Archive for the Andy On Category

Review: Special ID (2013)

Posted in Andy On, Collin Chou, Donnie Yen, Kenneth Lo with tags , , on May 13, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

 

Special ID 2

Starring Donnie Yen, Tian Jing, Collin Chou, Andy On, Ken Lo

Fight Choreography by Donnie Yen

Directed by Clarence Fok

After living with the moniker “he has the potential, but…” Donnie Yen has finally taken his place alongside Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Sammo Hung as a bona-fide action star, after rattling off a string of hits in Killzone (SPL), Flashpoint, Ip Man 1 and 2, and Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen. Now he returns to the cop genre. But the results are a mixed bag, through no real fault of his own.

Yen plays Chi-Lung “Dragon” Chan, an undercover cop who has been working to infiltrate members of local crime gangs in Hong Kong, in particular one ran by Xiong Cheung Mo-Hung  (Chou) and finds that his old protoge Sunny (On) is trying to take over, and must go to mainland China to find and stop him. There Chan teams up with cop Jing Fang (Jing) to stop Sunny, but things get complicated when Chan’s real identity is revealed, and he’ll have to stop the entire gang if he’s to save the only person he truly cares about…

Special ID 1

The film itself is a mixed bag. The story doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be, but I can guess. This film wants to be what Jackie Chan’s Police Story was: a mixture of comedy, drama, and action. Donnie Yen can do the last two. But the first comes off as silly and out of character for him, and out of place for the film in general. Jackie Chan could balance the comedy and serious stuff, but it just doesn’t work here with Yen. The story also has serious logic issues that exist only to make things more dramatic and tension filled. Yen’s character does some things that are head-scratching, as does Jing Fang, as if they don’t understand the concepts of what undercover means. Yen is good in the serious scenes, and Jing Fang is a welcome character, but the best performance here is Collin Chou and Andy On. Collin oozes menace whenever he’s on screen, and really, the finale should have been him. Andy On does a terrific job as the thug who’s set his sights far too high, and his energy brings a needed life to the film, but there’s far too little of either him or Chou.

Special ID

The fights here are of a similar type to the fights in SPL and Flashpoint, with Donnie Yen mixing Mixed Martial Arts with kung-fu, but the results leave much to be desired. The kitchen fight is the best fight of the film, in some ways very reminiscent of a fight in one of the Police Story films, but the finale, the one on one between On and Yen, which should have been the show stopper, is okay, but not great, and no where in the league of Collin Chou vs. Yen in Flashpoint or Sammo vs Yen in SPL. It felt like a “been there, done that” kind of thing, which is not good for a martial arts film. The car fight between On and Jing was good, and maybe it was excellent (it was well-shot) but after the car fight of The Raid 2, you’ll forgive me if I wasn’t as impressed as I should’ve been.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 6

Special ID isn’t as special as it should have been. Despite some cool moments, the film just doesn’t come together as well as it should have.

The film is out today on Blu-Ray from Wellgousa

 

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Philip Ng kicks ass in Once Upon A Time In Shanghai! (2014)

Posted in Andy On, Chen Kuan-Tai, Philip Ng, Sammo Hung, Yuen Woo Ping on December 6, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Once Shanghai

What can I say? This movie looks like 2014 is gonna get started the right way! With this, Police Story (it’ll be 2014 before we get it in the states) , The Protector 2, The Raid 2: Berandal and perhaps Unlucky Stars (Dennis Ruel, I gotta see this, man! At this point I feel like a junkie looking for his fix!), plus a new film from Michael Jai White, Jeeja Yanin, more Tony Jaa and Jason Statham on the way 2014 is shaping up to be something special, if all expectations are met. Philip Ng is a great martial artist, deserving of stardom that has eluded him, but I think this will get him into the big time. With Sammo Hung, Andy On, and Chen Kuan Tai on hand, and fight choreography by Woo Ping, I think this film will be…awesome.

 

 

 

Donnie Yen brings his “A” Game to Special ID Trailer!

Posted in Andy On, Collin Chou, Donnie Yen with tags , on July 23, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Wow. That’s all I can muster. Donnie Yen looks to be back in fine form, and not too much wirework in sight. This film looks like the spiritual successor to Flashpoint in terms of style. This film has had its ups and downs, what with the situation with Vincent Zhao, but whatever…this looks like something quite special. Crazy stunts that hearken back to Police Story days, and Donnie Yen just lookin’ like a Boss. Also starring Andy On,  Collin Chou and Ken Lo.

Holy shit, I can’t wait for this one! So what do you all think?

