Archive for the Yasuaki Kurata Category

Review: The Wrath of Vajra (2014)

Posted in Matt Mullins, Steve Yoo, Xing Yu, Yasuaki Kurata with tags , on March 18, 2014 by Michael S. Moore

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Starring Xing Yu, Steve Yoo, Ya Mei, Matt Mullins, Yasuaki Kurata

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung and Zhang Peng

Directed by Law Wing Cheong

Xing Yu is an actual 32nd Generation Shaolin monk who has co-starred in many great films like Kung Fu Hustle, Flashpoint and Ip Man, and has played second fiddle to other action stars. I thought he had enough screen charisma and martial arts talent to actually star in a film, and wondered if he would ever get his shot at the big time.

Well, he has now received his shot. And I was right! He’s got what it takes to be a star.

The Wrath of Vajra begins as we learn about the Hades sect under the leadership of Amano Kawao (Kurata), a Japanese martial arts organization that aided the Japanese armies during their attempted conquest of China, but were disbanded once their goals clashed with that of the military. The Chinese people are now revolting in the provinces that Japan controls, and needs the Hades sect to return to help quell the revolutions. To do this, Kawao, from jail, reinstates his lead student Kurashige to restart the Hades sect, by stealing children and forcing them to learn martial arts and become killing machines. Soon this comes to the attention of K-29 (Xing Yu), now practicing as a Shaolin monk after escaping the Hades sect. He was one of their greatest students, and they want him back, for either the purposes of joining them or being killed by them. At the same time a group of Chinese fighters consisting of a few Americans, particularly Bill (Mullins) are take prisoner and forced to fight until they die or join the Hades group. As the story unfolds you’ll find that Bill and a few others are well familiar with what Hades has to offer. K-29 finds that one of the Shaolin children has been taken by the sect, and he returns to Hades base/arena to fight his way to destroying them once and for all.  Can he use his lessons as a Monk to save the child, the rebels, and himself once he enters the darkness of Hades?

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I really enjoyed this film immensely. Xing Yu very much has the determined hero look down pat, but he also does a good job as showing his conflicted emotions at certain moments. Matt Mullins does a great job as Bill, but I wish there had been more scenes with him and Xing Yu, to examine their relationship since they both escaped from Hades. Yasuaki Kurata doesn’t get to fight in this one, but exudes menace as Kawao.

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Steve Yoo is great as Kurashige, and plays him perfectly as a man who doesn’t believe that what he’s doing is evil as its all he’s ever known, and feels betrayed by K-29 for choosing to stand against him. Especially at the end, when he gazes out and sees Hades falling apart, and the disbelief on his face, is just well done by Yoo. The story itself is well told, and each character has a fitting, even somewhat operatic ending. I thought for sure this would be a Heroic Bloodshed film, and was actually surprised that it wasn’t, but in no way disappointed in that. That would have been an easy way to end the story. I’m glad they didn’t take it.

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The fights in this film were a joy to watch. Since Sammo choreographed it, I would expect nothing less! It was all well-shot, with a mixture of traditional kung-fu and a little bit of wirework, but nothing that distracted or took away from the performers. My favorite fight is when K-29 fights Crazy Monkey, a crazy kung-fu fighter who uses an array of styles and parkour to evade and attack. The fight starts on the ground, then on a bridge, and then to the top of the concrete bridge arches, and down, and back up, and then into the water. The music here is also good, and I hope more films follow it musically. There is a Xing Yu versus Matt Mullins fight that I wish had been a lot longer, but Mullins gets his moments during the final scrum at the climax of the film (in fact, some of it reminds me of Enter The Dragon in a strange way). The final fight itself in the rain between Xing Yu and Steve Yoo is gorgeous to look at and is well done. Their fight really displays the powerful strikes within the karate and kung-fu disciplines. The scenes switch between their fight and the soldiers fighting the Hades disciples, and it all comes together beautifully.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 9

I really had a great time with this movie, and I’d like to introduce everyone to Xing Yu: Kung Fu Star. His time has finally come in a film that properly introduces audiences to a man who may very well be the next big thing!

The Wrath of Vajra was released today on DVD and Blu-Ray from WellGO USA (Good Job, Ya’ll!) . I HIGHLY recommend you pick this one up!

