Blatant title there. *laughs*
This time, we are going to do something a little different than usual.
As most of you know, I am a very blunt person when it comes to review, my boyfriend is no less than me.
We (read: I) received an invite from migme to catch [ Kungfu Jungle ] which opens on 30th OCT! Which is today.
To be honest, I do not have much interest in chinese action flicks, but I know someone who do, someone i love hehehe ♥♥♥
So I took up the invitation, and since, SOMEONE has been anticipating it more than me (read: pointing at the poster for almost a week), it is only right to let someone who knows it best to write right?
First, the trailer. Enjoy~
This might be one of my longest review for a movie, but he wrote it so well that I couldn't bear to take out any part of it, nor disagree with him ♥
So below, is a heartfelt review from my boyfie, Henry. I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I did.
Presenting the true fanboy here!
I’m a freelance film-maker, producer and DP.
I’ve worked previously on Hollywood post productions during my time in Double Negative, a London based company which does visual effects for major films.
Still, I’ve no idea why am I being tasked to do a review for a Hong Kong movie, but never mind. (me: because you wanted to watch it, and I have no idea how to write it)
The movie’s English title is probably one of the worst conversions from Chinese to English I’ve seen this year(一个人的武林). I meant, there could have been better names.
Not that I’m one to comment, since my Chinese will probably get me kicked out of China.
I’ll share a little bit of information I know about the two major names from the movie, Teddy Chan and Donnie Yen, the director and protagonist respectively.
Teddy Chan, not a major household name in South East Asia, directed one of my favourite Hong Kong movie 5 years back, 十月围城(Bodyguards and Assassins). I personally love that film because of the historical attributes, and how he made everyone(almost) in the all-star cast died in the movie just for 孫中山 to hold a meeting in a place where all Qing assassins were after his head.
Till this day I never figure out why 孫中山 has to hold a meeting there.
And the action spy movie 紫雨風暴(Purple Storm) which made Daniel Wu a household name rather than Teddy Chan himself.
Donnie Yen, a super major household name in Asia(and probably the rest of the world), someone whom I’ve been a huge fan of since he appeared in 黄飞鸿之二男儿当自强(Once Upon A Time in China II). He famously fought against Jet Li using a wet towel which destroyed walls, wood, brick, bottles, humans, westerners, like it was some kinda of laser beam.
Here’s a link to refresh your childhood memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-yjEGet_DY
With another two movies 殺破狼(SPL) and 導火綫(Flashpoint), which he incorporated MMA moves such as German Suplex, Rolling Armbar, Northern Lights Suplex, Backdrop, it was like watching WWF in a Hong Kong movie, my fanboy mode for him just ignited.
Okay back to the movie.
Kung Fu Jungle
Major spoilers, so do take note.
Donnie Yen is Hahou Mo, a martial arts instructor who is currently serving time in a Hong Kong prison for accidentally killing an opponent in a fighting match.
It wasn’t clearly stated in the film, but sometime before being judged for his manslaughter, he was apparently the best fighter who won every match till killing his opponent.
Fifteen minutes into the film, the typical Hong Kong police thing happened.
There was a murder, and police were at the scene of the crime.
A Ferrari flew like 50 metres away from the dead body, making it sound like some sort of supernatural incident happened when the murder occurred.
The victim was a drug dealer, some badass crime lord, and the police just seemed to deem it as a revenge crime.
Oh cool, I was expecting a vigilante movie, I love those movies.
But hell no.
Insert Miss Detective Luk Yuen-Sum(Charlie Young), a hot MILF-looking police inspector who rides a Class 2 Ducati look-alike bike, and who seems to always have natural perfect hair after wearing a helmet.(me: yeppp, he rides a bike, he knows)
She doesn’t seem a bit troubled by the fact that the Ferrari is planted in a tombstone position and the body is flew like a mile away, but troubled by the fact she needs to solve this murder ASAP. Okay.
So apparently Hahou seems to know what was going on in his prison cell, and starts a deliberate prison 1 vs 17 fight to get her attention.
Movie’s first real reason for a fight.
After getting her attention and getting her to visit him in prison, Hahou unravels that the victim who died wasn’t because of a hate crime, it was because he was a previous boxing champion.
And demands his release so he can help.
Luk Yuen-sam wasn’t convinced at the fact, and did a research of the names that Hahou said out during the visiting and Hahou himself.
Just about this time, another former fighting champion got murdered.
A kicking champion. A name that tallied with the list of names that Hahou mentioned.
So next thing we know, Hahou is helping the investigation team.
The story continues with more investigation into the murder, and it is revealed that the murderer is killing experts in an order; Boxing, kicking, grappling, weapons and internal.
