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生死拳速 (2000)
Fist Power

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 01/07/2006

A rather jumbled sequence of events sees Anthony Wong take a school hostage (well, the kids inside it), and Zhao When Zhao trying to save his nephew in there.

The film starts off vaguely promising, with some interesting camera work and editing, but then it all goes a bit wrong - especially when it comes to the action scenes, which are stupidly sped up and otherwise amateurish.

Anthony Wong looks like he doesn't really want to be in the film, possibly because his paper-thin character gives him nothing to work with. Zhao When Zhao just comes across as being a bit dim.

Not a well-made film, and one of several around that time that made the future of action movies in Hong Kong seem very precarious.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: RiceBowl
Date: 08/12/2003
Summary: Ok I guess

Zhao Wen Zhuo ( Cantonese name Chiu Man Cheuk ) plays Cheuk, an martial art excerpt that is still annoyed by his parents. On his birthday he runs into Chau ( played by Antnony Wong Chau Sang ) who had recently got his kid taken away by his wife and her husband do to them immigrating to America. After a no help visit from the social worker Chau decides to keep a school hostage in till he gets his kid. Cheuk's nephew goes to the school that Chau held hostage. Cheuk then made an agreement to get his kid from the airport. Along the way he meets a girl that was set up to be Cheuk's girlfriend and a car racing guy. That's all I can tell you about the story.

School grade 79% worth a look

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 05/23/2003
Summary: Not great, a light hearted romp.

Chiu Man-Cheuk is a top action star, and this film could of been GREAT! BUT...it just doesn't have the detail, script wise and the seriousness to succeed. I also thought that the action was done a little tamely. In summary, it's lighthearted fun, but not much else.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/15/2002
Summary: Bad

Pretty poor film, unoriginal, poor acting at times, and parts of the film that drag on.

Not recommended.

Rating: [2/5]

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/07/2002
Summary: Ok-ish

A movie i thought i already reviewed, but since others have said so much i'll keep it short.

I found this potentially a movie that could of been done so much better!! The plot and the action all seemed rushed. If they slowed the action down and took a little more time to develop the scrpit, this would been just as good as a "DIE HARD" movie.

But they didn't so, i give this.......


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/10/2002

Zhao Wen-Zhuo plays a Mainland security expert who comes to Hong Kong to visit his family. After dropping off his nephew at school, a disgruntled ex-Marine (Anthony Wong) takes the class hostage so that he can see his son, who is being taken to America by his ex-wife. Zhao manages to get to the airport in time to get the kid, but now faces a treacherous road back to the school as he must fight off both cops and criminals who are trying to stop him.

Fist Power feels like it could have been a good movie, kind of like Die Hard or High Risk. Anthony Wong and Zhao Wen-Zhuo have done solid work in the past, and Wong Jing is the king of the low-budget action film in Hong Kong -- even if his scripts aren't all that good, he usually surrounds himself with good enough workers that you don't notice the shortcomings. However, the movie really falls apart in its' execution.

For starters, Anthony Wong once again does one of his "phone-in" roles. He generates next to no excitement. It's hard to root against a villain when it looks like he might fall asleep at any given moment. The other actors don't fare much better. It might be a case of a bad script (the stuff in here is pretty generic), but I think most of the fault lies in Aman Chang's lackluster direction. There is absolutely no tension at all in the movie, and for one where there is a time limit to everything (Wong threatens to blow up the school if his son isn't delivered by a certain time), that spells death. The movie follows a simple pattern of a bit of exposition followed by action -- wash, rinse and repeat for 90 minutes, and you have a good idea of what Fist Power is like, but Chang fails to make even this simple formula work.

It would have helped matters immensely if the action in Fist Power was good, but sadly, it's not. Once again, Zhao Wen-Zhuo's talents are put to waste, this time by bad camerawork and editing. Everything is shot too close up and edited much too quickly. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "MTV-style" editing really has no place in action movies except to annoy the viewer. Hell, even US-produced movies like Rush Hour, even though the action is lackluster, seem to grasp the importance of editing. There are a few good scenes, such as a car chase through Hong Kong, a fight with Zhao going against a femme fatale, and a nice bit near the end with Chang Pei-Pei and Law Kar-Wing (who play Zhao's parents) helping out sonny.

However, most of the action is dull and underwhelming. Almost every fight is Zhao taking on a group of generic guys. It gets old real quick -- just like the rest of the movie. While Fist Power isn't the worst movie ever, it may be one of the most annoying. No, I'm not talking about the precocious brats feeatured in here (even though they did have me reaching for the "mute" button), rather the total waste of talent. Wong Jing is known for his "flying paper" style -- working without a script -- but this is ridiculous. I've come to expect half-ass performances from Anthony Wong, but Zhao Wen-Zhuo looks as if he was really trying to do something with what little he had to work with. I hope he can find better material in the future, because he is talented and deserves to work on better films than this.

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

This laughable Wong Jing effort ranks among the worst movies I've ever seen. Starring Zhao Wenzhou, Sam Lee Anthony Wong and Gigi Lai, and with a cameo by Cheng Pei Pei, it's as if the filmakers decided "we don't need a script, we'll just show Zhao fighting for ninety minutes". And that he does. He fights dozens of security guards, dozens of triads, the requisite Gwailo bad guy, the requisite evil kung fu girl and then finally the audience's boredom with all this. Alas, that last fight is one he cannot win, no matter how many wires he's attached to.

