Kung Fu Killer Review
With Special ID and Iceman being a bit of a disappointment, I was relieved to see this flick- Kung fu jungle a.k.a Kung Fu Killer. This film featured dazzling well choreographed fight scenes, exactly what you would expect from a Donnie Yen Film although the spot light was almost taken by Wang Baoqiang, lets just say this guy has some skills!
Kung Fu Jungle, directed by Teddy Chan, revolves around the story of Ha Hou Mo (Donnie Yen), a champion from Hong Kong’s most valued martial arts sect, who accidentally killed his latest opponent. As a result, Ha courageously surrendered to the higher authorities and was imprisoned for three years. He pleaded and demanded a meeting with an investigator to make a deal. Ha persuaded Luk Yuen Sum (Charlie Young), the lead inspector of the case, to allow him in helping to solve the case since he confessed that he knew the assailant and the probable next crime victims. A deal was made between them due to Ha’s consistent persuasion in exchange for his freedom.
Soon after, Ha and Luk are both on the verge of catching the prime suspect Fung Yu Sau (Wang Baoqiang), a fully obsessed martial arts expert, who wants to prove his worth by killing other martial arts champions. The scarred serial killer simply wanted himself to be regarded as the greatest among all martial arts victors after standing alive among the rest. Along Ha’s way to closing the case, dark untold secrets came upon Ha and Fung, leading to their pile-up path to death.
Teddy Chan really managed to bring out the best in Yen for this movie. At the age of 51, Donnie choreographed the realistic looking well-coordinated fight scenes. It seems as though Donnie never seems to run out of ideas, his fight scenes are always seamless and fresh and arguably the main reason why most of his fans watch his movies.
Different from his actual life, Yen’s role, Ha, feels a little old and retired for a close combat with Fung. Not only once, Ha stated that he’s not in the right condition and shape to face the psycho martial artist due to his long years of imprisonment. Truly, the film clearly showed his doubtful side as Fung dominates most of the fight scenes actively rather than Ha does. Various kung fu styles are performed, in preference to their expertise ranging from pole fighting to grappling. Both are more than determined to win over the other despite the differences and personal issues they faced.
Surprisingly an effective actor, Wang Baoqiang played his role of a serial killer way too well, wherein Fung sees martial arts as a competitive form of lethal sport rather than a mere self-defense. He filled in for Yen’s lack of emotions while showing complete athleticism to achieve his total flexibility and diversity as an actor. In the past, acting opportunities like this seldom come to him, but after his superb performance in the movie, his dream of becoming a high-standard action star finally came into his way.
A tribute to Hong Kong’s finest martial arts film, Kung Fu Jungle features quite a number of cameo appearances from renowned movies and scenes which spiced up the movie’s plot. Though the cameo-spotting game all throughout the film is a little fun, the film lacks intensity and extravagance. Among the stars with cameo roles are Xing Yu and Fan Siu Wong who are both modern fighters together with Lau Kar Leung and Yuen Cheung Yan who were part of classic Hong Kong martial arts films. Not only them, short-clipped scenes with Soi Cheang, Derek Kwok, Andrew Lau and Bruce Law were just among the many who popped in and out of the big screen.
However, the script credited to four writers was somehow blunt, with numerous obvious lapses and confusing holes throughout the plot. It seems rare for a martial arts movie with great fight scenes to also have a great story, although that will definitely not stop me from watching them. The highlight of this film is unsurprisingly the final fight scene; Ha and Fung did an incredibly choreographed fight scene, shot during the night on a busy highway using a pair of bamboo scaffolding poles as weapons. Considered as the best part of the film, the scene took place when huge trucks are speeding up while Ha continues to tumble and roll in between the vehicles.
Kung Fu Jungle definitely catered more of Donnie Yen’s remarkable martial art skills compared to his previous action films during the recent years. Although the film is far from perfection, he gave justice to the film which also featured numerous actors from the martial arts industry.