Archive for the Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan) Category

Review: Kung Fu Killer (Kung Fu Jungle) (2014)

Posted in Baoqiang Wang, Bey Logan, Bruce Lee, David Chiang, Donnie Yen, Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Shaw Brothers, Simon Yuen, Xing Yu with tags , on April 23, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

kung fu killer1

Starring Donnie Yen, Charlie Yeung, Baoqiang Wang, Louis Fan, Xing Yu, Michelle Bai, David Chiang, Raymond Chow, Yuen Cheung-yan, also with Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Simon Yuen, Andrew Lau, Bruce Law, Bey Logan, Kirk Wong,Teddy Chan, Dante Lam, Billy Chan, and Enoch Chan

Fight Choreography by Donnie Yen

Directed by Teddy Chan

Let me start by saying this: Kung Fu Jungle is the best film Donnie Yen has made since any film not named Ip Man and Flashpoint.  Donnie Yen’s output since Ip Man 2 has been a bit underwhelming, but he fires back on all cylinders with this film. A second/third wind to his career? I think this film may be part of the reason he’s on the verge of retirement, and I’ll elaborate my theory on this later in the review.

The film starts as we meet Hahao Mo (Yen) a kung fu master and sometimes police martial arts trainer. He is bloody, and has just been in a fight to prove how good he is, but wound up killing his opponent (Logan) and turns himself into the police. Three years later, Detective Luk Yuen-Sum (Yeung) finds herself on a case involving serial killer Fung Yu-Sau (Wang) who is targeting kung fu masters across the city. Hahao Mo is released early from prison in order to help the police track down this killer, but Hahao knows more than he lets on, and the police increasingly wonder if they can actually trust him, but the bodies left in Fung’s wake start to pile up…

kungfu killer2

Kung Fu Jungle is a fantastic action film, and more than that its Donnie Yen and Teddy Chan’s love letter to all the kung fu films that inspired them. Just look at the starring credits above. Jackie Chan is onscreen as Hahao is watching Drunken Master in one scene. In fact, he’s specifically watching the scene where JC goes through the form, one of the best scenes of its kind ever filmed. Then you get to Shaw Brothers favorite David Chiang in a cameo appearance, and then, Raymond Chow appears! The list goes on and on, and I’m sure I missed someone. In fact, the only criticism I have is that some folks were left out. Where was the Greatness (Gordon Liu), and where was Sammo Hung? Jet Li? I suppose in Jet’s case he’s more a contemporary for Yen, so there could be that.

As for the story itself, and this is the genius of the film, is that it’s an homage to dozens of  old school kung fu films where a great kung fu master travels around fighting different schools and killing their masters for the sole purpose of being the best. Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow, Knockabout, Prodigal Son, and so many dozens more have used this same story conceit, and director Teddy Chan brings that same story to the modern day successfully. Donnie Yen is excellent as Hahao, a man who had paid the price and damaged his own soul trying to be the best. Baoqiang is equally good as the killer, whose reasons go beyond just wanting to be the greatest of all. Charlie Yeung also does a great job here, but I kinda think this film missed out in respect to her casting, and I thought Michelle Yeoh may have been the better play here, given the spirit of the movie, but Michelle Bai does the spirit of female action heroes well as Haoho’s love interest, Sinn Ying, and she proves to give Baoqiang a greater challenge than he suspects.

kung-fu killer

Louis Fan and Xing Yu are in the film more as extended cameos, and while I enjoyed their presence, I had wished they would have appeared in the film longer.

The fights here are some of the best choreographed fights Yen has put out in some time. The first fight in the prison is terrific, as are all of the fights Baoqiang gets into with his various opponents, but the climactic battle on a busy street between Yen and Baoqiang is truly great and hard hitting, with fantastic movement and speed. THIS is the Donnie Yen of SPL and Flashpoint that had been missing for a little while.

kung fu killer3

I said that this film may be contributing to Donnie Yen retiring. I say that because Donnie recently stated that he really has nothing more to say on camera regarding kung fu films. This film expresses his love for the genre and the career its given him as he pays his respects to those that came before him. After Ip Man 3 and this, I’m of the mind that he may be right. His filmography spans just about every type of martial arts film, and I’m not sure there anything else he can make that would be cool without simply spinning his wheels.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

Kung Fu Jungle (called Kung Fu Killer by WellGOUSA) is a great piece of entertainment that shows Donnie Yen at his absolute best and writes a thrilling love letter to all martial arts films! You do NOT want to miss this!