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Xing Yu finally gets his shot at the big time! Wrath of Vajra Trailer!!

Posted in Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, Xing Yu, Yasuaki Kurata with tags , , on June 24, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

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Former monk Xing Yu has been playing sidekicks to Jet Li and Donnie Yen and more for what seems like years now, and it’s about damn time he gets his own vehicle. So far this looks great, add Yasuaki Kurata and Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (Ip Man) to the mix, along with fantastic special effects, and this looks like a winner. Just like Xing Yu. Maybe he’s the next big Chinese kung-fu star we’ve been waiting for? Just in time to talk about him in my next podcast concerning the state of Hong Kong kung-fu cinema.

Thanks to the good folks at Far East Films for the trailer.

Review: So Close (2002)

Posted in Corey Yuen, Karen Mok, Yasuaki Kurata, Zhao Wei with tags , on October 26, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Shu Qui, Karen Mok, Zhao Wei, Yasuaki Kurata, Derek Wan

Fight Choreography by Corey Yuen

Directed by Corey Yuen

Corey Yuen, fight choreographer legend, who has directed films like No Retreat, No Surrender, and Above the Law (the Yuen Biao film) jumps again behind the camera to team up Hong Kong beauties Shu Qui, Karen Mok and Zhao Wei in a Chinese action film in the vein of Charlie’s Angels.

The film revolves around sisters Lin (Qui) and Quan (Wei) who are having issues within their given professions…as hired killers. Their jobs are already complicated as they don’t just kill anyone; they are looking for the men who killed their parents, and their father who had created a computer program that would have aided the police greatly. Lin does the killing while younger sister Quan is the computer wiz who holds down the fort at home and runs their complex satellite mainframe computer, but yearns to get out of her sisters’ shadow and take assassination jobs of her own. The only thing wrong with this? Quan’s never killed anyone. Things get complicated when Lin meets with an old flame and decides to get out of the business, while at the same time a super-smart police woman Kong Yay Hung (Mok) starts to put everything together and attempts to bring both women to justice, and the brother of Lin’s most recent assassination victims Chow Nunn, a drug and gun runner who fronted a corporation for his crimes, plans to take his revenge on Lin and her sister. All parties slam into each other, and tragedy strikes, and a final confrontation within the corporation itself between the women and Chow Nunn and his army of thugs…and one Japanese sword master…

This is a really entertaining film, very much in the vein of Charlie’s Angels, and while not so “out there” Yuen makes sure you know just how beautiful all three main leads are. The story is entertaining as both Lin and Quan have a good backstory for why they do what they do, and Zhao Wei is pitch perfect as the immature, yet capable Quan. Shu Qi, not known for action films, does a capable job as a tough-as-nails character, and Karen Mok is great in her fight scenes. Yasuaki Kurata doesn’t really make his presence truly felt until the end of the film, as he proves to be the real villain of the film, and as always is great. There is a turning point in the film that changes the fantastical tone of the film, but it isn’t as jarring as it could be as things build to this moment, but it was a surprise and doesn’t take anything away from the fun to be had.

Corey Yuen choreographs the fights as he always has, and does a good job, especially for those who didn’t know martial arts. He made them look as if they did (unlike in his American output) and he stages the fights well. Hell, he even hearkens back to his best ‘lethal ladies’ film Yes, Madam, as Karen Mok pulls off a move that came directly from that film, and if you know the scene you’ll smile when it happens. The finale is great display of gun action versus the guards. The final fight with Yasuaki Kurata is excellent, and Zhao Wei really shines here, and holds her own versus the legendary Kurata. She looks fantastic, and Karen Mok does well in this fight too, the most impressive of a film full of great set pieces.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

A film far more fun than Charlie’s Angels, an explosive gun and kung-fu fight fest wrapped around a Mission Impossible-like story with a great villain in Yasuaki Kurata. 

NEXT: All samurais fear the Geisha Assassin!