As the investigation team rushes to the next victim, a tattoo artist being murdered by a tombstone piledriver on top of some building, Hahou suddenly saw a glimpse of the murderer mocking at him from an angle which no one saw, and chases after him.
And now since Hahou was busy chasing after the suspect, he took the chance to abscond anyway and went back to his hometown of Foshan to find his love Sinn Ying(Michelle Bai), who slaps him the moment they met.(me: i predicted this scene!! *laughs*)
During this period of time when he was in Foshan, and the super-nice Hong Kong police who didn’t bother him at all when he was having a rendezvous in his hometown, Hahou discovers more about the ‘Eaves Swallow’, a pirated version of a consolation prize a loser receives in a martial art competition back in the dynasty days.
And the whole film seems to forget why the murderer placed the ‘Eaves Swallow’ on the dead bodies later on anyway, so no point explaining what it meant.(me: watch the mobie)
Now, insert the villain, Fung Yu-Sau(Baoqiang Wang), probably my most favourite character out of the whole movie. A devoted martial arts practitioner, who just wants to prove to the world, and especially to his cancer-stricken wife that he can be the best, and the theory of martial arts is meant for killing, not for show.
He does some cheesy acts throughout the movie, but his story is strongly backed up by his love for his wife, and the saddest part of the movie when he had to do the mercy killing of his wife because of her suffering.
His next target was a weapon master, whom Hahou thought it was a harmless duck rice vendor who was the previous weapon champion.
However they realised that the duck rice vendor had handed over the baton of his training school to his top student, who had his ass kicked by Hahou previously.
The action star, Mak Min-Yuen(Siu-Wong Fan) was on the target list, and murdered shortly.
At this point of time, the police traced Fung back to the waterways of Lantau, where they camped there to ambush him when he returns on the anniversary of his wife’s death.
Some shit happened, and Hahou is accused of being best friends with Fung just because Fung visited Hahou previously in prison and Hahou smiled, best deduction they came out with.
Okay, so then the police had their ass served by both Hahou and Fung, while they exchanged a little blows here and there.
The film ends with a fight on a highway where container lorries speed, where Hahou and Fung fight to the death. I won’t break this part lest the best spoilers are, but Hahou wins and lets Fung lives, but of course the villain find someway to injure him.
Some horrible green screen and compositing skills in the final fight scene, but I guess it’s the fight scenes that’s exciting I suppose.
It ends with Miss Detective Luk killing Fung with her handgun, and her perfect hair after removing her helmet.
Seems like the theme is, martial arts can’t win against bullets if it is used correctly, but I think it might be some other theme the director has in mind.
And then, a happy ending after Hahou is released(he got early parole), and continuing his teacher’s legacy, but this time restraining his fists and not killing anymore opponents, while his school continues to grow and THE END.
The ending credits was one of the best I’ve ever seen, paying tribute to all the action stars of Hong Kong cinema industry since the 60s, and almost every head of department who made the film possible.
How I wished the movies I’ve worked in do this kinda of credits.
Franking, I’m disappointed at Donnie Yen’s choices of movies nowadays after Ip Man. It seems like he’s capitalising on his fame and no longer choosing scripts that’s more fitting of his character.
Wasn’t his best movie, and definitely one of his worst action choreography direction.
I didn’t like it.
It just seem like he was trying to pay tribute in terms of action choreography and he lost his style.
But then again sometimes action choreography has to go along side with cinematography.
The cinematography Wing-hang Wong is famous for doing shooting movies back in the 80s, those Yun-Fat Chow movie like A Better Tomorrow, fighting scenes doesn’t seem to fit Wong’s style.
However, in my opinion Baoqiang Wang’s performance was amazing, it made me wants to go back and search for his previous movies he acted in.
I’ll definitely be looking forward to his next movie.
My personal rate for the movie: 5/10
Still the same old solid acting from the cast, just with cheesy scenes, subtle black humour and one terribly weak storyline.
And, there we have it. Now lemme furnish you with other pics for the night huhuhu~~
Coincidentally, I met Cookie from Cookieologic and got great seats for the show *laugh*
She was there with her beaute as well, who wanted to watch the show too. It was more like the girls bring the guys out this time round...
My boring review: I find it alright for a film, there was a lot of action, quite rushed ( personally i had wished that there were more victims, in order to see more scenes) and well, i was really more impressed by my makeup that day. ( girls will always be girls).
Thank you , mr handsome writer~~~♥♥♥
Special thanks to MIGME SG, as well as, CLOVERFILMSSG for the premier tickets. It was a real fun-filled night, and I enjoyed myself plenty!
14 more days to Japan, I am getting a little panicky here. ha.ha.