Kung Fu Killer will be out in North America tomorrow in select theaters!

Advertisements

Review: Assassin’s Blade (2008)

Posted in Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Ti Lung, Xin Xin Xiong with tags , , on July 30, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

assassins blade 2

Starring Charlene Choi, Chun Wu, Hu Ge, Louis Fan, Ti Lung, Xin Xin Xiong

Fight Choreography by: Haung Ming Jian

Directed By: Jingle Ma

Jingle Ma is a cinematographer who is know for films such as Rumble in The Bronx and Police Story 4: First Strike, and Full Throttle. Here he takes the director’s chair in a film that traditionally I should loathe, for the simple fact that it stars Charlene Choi, an actress I find to be so sugary cute she drives me insane. So does is this film able to rise above my somewhat dislike of Choi?

The film starts as Yangzhi (Choi) is preparing, at the behest of her family, to go to Soul Ease Clan, to learn their style of kung fu. The catch here is that they don’t accept women, and so her wealthy family disguise her as a man, and sends her to them. No sooner does she arrive in town before she finds trouble from rival clans within the town, but finds a savior in Liang (Wu), who is the Big Brother of the clan. What follows is a comedy of errors as Yangzhi tries to maintain her cover even as she falls in love with Liang, who is also confused in his feelings for the new student. Both of them fall into danger when the truth comes out regarding the true reason Yangzhi’s family sent her away, and Yangzhi finds that a childhood friend, Ma, loves her so much he’ll destroy everything she cares about in order to have her, and that includes killing Liang as well…

assassins blade 3

Assassin’s Blade is a mish-mash of other films and stories, and after the midway point you can see exactly where things are headed. Part Romeo and Juliet ( a large part, actually) part House of Flying Daggers and a smidgen of Mulan, this story isn’t anything original. Not to say it isn’t entertaining, because it is, but it’s swiped moments from better films and stories. Charlene Choi starts out as cute as you’d expect, but as the drama ramps up and the rom-com moments end, she shows that she can stop being cutesy and look radiant and raise her acting game up. Her character becomes a tragic one quickly, and her romance with Liang is well done, if a bit abrupt (how she fooled everyone into thinking she was a man is beyond my understanding, but I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief in this regard).

Chun Wu also does a good job as Liang, the young fighter who is at once strong, but cannot deny his feelings for Yangzhi, which takes him down a dark path. Xin Xin Xiong does a good job as the head teacher, but I was really let down by Louis Fan. He has one great fight in the film, but he only really amounts to a nice cameo. I think the film would have been better if Louis had a bigger role. Ti Lung, as Yangzhi’s father, also has too small a part in this. For someone of Ti Lung’s stature in HK cinema, couldn’t he have had more to do?
Assassins blade

The fights are choreographed well, and nicely shot, and there is some wirework, but not as much as I thought there would be, which was a pleasant surprise. The fight between Louis Fan and the Assassin was really, at least to me, the best fight in the film, but it was over too quickly. The main fight between the soldiers and Liang is the highlight of the film, and the sword and spear fight after that is actually done really, really well.  In many ways all of the fights evoke some similarities to the 80’s period films Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung made, and I just couldn’t stop thinking that if Jet Li, Donnie Yen, or Wu Jing could have played any of the other major characters in the fight scenes we would be looking at a new classic.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 7.5

Assassin’s Blade is a fun, if not aptly named film that features some good fights and a star turn by Charlene Choi that shows she can play things straight when she needs to. I hope to see more of that from her!

 

This film was released by Wellgousa and you can purchase the blu-ray here.

 

NEXT: Christopher Lambert and John Lone square off in the Ninja epic The Hunted!

Review: Wu Dang (2012)

Posted in Corey Yuen, Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), To Yu-Hang (Dennis To), Vincent Zhao with tags , , on December 19, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

wudang4

Starring Vincent Zhao, Yang Mi, Fan Sui-Wong (Louis Fan), Josie Xu, Dennis To

Fight Choreography by Corey Yuen

Directed by Patrick Leung

Wu Dang is another attempt at trying to merge mystical kung fu with Indiana Jones-style adventures. The last really lame attempt was Jet Li’s Dr Wai in the Scripture with No Words, and that would be enough trepidation with this film. Add to that Vincent Zhao, who’s been embroiled in a scandal involving diva behavior on the set of a recent Donnie Yen film, and of course fight choreographer Corey “slummin’ it in the USA” Yuen, and no one could be blamed for taking a cautious approach to watching this film.

So I’ll tell you right now: Have no fear, it’s terrific.

wudang5

Wu Dang centers around Professor Tang (Zhao) and his teenage daughter Tangning (Xu), who are on a quest to get to Wu Dang mountain, by entering a tournament that Tang is sponsoring, in and effort to search the mountain for the Seven Treasures of Wu Dang. Things get complicated as a thief named Tianxin (Mi) searched for one of the treasures, a sword that belongs to her family. On the way there Tangning meets a man named Shui Heyi (Fan), who is trying to become a Taoist monk to try to care for his mother, and a strange friendship forms between them. Tang and Tianxin form an uneasy alliance in order to get the treasures, but beyond the dangers of that is the threat from a man whom Tang steals a map from, and the head monk Bailong (To) who is more than what he seems…

wudang

Wu Dang, or “How Corey Yuen Got His Groove Back” is a thrilling adventure film that does a great job telling this story and weaving enough emotional content to the fights to get us to care about the characters and what happens to them. The film paces everything well, and the effects work is nothing short of fantastic. My only issue in regards to the story is that one character’s story arc remained unresolved by the end. which makes it maddening, but not so much as to ruin the film.

Zhao plays Tang with great intelligence and bravery, and vulnerability when the true nature of his search for the treasures are revealed. Tangning has good chemistry with Fan Sui-Wong , as both of them spend most of their screen time together, and Yang Mi has the same with Zhao, without which the movie would fail. Dennis To shows a lot of range as he plays the main villain, something very different from his part in The Legend is Born: Ip Man. Patrick Leung really captures some gorgeous shots of the mountain itself, and of all of the fights. The cinematography is truly something great here.

wudang2

Corey Yuen does his best work in many a year here. The wirework is flawless, and integrates itself into this world without being obtrusive, and the fight escalate at a good pace, and the cinematography really captures Corey’s work, particularly in the fight between Zhao and the swords women on the bridge, and Josie Xu’s fight with Sui Wong Fan during the tournament, which is a great display of how storytelling can work within a fight itself, as both characters come to a realization during the fight that drives the most emotional parts of the story home. It’s also the most beautiful sequence  in the entire film, and both Fan and Xu pull it off (If they ever make another Tekken film Xu has got to play Lin Xiaoyu).

Wu Dang represents a great return to form for Corey Yuen and a great performance by Vincent Zhao, and it all comes in service of a good story.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

Vincent Zhao and company deliver a fun, involving kung-fu film that features some of  the best fight choreography Corey Yuen has done in quite some time.

NEXT:  Gordon Liu is an evil bastard in Kill ’Em All!

Review: The Legend is Born: Ip Man (2010)

Posted in Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Sammo Hung, To Yu-Hang (Dennis To), Yuen Biao with tags , on September 6, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring To Yu-Hang (Dennis To), Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Rose Chan, Ip Chun

Fight Choreography by Tang Tai Wo and Kam Loi Kwan

Directed by Herman Yau

After Donnie Yen had a ton of success with the Ip Man series, Ip man has become what Wong Fei-Hung was: the subject of a ton of films. Some good, some bad, but the character, based on the real man, has ingrained itself into Hong Kong cinema, and now, with quite a few films in various stages of production, Ip Man is going the same direction as well, but there is a danger as Donnie Yen’s series is damn good, with a third official sequel on the way, and is a hard act to follow, and here we have a film that traces Ip Man’s life before the events of the Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip classic. Does the early story of Ip Man hold up compared to Yen’s version? In many ways it does.