Review: The Executioner (1974)

Posted in Hiroyuki Sanada, Sonny Chiba, Yasuaki Kurata with tags , on September 5, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sonny Chiba, Makoto Sato, Eiji Go, Yutaka Nakajima, Yasuaki Kurata, Hiroyuki Sanada

Fight Choreography by Sonny Chiba

Directed by Teruo Ishii

There are karate movies and then there is The Executioner. There are batshit crazy films, and then there is The Executioner. There are Sonny Chiba films, and there is the Executioner. This is a film that defies all expectations and genre definitions. Did I mention It’s also really insane? Insane like “are you f***ing kidding me?” crazy.

The film stars out normal enough. The story begins as we meet a young Ryuichi Koga (a really young Sanada) who is heir to the Koga ninja clan, and his father, who brutally trains his son in order for him to be ready to take over the clan. He constantly disappoints his father at every turn. Years later the adult Ryuichi (Chiba) absolutely hates his training, and decides after a brutal joint dislocation training, he decides to hell with this, and after a small fight with his father, bails. He decides to then use his ninja skills to open up his own…wait for it…private investigation agency. By the way, I do have to mention two important items. One, Ryuichi is a great fighter, but sucks as a ninja. I know TMNT Foot ninjas who are better. Also, he sucks at being a PI, and is in dire need of money. This brings him into the orbit of one Takeshi Hayabusa (Sato), a former police narcotics section chief who resigned in disgrace and now works as an Assassin who only kills other Yakuza mobsters. Both men are teamed with a third, Ichiro Sakura, and are hired by former Commissioner to take down Yakuza man Mario Mizuhara, who is involved in the massive drug trade that is washing over Japan. Together, the crew go on a mission to bring it all to an end once and for all, or at least until the next film. It all sounds pretty straightforward…

…and then they lose their minds.

Where to start? Okay, just for instance, at the beginning of the film Hayabusa bursts in on his target, a mobster who is making love to a woman. The mobster offers Hayabusa money to kill the man who hired him, and Hayabusa accepts, but since he never balks on a deal, he kills the man. The naked woman who witnesses this begs for her life by offering herself to him, which Hayabusa accepts, and they have sex right next to the body of the dude he just killed. Also, Hayabusa has a crazy habit of laughing for no apparent reason. A crazy-he-should-be-a-Batman-villain kind of laugh.

Now we come to Ryuichi. Sucks as a ninja, awesome fighter, but he suffers from one giant weakness. Naked women. Yes, he has a thing for naked ladies, and anytime he sees them he gets distracted enough while fighting hardened killers to take note of every part of them. Really takes the time to burn them into his memory. Chiba is his awesome self as always, and is a brutal killer, even ripping a dude’s rib out during a fight! For Chiba, he did fatalities long before Mortal Kombat did. He should probably sue, or ask to be put into the game.

This film also takes a moment to be sure to cram as many naked women into the film as possible. Does it serve any purpose? Not. A. Damn. One. Also, each of the three principle characters play mean practical jokes on each other the entire film. Like commenting constantly on Sakura’s penis size, or leaving someone chasing their own getaway car after a heist. There’s even a scene where Ryuichi beats up an assassin in front of the assassin’s naked girlfriend, who cheers for Ryuichi to kill her man. There’s also dudes who die by getting punched on top of the head so hard their eyes pop out of their sockets in hilariously fake scenes. There’s even a death where a good guys yells out one of the most ridiculous last words ever committed to film that will have you laughing for quite a while.

The fights are done in the classic Sonny Chiba style, meaning it’s brutal. It doesn’t have the back and forth of Hong Kong fight choreography, as most of the battles are decided in only a few hits, many times only one hit is needed to end someone. Some of them do end with crazy kills like strikes so hard it pops out someone’s eye, gouging another dude’s eyes, or a rib gets ripped right out of the person’s body. I actually feel sorry for most of the bad guys, as they all die really horrible, painful-looking karate deaths. Yasuaki Kurata has a really small scene in the film, but it gives him a chance to fight using Bruce Lee style fight choreography, which he does well, doing a fantastic homage to Bruce.

So you may ask, should you watch it? Yes, it’s crazy like a Troma film. But it has Sonny Chiba and Yasuaki Kurata, which is never a bad thing. It also has lots and lots of nudity, which can be good or bad, depending on your own POV. It all adds up to a film that is extremely entertaining and fun. I honestly never knew what was going to happen next, or what I would see next. It sure as hell isn’t for a general audience, but if you love Sonny Chiba, it isn’t anywhere near his best film, but far away from his worst.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (7) The fights are all classic Chiba style and done well for a karate film, and Yasuaki Kurata does well in his Bruce Lee style fight. There could have been more fights, though.

