Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[Movie Review] Kungfu Jungle 《一個人的武林》


A vicious killer Feng (WANG Bao-qiang) went around Hong Kong, killing top martial arts exponents, leaving a secret weapon called the Moonshadow as his calling card. Former police martial arts instructor, Xia (Donnie YEN) , whom was imprisoned after killing a man by accident, offers to help the police in exchange of his freedom.

With Xia’s help, the police realize from the chronological order of the victims that the killer is targeting his victims, all the top masters in their martial arts style, following a martial code of training "Boxing, Kicking, Grappling, Weaponry and from Inner Strength to External Skills."

When Xia also disappears after a close encounter with Feng, the police suspect the worse: that the two are accomplices and Feng was the bait to help spring Xia from jail. But Xia has actually gone back to his hometown in Foshan to find out more about the mysterious calling card. He then discovers the killer's identity and his motivation: the true philosophy behind martial arts was to kill opponents who were weaker than him.

Steadfastly, Xia refuses to be drawn into a fight with Feng - until the killer threatens to kill the woman he loves most. Only then does he realize that he would have to go against the martial code in order to uphold it.

Movie Review:

The 100 minutes long"Kungfu Jungle" is full of thrill and excitement with different forms of martial arts being showcased throughout the film. It is one of the most outstanding films among recent years Kungfu movies.

Award winning director, Teddy Chen, took the chance to make his tribute to the all to who  currently/previously contribute to the Kungfu movies scene. Many former kungfu actors/actresses as well as the backstage staff made their cameo appearance in the movie.

With the magic of technology, we can now easily get to see bombastic fighting scenes, however, I still prefer to see the real martial art stunts in Kungfu movies and I glad that Kungfu Jungle is able fulfil my wish.

Frankly speaking, this is of one the rare moment, where Donnie is able to grasp the emotions of the character and presented well. The actions are well directed and there isn't a moment you want to miss!

The only think that I dislike of the movie is when Feng suddenly made his surrender in a very comical way, which is a great turn off.  Why so random??? It ended up reminding the audience of Wang Baoqiang's comedian character, then to appreciate his martial arts background as a secular disciple of Shaolin.

While many may see this movie with not much storyline and lack of depth, apart from its tribute to the back or front stage heros contributing to the Kungfu movies, I felt that the movie has more to offer...

If you watch closely, you will realise that there are some underlying messages... e.g. Being handicapped does not mean you are useless, as constant grinding can turn an iron rod into a needle, which is clearly displayed by Feng who turned himself from a cripple to a master of great leg power with his will and determination. In additional, the joruney to achieving No. 1 in the martial arts aerena, is definitely a lonely one and sacrifices are inevitable. Many times, to gain something, we have to lose something, so it is all about knowing what is your life priorities and setting them right!

Directed by導演: Teddy CHEN 陳德森

Starring主演:  Donnie YEN 甄子丹, WANG Bao Qiang 王寶強, Charlie YEUNG 楊采妮, Alex FONG Chung Sun 方中信, Michelle BAI 白冰, Christie CHEN Si-Xuan 思漩

封號「南拳王」的洪拳武術家暴斃於隧道中的自家車上,屍身並沒刀傷或槍傷痕跡,初步鑑定死於重拳。重案組總督察陸玄心(楊采妮 飾)專責調查,對死因甚感不解;而此時收到監獄傳來的消息,一名犯了誤殺罪的服刑犯人夏侯武(甄子丹 飾),主動表示願意協助警方調查,條件是即時假釋。





導演陳德森想藉由此片向香港武打片致敬,片中有不少武打片的台前者幕後工作人員及武打演員客串演出,影片中播放以前的功夫片 --  徐克的《七劍》和成龍的《醉拳》,以示敬意。導演頗花心思,向香港武打電影付出的同仁致意。






片中,封於修由一個跛腳的,練得一副好腿功,絕非僥幸;靠的是意志力與不斷的磨練,也說明了隻要工夫深,鐵杵磨成針!片中的一句對白,「自從你成名後,你的武林就隻有你一個人了。」說明高手註定寂寞。窮極一生鍛鍊自己,不斷的挑戰隻為了武林第一,但最后剩下的有什麼?得到天下第一的封號後,最終卻失去家人、朋友、甚至更多東西。因而,在追逐名和利之時,犧牲是難免的;得到一些的同時,你也失去一些... 因此,我們必須很清楚自己在人生中,要的是什麼?如何取舍,才能得以平衡?而不至於迷失方向。

Photos credit: Clover Films

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