The film stars To Yu-Hang as Ip Man, who, as a young boy along with his adopted brother Ip Tin-Chi (Fan), are brought by their father, a wealthy businessman, to learn Wing Chun kung-fu from Sifu Chan Wah Shun (Hung) and his senior Ng Chung (Biao), and both boys befriend a fellow female student  Lee Mei Wai (Chan). Tragedy strikes early as Sifu Chan Wah Shun dies suddenly, leaving the school to Ng Chung, who is told by Wah Shun to pay special care to Ip Man’s training as he is a natural. They grow up together within the school, and Ip Tin-Chi falls in love with her, but she’s in love with Ip Man, who seems as if he might reciprocate until he meets Cheung Wing Shing, daughter of the town mayor of Foshan. Ip Man doesn’t have time for romance as he goes off to college in Hong Kong. Time passes, and Ip Man, after a confrontation with a douchebag whom he shows the finer points of Wing Chun, meet Leung Bik (Ip Chun) who came from the same Wing Chun school as Wah Shun but was left because of his unorthodox style of Wing Chun. While Ip Man learns from Bik, Ip Tin-Chi becomes a successful businessman himself with the Wing Chun Martial Arts Association, and Ip Man returns home and resumes his romance with Cheung Wing Shing, but little does he know that the Japanese who have come to Foshan for business mean to do a lot more, and threaten everything that Ip Man holds dear, but there are other secrets that could destroy him as well…

This film, while not connected to the Donnie Yen version, echoes quite a bit of it to the point that they may as well be connected. The camera work as well as the story pacing is very reminiscent of the other series. Herman Yau does a good job with telling his story, even if that story is a bit far fetched. I don’t know much of Ip Man’s real life, but I doubt he fought the Japanese THAT much. The other item that bothered me was what I’ll call the big twist in the story, that comes after the midpoint. I didn’t know what to make of it, even though there are hints that are laid earlier in the film, but once certain events started happened, I had guessed what the twist was, but the twist just felt too…operatic for a story like this. The performances are good , led by To Yu Hang, who does a good job as the young Ip Man, balancing badassness with inexperience. Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao were great onscreen together as they always are, and it’s a treat we should appreciate as we don’t know how many more times we’ll see those guys together on screen. Fan Sui-Wong was fantastic and had a good chemistry with both Yu Hang and Rose Chan, who was good, but her character just annoyed me with her crappy attitude (She turned into a hater, whom as we all know, is gonna hate) to no end, making it hard to be sympathetic with her as events unfold. The introduction of Leung Bik was a treat, played by Ip Man’s real son Ip Chun. He even has a fight scene with To Yu-Hang which was fun as well, and the training sequence was also well done and entertaining (are training sequences making a comeback? I hope so!) .

The fights are good, particularly the fight with Ip Chun and Yu-Hang, which shows off a lot of traditional Wing Chun, and the fight where Yuen Biao takes on a group of assassins (Biao’s still got it!), and any of the fights involving Fan Siu Wong. The fight between Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung brings back fond memories of their younger selves, which is a treat for fans of their 80’s work. The choreography (thankfully) wasn’t what’s been coming out of Hong Kong in recent years (anything by Donnie Yen excluded) and was well done with a little wire work here and there, but not much. The climax fight between Ip Man and Ip Tin-Chi was fantastic, and Wing Chun here, as with the entire film, is every bit as well done as the Donnie Yen series.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) The fights were well shot and choreographed in the Wing Chun styles, and are every bit as exciting as the Donnie Yen films. One could say they are too close to that series, but as the overall film may as well have been an official prequel, that’s ok.

STUNT WORK: (8) Some wire work was done, but what little there was didn’t distract from the fights. The stuntmen did a good job with the falls, particularly those falls through furniture.

STAR POWER: (9) Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, rising star Rose Chan, and Fan Sui Wong speak for themselves, and hopefully we will see more of To Yu-Hang. Don’t forget Ip Chun was a treat to see.

FINAL GRADE: (8) A well made film that tells the fictional beginning of Ip Man, with a good cast and great fights that show off the style of Wing Chun.

NEXT: Lo Lieh is out to kick all kinds of ass in King Boxer (Five Fingers of Death)!

 

Click the picture below to purchase!