STUNTWORK: (8) All of the stuntmen did a good job here. They took some nasty looking spills, and their acting is great. Probably the best “death-throes” acting stunt team out there.

STAR POWER: (9) Chiba is here, as is Yasuaki Kurata, but Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai,Twilight Samurai, The Promise, Rush Hour 3 (no one’s perfect)) was a star pupil of Sonny Chiba who was able to get into this, his first film. He just finished his work on 47 Ronin with Keanu Reeves.

FINAL GRADE: (8) This is a Sonny Chiba film that came from the asylum. Crazy and eclectic, this is a karate film that has a logic all its own. I’m sure many drinking games can be made here. Not Sonny’s best, but very entertaining.

Review: Shanghai Express aka Millionaire’s Express (1986)

Posted in Cynthia Rothrock, Dick Wei, Hwang Jang Lee, Lam Ching Ying, Richard Norton, Sammo Hung, Shih Kien, Wai-Man Chan, Wang Lung Wei, Yasuaki Kurata, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah with tags , , , on July 5, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Lam Ching Ying, Hwang Jang Lee, Yukari Oshima, Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock, Dick Wei, Shih Kien, Richard Ng, Yu Wang, Wang Lung Wei

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Sammo Hung

Sammo, a fan of many westerns, had always wanted to do one himself, and decided to call on damn near every star at the time to be in his kung-fu/western mashup. The film was designed to be another Sammo Hung/Jackie Chan/Yuen Biao team up, but alas Jackie wasn’t able to be in it due to scheduling conflicts, but never mind that. Everyone and their brother is in this film, and Jackie being in the film would have robbed someone else of screen time, especially two newcomers, but more on them later.

Sammo plays Cheng, a thief, opportunist and sometimes pimp with big plans for his small hometown of Hanshui, plans the town is unaware of. He had to leave Hanshui after a series of good deeds gone bad, or bad deeds that had a somewhat noble purpose, depending on your POV. Well, Hanshui ran him out of town, but he has a plan to return and open up a casino/ secret brothel, but since Hanshui is a no where town with nothing more than a train track not far away, he had to do something to get the customers in, and has plans to blow up the train tracks just when the Shanghai Express, a train full of wealthy passengers, will pass, making them stay in the town to spend their money there. Captain Tsao (Biao), the former fireman now the law offical thanks to some of his not-too-smart comrades who decided to use a fire to rob a bank (Lam Ching Ying, Yuen Wah and others), knows Cheng and vows to break up whatever scheme he’s running…

Meanwhile a group of bandits that include Dick Wei, Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton plan to rob the train near Hanshui in an effort to help a mob family secure documents being smuggled out of China by Japanese operatives….

Also, Master Wong (Yu Wong) and his son, the great Wong Fei Hung, travel in the same car with rival Master Sek (Kien) and his son.

And…the group that robbed the bank in Hanshui plan to use the train to get away with the town’s money.

AND…quite a few more stories that will all come together in Hanshui, leading to a slam bang finale that features some fantastic fight choreography and some genuinely funny moments. Admittedly, the comedy can be hit or miss depending on whether you like the slapstick comedy that was pervasive in Hong Kong in the 80’s. Personally, most of it worked for me, especially the Richard Ng stuff. That guy is crazy funny:

He plays a lecherous douche who bounces between his wife and his mistress, both of whom are on the train. He has some fantastic stunts where he “trots” on the train cars, jumping from one to another with ease, and does the same later on the roof of a three story casino. His facial expressions are hilarious to watch.

The stunts are thrilling to watch, such as a series of impressive fire fighting stunts by Yuen Biao culminating in a jump from the top of a 3 story building to the ground…and lands on his feet. Wow. He really does get to cut loose, and Sammo lets everyone have their moment in the sun, from the comedians to the fighters. I have to give Yuen Wah and Lam Ching Ying credit-they were really game to become the two idiots they play. No fighting for them, but it’s still great to see them playing different roles than what I would normally see from them. Now, in a changeup from most of my reviews, because there are so damn many, let’s look into individual fights, eh?

