Monday, August 10, 2015

Fantasia International Film Festival Review: KUNG FU KILLER

Director: Teddy Chen.
Writer: Teddy Chen, Ho Leung Lau, and Tin Shu Mak. 
Starring: Donnie Yen, Charlie Yeung, Bing Bai, and Baoqiang Wang.

Crime thrillers when done right keep you invested in the mystery. Martial arts movies are fun as hell because while it might not always be possible to understand what is going on, it's easy to appreciate the technical mastery required to pull off elaborate fight sequences. KUNG FU KILLER mixes both of these premises in a generally efficient way and manages to be a seriously fun movie wi

The movie deals with an incarcerated martial arts master Hahou Mo (Donnie Yen). When he sees news reports of other specialized masters getting killed by an unkown assailant(Baoqiang Wang), he tries to help Detective Luk Yuen-Sum (Charlie Yeung) catch him. 

The killer's pattern is to challenge a master in a particular skill set of martial arts and somehow is able to beat them all with relative ease.

The first part of the movie is a cat-and-mouse chase between the police who seemingly cannot cathc up to the killer fast enough. This does, however, lead to some pretty awesome fights all in completely different styles that unfortunately end too quickly.

Still, it's really fun to watch Donnie Yen grow more and more frustrated as the bodies pile up and detective Yuen-Sum is starting to feel the pressure from her superiors. It's at this point where the movie turns into less of a thriller and more of an action movie. But here we get to see that the killer's whole mantra is that "martial arts is for killing." Hahou clearly does not agree and that internal struggle permeated through this second half.

The highlight of the movie really comes from the final fight between Hahou and the killer. This is a tense fight that's the culmination of so much emotion and soul searching as Hahou tries to decide what the true purpose of martial arts is.

KUNG FU KILLER might not be a groundbreaking movie, but it is a fun mix of two genres. Donnie Yen and Baoqiang Wang are a joy to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment