Kung-fu cinema, an Extreme Asian Cinema interlude

September 28, 2006

While originally not connected to the “Extreme Asian Cinema” series, I’ve decided to post this little interlude of martial art movie reviews; cool martial arts are pretty extreme after all. Over last weekend, I saw the Jet Li movie “Fearless,” and this past summer, I also indulged in a few other martial art extravaganzas (Jet Li’s Unleashed, Tony Jaa’s Ong-Bak, and Iron Monkey). Let’s take a look at them.

Fearless (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446059/)

fearless

So this isn’t actually Jet Li’s last movie, but it’s still pretty sweet so you should check it out anyways! In the vain of Zhang Yimou’s “Hero,” “Fearless” is a “China is awesome!” movie filled with spectacular fight choreography. Jet Li’s kicks and punches haven’t been better, and since the dialogue isn’t in english, you don’t have to laugh when Jet Li speaks! While the subtitles to the film weren’t completely accurate, they work pretty well. The movie does have a middle section of pure narrative, lacking in any sort of corporal punishment for a good 15-20 min. This change in pace was a bit of a turn off, but the movie rebounds back with spirit till the end. All in all, a tight package of Jet Li doing what he does best. Check it out!

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368909/)

ong bak

Have you ever seen a guy jump through a small ring of barb wire? Or how about a running slide under semi-trailer truck? Tony Jaa is all the rage now, and if there are such things as extreme martial art stunts, then Ong Bak would be a great example of it. Muay Thai fighting is really a feast for the eyes; it’s different from what I’ve been used to seeing as Tony Jaa seriously takes into account knees and elbows just as much as his fists and feet. The fighting is crazy and the pace of the movie is very quick. A plot is pretty much disregarded for this film and is only existent for the sake of giving Tony Jaa a reason to get brutal. And get brutal is what Jaa does best. Stunts galore, this movie is the definition of the martial arts flick. Don’t expect a storyline at all, but check it out still. The stunts are well worth it.

Both flicks:

3.5-4 kicks and punches out of a brawl of 5

Next time: Extreme Asian Cinema continues! Prepare for the Kung-fu cinema conclusion coming soon.

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