 

 

 

Once Upon a Time In Shanghai Teaser! (2013)

Posted in Andy On, Sammo Hung on June 16, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Philip Ng has been around for quite a while, doing stunt work and starring in a few assorted movies, mostly well know for the Wing Chun series starring Nicolas Tse. In fact he’s known as the Wing Chun guy, but really he’s a Choy Lay Fut guy. I know this because he is my sifu’s sifu’s son, and here he is, getting the chance to show off what he can really do, and in the same way that Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s careers took off, he gets Yuen Woo Ping as his fight choreographer and director, not to mention co-stars in Sammo Hung and Andy On. Yep, this is my must see for the start of 2013! Check out the teaser trailer below:

 

Review: True Legend (2010)

Posted in Andy On, David Carradine, Gordon Liu, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, Vincent Zhao, Yuen Woo Ping with tags , , on May 17, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Vincent Zhao, Andy On, Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh, Gordon Liu, Zhou Xun

Fight Choreography by Yuen Woo Ping

Directed By Yuen Woo Ping

After serving up some of his best fight choreography for other directors and their films, Woo Ping jumps back into the directing saddle for his first 3D film. As a disclaimer, I didn’t watch the 3D version, so I can’t really speak to how “good” the 3D is, not that it really matters. After all, this is Woo Ping, right?

True Legend tells the story of the famous Beggar Su, who was said to have created the form of drunken boxing. The film starts off with a bang as General Su, as he was known at one time, leads a daring raid against another tribe to save his commander and the fighting that ensues is vintage Woo-Ping: good use of wires, acrobatic and lyrical fight choreography that never forgets the life and death at play. In other words, they all look great whaling on each other. Su vs the general of the opposing army is some of Woo Ping’s best choreography in years. Su saves his commander, and is commended and offered a governorship, but Su refuses, instead giving it to his foster brother Yuan (Andy On). Little does Su know that his act of friendship would also be the source of his impending tragedy.

Years later Yuan shows up at the home of Su and his family, and we find that Yuan’s real father was killed by Su’s father long ago, after Yuan’s father starting going around killing other kung-fu people with his Five Venom Fist kung-fu style. Yuan has learned this style also, and it evidently turns your skin bone white! Yuan kills Su’s father, and another fantastic fight ensues when Su goes after Yuan, and meets the kung-fu version of the wonder twins, called the Iron Twins. Both brother and sister give Su one hell of a fight, and Su is able to get past them and tries to save his wife Ying and their son from Yuan and duels him, and we come to our first Holy Shit! moment, when we find that Yuan, being the crazy bastard he is, has actually attached his armor to his skin.Yuan then zaps Su with his Five Venom Fist, and the next Holy Shit! moment occurs as we see the poison turn Su into a human blueberry. Su and Ying escape, but they leave their son Little Feng behind. Su and his wife are saved by Dr. Yu (Yeoh) a woman who lives atop a mountain, who treats Su’s wounds, and they stay with her, but over time Su starts to go off into the forest and is challenged by the God of Wushu (Chou) and is watched by the Old Sage (Liu) who try to get his kung-fu in tip top shape. A disturbing moment causes Ying to attempt to save Little Feng herself, and Su goes after them both. Can he save his family and stop Yuan without killing him?

Yuen Woo Ping is back in Iron Monkey form, folks, having lost none of his imaginative choreography. Almost every fight in this film would have been the climatic fight of many others. Woo Ping has scenes with Su and the God of Wushu that uses just about every damn weapon chinese martial arts has. There is a fight in a well that has to be seen to be believed. As for Beggar Su’s drunken style, this is some of the best drunken style fighting you’ll see. It stands right next to Jackie Chan and Jet Li’s best versions of the style. Particularly when you see Jay Chou go at it, also playing the Drunken God. The camerawork is beautifully done, and some of the set designs are nothing short of terrific.

Vincent Zhao gives a great, heartfelt performance as a man whose successes create his own downfall. He’s a good man, and it will pain you to see what horrible things happen to him. Andy On is a perfect bastard as Yuan. He’s at once needy like a child and brutally evil at the same time. He even gets to be all creepy Uncle to Little Feng. Gordon Liu was disappointing as he doesn’t do much more than drink, point at Su and laugh. The same goes for Michelle Yeoh, who basically has a walk-on role. What wasn’t disappointing was when David Carradine, that’s right, Qui Chang F***ing Kang shows up as the ringleader for a bunch of overgrown wrestlers who take on Beggar Su. Thankfully Carradine doesn’t try to attempt any martial arts. There isn’t enough choreography in Woo Ping’s Magic Bag of Tricks that could make him look good. Jay Chou is fantastic in his dual roles, and I had no idea his kung-fu was so good.

If there is one drawback it’s the story, primarily toward the end of the film, where the movie goes from being the fun of Iron Monkey to being serious like Jet Li’s Fearless. The main story ends after 90 minutes, but we get 30 minutes of Su being, well, Beggar Su, but it seems as if we’re getting the start–or end–of a different film altogether. Also, his son cries too damn much. I was almost hoping a stray punch, or Venom fist, would knock this kid out just to shut him up.

Despite the nit picky flaws, True Legend is a fun martial arts film that shows that the master himself still has it. He simply needs to do his own stuff from now on. It’s well worth your money to go and see the Master at work.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) Woo Ping does some of his best work here, perhaps his best since Fearless. Everyone does a fantastic job, and Jay Chou and Vincent Zhao’s fights are memorable. Smooth and flowing, each fight sings its own song, and it never forgets what’s at stake for the characters.