Sammo Hung Vs Yuen Biao: Wow. This fight would be the showstopper of other, even very good martial arts films, but here it is in the middle of the film, which helps break up the comedy. Sammo and Yuen really bring it, and if you watch the first kick Sammo gives Yuen, that kick almost really took Yuen Biao out. Like really out. These two go at it, and the choreography is excellent here, and you can tell that they are actually striking each other, which is something Sammo demands of all of his action co-stars, but hey, they’re kung-fu brothers, so they know what to expect from each other.

Yasuaki Kurata vs Richard Norton: Yeah, it was really short, and Richard’s end is painful (note to self, never try to kick high on a short girl with sword.) but what was there was gold. Of course Richard says his classic line “Painful?”after he gives Kurata a nasty kick. Great blocking moves in this scene.

Yuen Biao vs Dick Wei: Oh. My. Gosh. This fight was incredible. Yuen Biao and Dick Wei blaze along their fight with pure speed and Yuen’s acrobatic stunts in this fight is stunning to watch. His spin off the balcony is legendary as writ in the scrolls. Wei’s punches were lightning fast and Biao even faster at dodging them.

Sammo Hung vs Cynthia Rothrock:  Yeah, this fight was cool, and it’s no wonder Cynthia became famous in HK cinema after this fight. She hung tight with the big man himself through his fight choreography that had him going from being Sammo to impersonating Bruce Lee. I was disappointed that one of her big kicks was actually done by Yuen Biao as her stunt double, but the rest is fantastic. Sammo really tossed himself around.

Hwang Jang Lee vs Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung: This the most hair-pulling of all of the fights in this film. It barely lasts a minute, when the reality is it was supposed to be the absolute show stopper fight in the film, but had to be cut for the running time.  What’s there was the beginning of something epic that gets chopped to about 30 seconds. Argh! Luckily Hwang does get to jack up a bunch of other guys, but this is still a great opportunity missed.

Yukari Oshima vs a bunch of sad bastards: Yukari showed off her stuff in this fight, and though she isn’t a kendo practictioner she made it look as if she were, and really had a good, if short fight scene.

Also I have to say I loved the fight between young Wong Fei-Hung and Master Sek’s son. Those two kids were great, evoking the classic Shaw Brothers style of fight choreography, and the parents’ response is a funny way to end the scene, as is the train ride where both masters get their shots at each other each time they enter a tunnel. I want to go back and say a thing or two about Richard Norton and Cynthia Rothrock. These films would pave the way for their American B-movies, but they really understood the Hong Kong style of fight choreography and were the few Americans and Australians to do so at the time (There were a few others, but not many. Karen Shepard and Peter Cunningham are some of the others.) They work really well with the Sammo Hung/Yuen Biao/Jackie Chan style of choreography that dominated 80’s HK films from the Golden Harvest camp.

This film is really a sampler kind of film. You get a full plate that has bits and pieces of everyone, and the whole will fill you up, but you wished you had more of this or that. I needed more Hwang Jang Lee and Yasuaki Kurata, and Dick Wei, but that is a small gripe in a film chockablock full of fights, at least in the last half of the film. The first half does contain enough goodwill and comedy to tide you over until then.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) Sammo does a fantastic job all around allowing everyone to show off their stuff and have their own “moments”. The fighting mixes being fast and fun with being brutal all at once.

STUNTWORK: (9) Fantastic stunts all around. The scene where the train stops is great, and Richard Ng really does a great job, and Yuen Biao takes it up a level with his acrobatics, especially in his fight with Dick Wei. Some of the falls are just down right painful to watch.

STAR POWER: (10) Did you see the cast list I put up there?!

FINAL GRADE: (9) One of the best martial arts westerns of all time, bar none. There aren’t many fights until the end, but the end fights are plentiful and well worth the wait.

