Dreadnaught is a lot of things. A cracker of a fun movie for a start. It’s also a Wong Fei-Hung story, a slasher movie, a star turn for Yuen Biao, the inspiration for a scene in Batman Forever and still remains a unique film in its own right, approaching genre conventions with an unconventional spin. Blending generous helpings of action, comedy, and horror into one madcap mixture only 95 minutes long, some scenes incredibly still manage to drag a little!… (read more)
Wong Fei Hung goes west. OK, technically he goes east to get to the American West, but it’s very much Wong Fei Hung in a western genre film. The Once Upon a Time in China film series has always had a historical fiction slant, so the premise of this entry, while more fanciful than those that came before it, is different in degree rather than kind. Once Upon a Time in China & America (OUATICAA) slides into self-parody … (read more)
Co-directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan punched out this thematic, but otherwise unconnected, sequel to their 2017 historical crime drama Chasing the Dragon in two years. It’s not the same breakneck pace of the helter skelter Hong Kong heyday, when Casino Tycoon and its sequel blazed into cinemas in the same year, but for contemporary big budget Chinese blockbusters like this it’s still a quick turnaround.
A couple of clips from Chasing the Dragon, tweaked to look like archival … (read more)
The first two chapters in this telling of the legend of Wong Fei Hung are bona fide classics, so the third has to aim its no-shadow kicks high. While it may not reach those heights, Once Upon in China 3 does a great job of carrying on the story and themes of international influence in China and the interplay between tradition and modernisation. It just goes about this in a different way, which while a little disappointing should still be … (read more)
Mad Monkey Kung Fu is another of director Lau Kar Leung’s classics from his Shaw Brothers heyday. 1979 also saw the release of his top notch hoe-down Dirty Ho, but this time we get to see him act in his own film as well. Having put mantis style to celluloid the year before with Shaolin Mantis, Lau brings another animal to the party here and it’s barrels of fun all round.
The film opens with a prologue of … (read more)
Donnie Yen returns for a victory lap as Wing Chun master Ip Man, once more directed by Wilson Yip and ever-ready to humbly stand up to injustice and demonstrate to a fresh batch of bullying foreigners the value of Chinese kung fu. Sometimes bearing the subtitle The Finale and not to be confused with Ip Man: The Final Fight — a different take on the master’s later life featuring Anthony Wong — Ip Man 4 delivers a satisfying conclusion to … (read more)