Review: Ip Man 2 (2010)

Posted in Darren Shahlavi, Donnie Yen, Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Fung Hak-On, Lo Meng (Turbo Law), Sammo Hung with tags , on April 13, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Darren Shahlavi, Simon Yam, Terry Fan, Fung Hark-On, Turbo Law, Xiaoming Huang

Fight Choreography by Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung

Directed by Wilson Yip

Donnie Yen, after years of failure to live up to expectations, finally starting living up to his potential starting with Killzone, and then Flashpoint, which finally led him to what will become his signature film, Ip Man, which was wildly successful. So of course there would be a sequel, but could it live up to what the first film delivered?

The film returns us to the world of Ip Man circa 1949. Ip Man (Yen) had escaped his home in Foushan with his wife and son during the war with Japan. Fast forward some time later finds them living poorly in Hong Kong, nearly as bad off as they were in Foushan, and Ip Man slowly but surely finds students to train, especially one young fool named Leung (Huang). This gets him into trouble with the local martial arts schools, all part of an association run nearly gangster-style by Master Hong Zen Nan (Hung) who in turn help stage fights for the British there, headlined by their champion Twister (Shahlavi), an overconfident boxer who doesn’t respect Chinese boxing. Ip Man first finds himself at war with Master Hong, but the greater threat of Twister emerges, and the legitimacy of Chinese kung fu rests on Ip Man’s shoulders once again…

Ip Man 2 has a far denser story than the original, as we are not only introduced to a slew of new characters, but are reintroduced to some of the other characters who escaped Foushan, and how their lives have changed, such as Jin (Fan) who was one of Ip Man’s enemies from the previous film, but a wife and child have changed him into a decent guy, one who now wants to help Ip Man. Simon Yam also returns as Zhou Quan, who goes from businessman to a homeless thief after a bullet to the head he suffered during his escape from Foushan damages his brain, and now cannot recognize anyone. Now his son does his best to care for him. There is something to the structure of the film that echoes the first, such as the story line changing from Ip Man dealing with a local thug to defending the Chinese martial arts from another occupying force, in this case the British.

Donnie Yen once again plays Ip Man with the same calm grace he did in the original. Yen does more acting with his eyes, as you can see how the events of the last film and this one fray at Ip Man’s soul as he tries to help his fellow Chinese as well as care for his wife, who is expecting a child. Sammo Hung plays Master Hong not as a bad guy, but as a conflicted man who wants to make enough money to take care of his multitude of children but also trying to keep the British police thugs from overrunning Hong Kong. He is a proud man who relents to no one, and Sammo approaches this kind of character as a man who truly believes he has China’s best interests at heart, but realizes too late he may have done more harm than good. Darren Shahlavi is fantastic as Twister, playing him with just the right amounts of confidence and arrogance. There is actually a great moment toward the end of the film after his epic fight with Ip Man, and Shahlavi is able to convey a sense that Twister’s world view had changed, all done with facial expressions and no dialogue. It was also fun to see Turbo Law (Gallants) and Fung Hark-On (Police Story) appear for an actual fight scene. Both men show that despite their age they can still rock the kung-fu!

The one real gripe I had with the story was in regards to Ip Man’s duel with Twister, wherein Ip Man waits until nearly the end of the fight to remind himself of what he had told Master Hong earlier in the film in regards to defeating Twister. Since Ip Man is such a smart man, how could he have conveniently forgotten the way to defeat Twister? It just didn’t ring true from everything already established about the character.

Sammo Hung returns to duty as fight choreographer of this film as well, and does a fantastic job of staging the fights. The fish market fight was fantastic, and what may be the best fight is the duels between Ip Man and the masters, culminating in a Sammo versus Donnie Yen that is simply a fantastic fight as they duel on top of a round table, as is Sammo’s fight versus Shahlavi. I have to admit none of the fights are quite as good as the first films’, except for Donnie Yen’s duel with Sammo.
(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) The fights are fast paced and brisk, and as inventive as always. Ip Man versus the Masters is probably the most inventive fight sequence in the film, as is Sammo’s fight with Darren Shahlavi. Both men pull if off beautifully. Donnie Yen brings that same fast-paced smoothness to his fights, and is able to be a good counterpoint to Shahlavi’s brutal boxing style.

STUNTWORK(8) The stuntmen did a great job, especially since so many fight scenes were dense with people, and their work in the fish market fight was just great.