Review: Fist of Legend (1994)

Posted in Billy Chow, Chin Siu Ho, Jet Li, Yasuaki Kurata, Yuen Woo Ping with tags , on June 22, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Jet Li, Yasuaki Kurata, Billy Chow, Chin Siu Ho

Fight Choreography by Yuen Woo Ping

Directed by Gordon Chan

During the early 90’s Jet Li wasn’t having a lot of box office success. He had a series of films that bombed during this time period, and he sorely needed a hit film. Enter Yuen Woo Ping and Gordon Chan, with a plan to remake one of Bruce Lee’s signature films. Could they help Jet regain his mojo?

The film starts at Kyoto University, Japan, as Chen Zhen (Li) studies engineering. A group of Black Lotus clan students arrive to throw Chen Zhen out because he’s Chinese.  Things are cool until they threaten to hurt Mariko, his girlfriend, and a scene of asswhooping ensues, as Chen calmly takes them all out. Woo Ping gives his signature first fight here, making it a small taste of what’s to come. There is a lot of great grappling here. Mariko’s uncle Fumio Fukushima (Kurata) arrives to stop the fighting and inform Chen Zhen that his master, Hou Yuan-Jia was killed in a match with a Japanese master. (This is the same Hou Yuan-Jia character Jet would play years later in Fearless, I believe.)  Chen Zhen returns home and immediately goes to challenge the Japanese master Riuichi to a battle, but not before he fights his students in a scene that recreates the famous Bruce Lee fight between the Japanese students. The fights here are fantastic, and shows the audience that this is Jet Li’s version of Chen Zhen, not Bruce Lee’s.

After he defeats Riuichi Chen returns to deal with the impending drama at home as he finds himself in a power play he doesn’t want with his best friend and kung fu brother Ting’en, son of Hou Yuen-Jia. Meanwhile Riuichi blames General Fujita (Chow) for poisoning Hou thus robbing the match of any honor, and the General kills him and lays the blame on Chen Zhen, prompting his arrest. In court Chen Zhen is released due to the testimony of Mariko, which saves Chen Zhen but complicates matters greatly as Chen Zhen is now ostracized by both the Japanese and his own people for loving a Japanese woman. Chen will also face Fumio Fukushima himself in a duel before joining his friend Ting’en for the final fight against Fujita.

Fist of Legend is a great film all on its own, remake or not. Yuen Woo Ping once again brings his “A” game to all of the fights. The fight between Chen Zhen and Ting’en is great, showing the difference of styles between them, and the final fight with Fujita is also well done as Billy Chow gives Jet Li all he can handle, but without a doubt the best fight in the entire film is between Jet Li and Yasuaki Kurata. Woo Ping saves his best for them, and they don’t disappoint. The fight goes from traditional to way cool as both men don blindfolds for the second half of their fight, taking Woo Ping’s choreography to new heights but keeps the wire work to a minimum, and director Gordon Chan makes sure the camera work and editing is spot on. Yeah, this fight is easily one of the best onscreen fights in either Jet’s or Kurata’s careers, and that’s saying a lot.

Jet Li takes the Chen Zhen character and makes it his own, bringing a calm intensity to the character, and Billy Chow plays a great evil General, but he is a much more dynamic fighter than what this film shows, but that’s the character he plays. The acting is pretty good in this film, and Gordon Chan moves the film at a brisk pace, so there are few slow spots.

While Fist of Legend is a remake, it is an excellent remake that tells a better, more layered story  than the previous film, with, dare I say it, better fights than in Bruce Lee’s version, which is no small feat, but good things seem to happen when Yuen Woo Ping is teamed up with great talent, and that’s on full display here. It was this film that gave the Wachowski Brothers the ideas for the fighting styles and wire scenes they wanted for The Matrix.

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

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) Some of Yuen Woo Ping’s best work that will be copied in lesser films for years to come. Everyone does a fantastic job, but Kurata and Li’s fight is the highlight.

STUNTWORK: (8) Not a lot of crazy stunts, but the stuntmen perform admirably in every fight scene.

STAR POWER: (10) Li, Kurata, Chow, and Woo Ping, some of the biggest and best performers in the martial arts film world in the same film. Jet Li’s career soared to new heights here, and began to cement Jet beside Bruce and Jackie as one of the best martial arts stars ever.

FINAL GRADE: (10) This is a great film that is better than the original in many ways. Jet has some of his best fights here, and Yasuaki Kurata is gold in whatever he’s in.