Archive for the Sui-Lung Leung Category

Review: Badges of Fury (2013)

Posted in Collin Chou, Corey Yuen, Fung Hak-On, Grace Huang, Jacky Wu Jing, Jet Li, Sui-Lung Leung with tags , , on January 7, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

Badges of Fury

Starring Jet Li, Wen Zhang, Michelle Chen, Lui Yan, Stephen Fung, Grace Huang, Fung Hak On, Wu Jing, Collin Chou, Leung Sui-Lung,

Fight Choreography by Corey Yuen

Directed by Wong Tsz Ming

Badges of Fury is perhaps the funniest comedy in Jet Li’s filmography, and for someone who doesn’t do it often, Jet really works here, but don’t be surprised that while his name is at the head of the credits, he is a supporting actor in this film, and Wen Zhang is the star. Of course, the first thing you have to do to best enjoy this film is to understand that the film is a comedy from the outset, a spoof of the kung-fu cop genre.

Around Hong Kong, a slew of actors, dancers, and the wealthy, all of them men, die of unknown circumstances, except that they were smiling at the time of death. Enter Huang Fei Hung (Li) an about to be retired cop, and Wang (Zhang) his overeager young partner are assigned to the case, even after botching up a major crime bust that could have net them a major gangster (great cameo appearance here by Collin Chou, acting like he stepped off the set of Flashpoint). What follows is wrong leads, bike chases, spoofs or mentions of films like Police Story 1, 2 and 3, and in one funny scene, a group of Interpol agents accuse Jet Li of BitTorrenting Fearless and the Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Their leads take them to one woman who is connected to all of the murdered men, and of course things go sideways, including a fight between Jet Li and Wu Jing, and wait until you see exactly who Wu Jing is playing. I can’t reveal any more of the story without giving away any other jokes!

Badges of Fury 1

The film is just out and out fun. Jet is really game here, playing the grizzled vet who is always mysteriously asking to go home early. Jet is energized, and looks great. Wen Zhang is able to carry the film, doing most of the funny stuff and is able to bounce jokes off of Jet well. Collin Chou and Wu Jing have “fighting” cameos, but perform well in their screen time. Leung Sui-Lung is great as well, but doesn’t really get his performance going until late, playing a character not unlike the one he played in Kung Fu Hustle. The film has scenes that reminded me of the whacked out stuff Stephen Fung did in his Tai Chi Zero series (Of course, he has a small part in this film), like the hilarious entrance of the femme fatale played to perfection by Lui Yan.

Badges of Fury Liu Yan

Corey Yuen choreographed the fights here, and did a great job. The fights were able to match the silliness of the rest of the film, but delivered some good kung fu fights. Jet versus Wu Jing was good, as was Jet vs. Collin Chou. Wen Zhang does a good job and gets the more “out there” fights, but does it well. The final fight between Jet Li and Leung Sui-Lung leaves all believability at the door for a fight that uses a lot of wire work and special effects, but they fit the escalating fantasy of the film.  I said Jet was more of a supporting character, and he is, but the lion’s share of the fights go to him, just as it should.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

 Jet Li and Wen Zhang take us on a hilarious romp through the “kung fu” cop genre, and fight choreographer Corey Yuen pulls out the stops to make this one of the best kung fu comedies to come around in a long while!

Badges of Fury is out today from the good folks at Wellgo USA!

 

NEXT: Mark Dacascos will teach you how to fight the Brazilian way in Only The Strong!

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Review: Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Posted in Fung Hak-On, Sammo Hung, Stephen Chow, Sui-Lung Leung, Xing Yu, Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah with tags , on April 15, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

Kung Fu Hustle 2

Starring Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Xing Yu, Chi Ling Chiu, Fung Hak-on, Leung Siu-Lung

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Stephen Chow

Hot off of Shaolin Soccer, funnyman Stephen Chow  was just getting warmed up for what may be the crowning achievement of his career, a film that pays homage to cinema in general and kung fu movies in particular. Part kung-fu, part cartoon, Kung Fu Hustle raises the kung fu comedy bar to new heights.

Stephen Chow stars as Sing, a complete loser who, with his oafish friend Bone attempt to pull off scams on any sucker they can find. They make the mistake of going to Pig Sty Alley and trying to screw a barber out of paying for a haircut, pretending to be Axe Gang members. After being “attacked” by the people living in the complex Sing aligns himself with the real Axe Gang, who just happened to arrived. Sing unknowingly sets off a chain of events that finds the Axe Gang leader killed and replaced by his even worse second in command Brother Sum, who vows to destroy the inhabitants of the building. As it turns out the building is home to some of the greatest martial arts heroes of all time, and The Axe gang suffers defeat after defeat, but with Sing’s help they are able to find help from the greatest kung fu killer of all time. Sing believes that only the bad guys ever win, but can his eyes open to the truth about himself in time to save the people of Pig Sty?

kung fu hustle 1

There isn’t a comedy stone left unturned here, and it all starts with Stephen Chow the actor, who does a great job as the hapless Sing. In many ways he plays a straight man to some of the most ridiculous moments of the film, and that’s a good thing. And, and as always, Yuen Wah brings his A-game to this part as the lecherous landlord, and Yuen Qiu stole the show as the tough as nails landlady. Seeing so many greats of the Shaw Brothers and early Sammo Hung era kung fu fighters was simply a treat. The story itself is well told, and the more out-there moments, like the chase between Landlady and Sing are just laugh-out-loud funny, even if it makes no real sense, and the slapstick comedy, such as the knife throwing scene (one of my favs) are just hilarious.

