he offers to help the police catch the killer in return for his freedom. With Ha's help, the police realize from the chronological order of the victims that the killer is targeting his victims, all top masters in their respective martial arts style, and following a martial code of training. After a close encounter with Fung, Ha suddenly disappears and the police begin to suspect the worse: that the two are accomplices and Fung was the bait to help spring Ha from jail. But Ha has actually gone back to his home in Foshan to find out more about the mysterious calling card. While doing so, he discovers the killer's ...Written by
if you're a big fan of old-school kung fu flicks (i.e, stuff with Shaolin monks, Iron monkey, people doing fancy kung fu moves) you'll probably enjoy this movie. If not, your mileage may vary, and this movie may be a 6 or 7 out of 10 for you. Don't expect the more "realistic" fight scenes we've seen lately out of stuff like "the Raid", Bourne flicks, or Jason Statham. Even though this movie takes place in present day, it's in many ways a homage to classic kung fu movies of the past.
Donnie Yen plays an imprisoned martial artist who's released on the condition that he helps the police apprehend a serial killer hunting kung-fu masters. The plot develops like something you'd expect from a kung-fu film taking place centuries ago. The villain chooses his victims based on their mastery of the arts. He wants to defeat the best kicker, the best grappler, the best weapon user, etc.. in order to prove he is the greatest fighter in the land. The action scenes are pretty good - fast and frenetic, minimal apparent cgi/wirework, and well choreographed. I should also note the producers do a nice job finding and designing creative set pieces for the action, with various scenes taking place on a busy freeway, inside a dinosaur museum, etc...
Another plus is the characterization and portrayal of the villain (played by Wang Baoqiang). He's given enough depth and backstory to separate him from the typical one-dimensional baddies we've all seen, and Wang's earnest (although somewhat melodramatic) performance is one of the highlights of this movie.
I think it's apparent from watching this that the filmmakers put a lot of effort into making this a quality kung-fu movie. Sure, maybe it falls prey to some of the usual action movie tropes (this ain't high art we're talking about after all), maybe there's cheesiness here and there, and Donnie Yen isn't a great actor, but it's easy to appreciate the little details and work invested into this film that elevate it above random xyz action movies that have good fight scenes, but are otherwise unmemorable.
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