I really expected to be disappointed after all of the bad things I’d heard about it. But overall, I kind of liked it (and it was a free rental, so I can’t complain too much). By no means is it the best kung fu film I’ve ever seen, and it’s definitely not Jet Li’s best work. But as far as mindless action flicks go, I’d probably prefer this to some musclebound action hero spouting cheesy dialog.
The film definitely has its flaws, some of which aren’t even the film’s fault. First, the dubbing is atrocious. Second, why does a kung fu movie have a RAP soundtrack? Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little asinine? I was also surprised by the gore in the film, which is a little more than you normally see in martial arts flicks. But rather than making the film darker, it just seemed kind of silly.
Some of the acting is fun to watch, though, especially the hard-nosed, Dirty Harry-esque detective. Jet Li’s speed and skill are amazing to watch, as always, but a lot of the high-tech gimmicks and weaponry take away from the overall combat. All in all, a pretty average film as far as the genre goes. I’d compare it to Jackie Chan’s Mr. Nice Guy, which is not a great film, but still makes for fun viewing on a late night.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.