Kung Fu Hustle 3

Sammo Hung did a fantastic job choreographing the fights here (when isn’t Sammo great at this?) and it all escalates exactly as it should. The first fight in the courtyard is great, and Sammo lets the featured martial artists look great. My favorite fight, from every compositional standpoint, is the fight versus the Harpist assassins. Their harp served the dual purpose of being both a deadly weapon and providing the music for the fight scene, which is brilliant. The wire work was well done, and is used to very good effect and doesn’t shadow the actual martial arts being done. The final fight is great and Stephen Chow gets to show off what he can do, and Leung Sui-Lung (Gallants) gives Chow a run for his money here. The fight at the Axe Gang’s casino also deserves a mention, a fantastic blend of martial arts, wirework and special effects that allows Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu the chance to show they’ve still got it!

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 10 

Stephen Chow made what may very well be the best kung fu comedy of all time! A brilliant mix of kung fu, comedy and special effects. Rarely does it mesh so well, but Chow pulls if off with gusto!

Review: Gallants (2010)

Posted in Chen Kuan-Tai, Lo Meng (Turbo Law), Sui-Lung Leung, Wai-Man Chan with tags , on January 26, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Siu-Lung Leung, Kuan Tai Chen, Teddy Robin Kwan, You-Nam Wong, J.J Jia, Wai-Man Chan, Jin Auyeung, Lo Meng (Turbo Law)

Fight Choreography by Yuen Tak

Directed by Kwok Chi-kin, Clement Sze-kit Cheng

After watching the dreadful Choy Lee Fut film, I began wondering what happened to Hong Kong martial arts cinema. With the exception of Donnie Yen it appears that kung-fu films that aren’t giant special effects wire harness spectaculars no longer exist in China. Yes, martial arts films are flourishing in other countries, but Chinese cinema, once known for the Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan seems to have left films of that style behind. And here we have a film that reminds us of what kung-fu films used to be, and may never be again…

Gallants begins as the narrator introduces us to Cheung (You-Nam Wong) a clumsy office drone working for a real estate agency who has no prospects whatsoever. He’s unmotivated, no self-esteem, hated by everyone, and did I mention clumsy? After spilling coffee on his boss and being verbally abused by him Cheung is sent to settle a property dispute in a small village. Little does he know that the tea house in question is owned by two martial arts pupils Dragon (Kuan Tai Chen) and Tiger (Siu-Lung Leung) who converted their old dojo into a tea house while waiting for their Master Law (Kwan) to wake up from his thirty year coma. Rival Master Pong, who owns a modern day martial arts training facility, wants control of the dojo to expand his school, and one of his students, Mang (Auyeung) was an old childhood rival of Cheung. Things get even more complicated when Master Law awakens from his coma and, not realizing how much time has passed, mistakes Cheung for one of his pupils, and begins to train him and his real former students kung fu, so that they may enter a martial arts contest to win glory for the school, but it won’t be as easy as that…

Much of the film centers on the two old students, played to perfection by old Kung-Fu film stalwarts Siu-Lung Leung (Kung Fu Hustle, 10 Tigers of Shaolin) and Kuan Tai Chen (5 Deadly Venoms, Blood Brothers). They play the old men as still young inside, but at the point where age has taken much of their skills away, but they can still kick a lot of ass and do, but the crux of their characters is the devotion they show Master Law, by remaining with him for all of these years as opposed to going out and getting lives of their own.  Teddy Robin Kwan is great as Master Law, a master whom, despite his penchant for wooing women and remembering what time period he’s living in, still has the pulse of his students and has one last lesson to teach them about life as a kung-fu fighter. Lo Meng (5 Deadly Venoms, The Kid with the Golden Arm) really brings out the old school flavor as Jade Kirin, the main thug of the film. You’ll recognize his boss Master Pang (Wai-Man Chan, who played Tiger in Project A2). All of the old men are veterans of the Shaw Brothers and Jackie Chan-era HK films, and for good reason. The scenes involving Cheung aren’t that interesting, as he becomes a better person, but we never really see how, nor are we told enough about his backstory. He’s merely a go-between for the audience into this world where old school kung-fu fights never really disappeared.

The fights are great, even better when you remember that the men fighting are old guys in their sixties and seventies. My favorite fight is the second fight between Tiger and Jade Kirin. The fight choreography is fantastic as both men show speed and power despite their ages. The group fights that Dragon gets into are also well done, and all of them evoke a time and fight choreography that has been given over to the Tony Jaa’s of the world.

So what does Gallants really say about this? Perhaps it’s saying that the time period has finally passed from China, just like westerns have for the States. You’ll see an occasional throwback film like Gallants, but as these men get older and pass away so too does those kinds of films. The baton has been picked up by other countries, but never again will an age like that come to China, which makes a film like Gallants all the more special.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) Every fight was well done, and it was great to see such old kung fu veteran actors still able to pull the moves off. Evocative of both Jackie Chan fight choreography and that of the Shaw Brothers films.

STUNTWORK: (7) There aren’t too many stunts and they aren’t crazy ones, but what was there was done well.

STAR POWER: (9) Their stars may have faded, but these old veterans are still special to those of us who watch their films!

FINAL GRADE: (10) A great but bittersweet film that shows us what Hong Kong cinema used to be and may never be again, and gives us great performances across the board.