STUNTWORK: (8) The stunts here are terrific, and the wirework is just astounding, but never gets in the way of the fights themselves.

STAR POWER: (9) Vincent Zhao’s primary work lately has been on TV, and he was the star of Once Upon A Time in China 4 and 5 before Jet returned to the series, but this film shows that Zhao deserves to be a star in his own right. Jay Chou is a revelation here, and Gordon Liu and Michelle Yeoh are always a joy to see. Oh yeah, that Carradine guy is in it too.

FINAL GRADE: (9) This film can stand tall next to any of Woo-Ping’s films. Fun and exciting, you’ll never get bored, and the action never gets stale. Only the last 30 minutes keeps this one from being perfect. We need to get both Jay Chou and Vincent Zhao into more martial arts films…

NEXT: Who is the Dragon Warrior? Why, Kung Fu Panda, that’s who!

Review: New Police Story (2004)

Posted in Andy On, Benny Chan, Daniel Wu, Jackie Chan, Nicolas Tse, Reviews with tags , , on October 25, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Jackie Chan, Nicolas Tse, Daniel Wu, Andy On

Fight Choreography by Jackie Chan

Directed by Benny Chan

After making some successful but not great films here in America, Chan took himself back to Hong Kong to film a new chapter in the series that turned him into an international superstar, but there are some changes as this is more of a reimagining of Police Story rather than a sequel.

Chan plays Senior Inspector Chan Wing, the best cop on the force who is looking to retire but is training a new generation of cops to take over when he’s gone. In this case he may as well by Supercop Kevin Chan, but the attitude of this film is much more dramatic, but to me, he’s Kevin Chan. He still carries that character’s confidence and swagger, both of which are decimated early on in the film, thanks to a new group of criminals, teenagers who get off on extreme sports and taking everything to the limit, led by Joe, who has some serious daddy issues that become more apparent later. After yet another successful bank robbery that results in a quarter of the Hong Kong police force to be killed, Chan vows to bring the robbers to just in just a few short hours. Of course Joe takes offense to this, and lures the Supercop and his team to a warehouse that is tricked out with traps that would make Jigsaw proud. One by one Chan’s men are injured and captured, until Chan and his future brother-in-law are all that is left, and before long only Chan is left, and he finds himself playing elaborate games for the lives of his men, and he fails every test, causing the deaths of each of his men. Joe and his crew escape before Chan can kill them, and Chan is barely able to escape with all of the bodies before the warehouse explodes, taking with it his confidence and bravado.

The traps are well done, as is his first fight with Tin Tin Law, played by Andy Oh. It’s a great reminder that Jackie Chan can still bring a good fight, but this must be the first film to really acknowledge Jackie’s real age, and his character is beaten because he’s an old man trying to fight as a youngster. If any fans wondered what Jackie has left physically, this is the answer, and that answer is that he’s got quite a lot, but has to modify his fights for what he can still do.

We catch up to Chan, now a drunk in an alley, scared and ashamed to see his fiancee Ho Yee after getting her brother killed, when out of no where comes Frank Chen (Tse), a mysterious young man who decides to help Chan get his life back together and stop Joe and his gang for reasons you won’t find out about until the last scene in the film, but it all makes sense in a pay it forward kind of way. Soon Chan, Frank, and another police operator Sasa go after Joe and his crew, who refuse to go down without one last reckoning…

Even though this is called New Police Story, it share more in common with the first two entries than it does with Supercop and First Strike. It was refreshing to see the action come back to street level crime, instead of the James Bond style adventures of the previous two. It also has the big stunts that we come to expect from Jackie Chan, including a fall from the Bank of Hong Kong, and stunts on a bus reminscient of Police Story 2. He even smacks a lawyer, and we know Kevin Chan doesn’t like lawyers.That’s some Kevin Chan shit right there for you. The film is slickly shot by Benny Chan, but is still gritty in some places. Jackie Chan gives a great dramatic performance here, and make no mistake this isn’t an action comedy. It’s an action thriller with some light moments here and there, mostly provided by Nicolas Tse.

The final fight between Andy On and Chan in a Lego store is fantastic, and shows that Jackie can still do a complex choreographed fight scene if given the time. It’s great to see his character fight using his experience rather than trying to match youthful speed and power with the same.

New Police Story may be a reboot, but it does a great job of starting—and ending—the Police Story series. That makes me excited to see how Jackie will end his Armor of God series that is in preproduction now…

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) Not quite as great as the other Police Story films, but a good return to form for Jackie after his hiatus making Rush Hour sequels.

STUNTS: (9) Great stunts this time around. The gliding down the side of a building with a bicycle, iron bar, and handcuffs was fantastic.

STAR POWER: (8) Jackie looks better here than he has in a while, and Nicolas Tse and Daniel Wu, both of whom Jackie found for the film Gen-X Cops are getting better and better.

FINAL GRADE: (8) A dramatic reboot and ending of a great series and a huge return to form for Jackie Chan. One of his best of the 2000’s.

Click the picture below to purchase!