STAR POWER: (10) Donnie Yen is at the top of his game, Sammo Hung is as good as ever, Darren Shahlavi is on the rise, and hey, who doesn’t like to see Terry Fan? Toss Turbo Law and Fung Hark-On and you have old school gold!

FINAL GRADE: (9) Ip Man 2 isn’t as good as the original, but is still a very good film about the continuing life of Ip Man as he once again navigates the politics of the streets and deals with yet another occupying force that threatens his way of life. Now onward to Ip Man 3–and his years with Bruce Lee!

Review: Ip Man (2008)

Posted in Donnie Yen, Fan Siu Wong (Louis Fan), Sammo Hung, Simon Yam, Wilson Yip, Xing Yu with tags , on April 21, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Donnie Yen, Louis Fan, Simon Yam, Xing Yu

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Wilson Yip

Ip Man may very well be the crowning achievement for Donnie Yen. After starring in many so-so films of varying quality, he got on a roll of success that starts with Killzone and Flashpoint, and continues with Ip Man. Every martial arts star has a movie that defines them. Bruce Lee has Enter the Dragon, Jackie Chan has the Drunken Master, Jet Li has Once Upon a Time in China (both different takes on the same character) and now Donnie Yen can add his name to the list of memorable films with Ip Man.

Ip Man is famously known as the master of Bruce Lee, and the film covers his life just before the Japanese occupation of his home Foushan, to when he escapes to Hong Kong, where a new life (and a young Bruce Lee) will await him.

The movie begins as a Master Liao, a new master just moved to Foushan, arrives to challenge Ip Man to a duel, much to the chagrin and dismay of his wife. Ip Man invites Master Liao to sit with him as they are to eat dinner when he arrived to give his challenge. They do so in an equal parts funny and awkward dinner scene. They soon fight in a fantastic fight that is designed to whet the appetite for the battles to come, and succeeds in this. Ip Man wins the duel, and tells Liao that he’ll keep the duel a secret, so that it won’t affect his own school. Nice Guy, that Ip Man. A polite, honorable mega-badass.

Ip Man 1

Soon a group of thugs led by Jin (Terry Fan) roll into town not unlike a group of modern street thugs, and make their way to Dojo Street, in what has to be the most badass street in the world. Nothing but kung-fu schools the whole way. They kick the crap out of everyone on the street, looking to establish themselves their own school. By the way, they are country bumpkins, so remember my previous reviews about those kind of guys. Soon the only one left to challenge is Ip Man, and in an absolutely engaging and funny fight, is defeated by Ip Man. (Watch what happens when his little son rides by to give Ip Man a message from his wife in the middle of the fight.)

Donne Yen Ip Man

The tone of the film changes when the Japanese army arrives and take over Foushan. Soon it becomes a harrowing view of the Japanese occupation, and Ip Man finds himself conflicted as his skills and pride as a martial artist comes into doubt. Soon he finds himself fighting, along with other former masters who now live in hovels, for their literal daily bag of rice from General Sanpo, who wants to show that Japanese Karate is superior to Chinese Kung-Fu. After one of the best fights you’ll ever see involving Ip Man vs 10 black belts, a fight that has to be seen to be believed, Ip Man finds himself in hiding from the general, and has to make a choice: either fight one more time or watch his fellow people suffer even more.

Ip Man is a defining moment in the career of Donnie Yen, who both brings his best skills to bear as well as good acting as Ip Man. One of the best martial arts film to display a single style of fighting you’ll ever see.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) Sammo Hung does a brilliant job of putting these fights together, beautiful to see, exciting, and brutal all at once. Not a wrong note here.

STUNTS: (9) The stunt work is also great, particularly in the second fight with Jin, and the 10 man battle scene. They sell every scene they are in well.

DIRECTION: (10) Excellent. Wilson Yip directs each scene with energy and fervor, and knows when to be quiet and when to turn up the volume. The dramatic scenes work well, and the action never feels out of place.

STAR POWER: (10) This film cements Donnie Yen as one of the best of all time. Terry Fan, having been out of the martial arts cinema scene for a long time, returns triumphantly in this.

FINAL GRADE: (10) Folks, this is one of the best martial arts films you’ll ever see. An instant classic that won’t get old any time soon.

Click below to purchase!