The story, insofar as there is one, is pretty much limited to watching Zhao make his way from the airport to a school where Anthony Wong is holding students hostage and threatening to blow them up unless Zhao can bring his son back from the airport by 7 PM. Sounds easy (unless traffic in HK is really bad). But for some never really clear reason, there are hundreds of bad guys trying to stop Zhao, so at every stop along the way he has to fight someone. Gigi Lai and Sam Lee are along for the ride, as well as the requisite annoying child.

The Taiseng DVD has a decent transfer with readible optional subtitles, but a horrible 5.1 soundmix, with dialogue audio level completely overwhelmed by the soundtrack and SFX.

Not recommended.

Reviewed by: meixner
Date: 08/30/2000
Summary: Dull and uninteresting martial arts actioner

A security expert must bring the young son of an ex-soldier to his father who is threatening to blow up a school.

Weak action, unenthusiastic acting, and very slack direction turn what could have been a potentially entertaining mindless stunt fest into a complete snooze. Even Anthony Wong is dull and boring in this.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 04/13/2000
Summary: Entertaining as camp...

Poor Anthony Wong. He's a great actor, but seems bored with his material her, and gives his laziest performance ever. MOS filming looks primitive these days, and it doesn't help when Wong's lazy dubbing (and it IS his voice) doesn't match his on-screen performance at all! The opening scene is quite disconcerting; he appears to be speaking fairly forcefully, but sounds like he's almost asleep!

As for the movie as a whole...It reminded me of a low-rent High Risk, (if you can imagine that) in the sense that it's fast paced, dumb fun that is brought down by the pointless part of a female reporter, here played by Gigi Lai. The plot is actually given less attention than the padding, and when the storyline does make a rare appearance it's merely an excuse for loads of fight scenes. There really is a huge number of fight sequences, but they are generally pretty undistinguished; Aman Chang uses too many techniques that were beginning to look dated seven or eight years ago. Speaking of dated, the "score" is among the most cheesy and inappropriate in recent memory. Overall, though, it could be worse; these days most of the lower-budget nobody-cared films simply have nothing happening in them. Aman Chang should receive at least some credit for trying, however ineptly, to make an extremely action-packed movie with what appears to be a minimal budget. While Fist Power is undoubtedly bad, it has more entertaining aspects than many of these bottom-rung movies.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 03/31/2000
Summary: Amateurish Execution

"Fist Power" could have been a very entertaining movie, maybe even a great action flick. Instead we get an annoyingly trite piece of filmmaking. You have a great martial artist in Zhao Wen-Zhou and the solid character actor Anthony Wong featured, but the camera work is purely amateurish at best. Action director Ma Yuk Shing did a laudable job. You can tell that the moves were there, if only the camera pulled back to allow the action to be seen and appreciated. Most of the fight scenes were filmed in tight; facial getsures and flailing arms or legs but no sense of excitement at all, only a claustrophic feel. Just imagine Fred Astaire filmed only from the waist up. When the camera was too close to the action, you lost all interest, and when the camera moved too much, especially in the car chase scene, nausea set in. Ultimately the responsibility of the entire production falls into the hands of director, Aman Chang. It appears that Aman wasn't confident enough in his material and had to spice it up with cliche dramatic effects like the camera movement, which served only to detract from the action. In the final fight scenes, some of the action was viewable as the camera was placed further from the actors (too little, too late). But by that point, you give up, having been frustrated by the poor blocking from the movie's onset.

Reviewed by: cathy in nyc
Date: 02/16/2000

I enjoyed this movie. Zhao Wen Zhuo plays a security expert with amazing moves. His mission in this movie is to deliver the son of a former british royal marine to his father who is at a school holding Zhao Wen Zhuo's nephew and other kids hostage demanding that his son be brought to him. This of course involves an extended series of fights. Unofrtunately the way some of the fights were cut makes it hard to see Zhao's moves, which is the main complaint I had with the movie. Otherwise there were great fights, a couple car chases and a number of humerous moments. Plus I liked the villainess with the the deadly high heels,and I also liked the scene where Zhao's famly, who are all martial arts experts, come to his aid. Definitely a movie worth watching.

Reviewed by: paul
Date: 02/15/2000
Summary: Non-stop fights, but...

After the disappointing Blacksheep Affair and the shamefully awful Body Weapon, I was hoping Fist Power would be a return to form for the fabulous Zhao Wen Zhou. Sadly, it's not. To begin with, like Jet Li and Jackie Chan, one watches Wen Zhou to see him move. Unfortunately, though the film consists of virtually non-stop fighting, one is rarely allowed to see more than one kick or punch per edit, and in the rare instance when one does, Wen Zhou's face is all-too-frequently obscured, causing one to question whether they might actually be watching a stunt double, rather than Wen Zhao. Additionally, the primary conflict in the film revolves around whether or not Zhao Wen Zhou will carry out a given mission in time to prevent Anthony Wong from killing a classroom full of children. Yet, it is known from the start that Wong is not an evil man, but in fact, a very good and loving father who has been made desperate by unjust circumstances. As such, the film lacks any tension, as there can be no doubt that Wong is incapable of harming a single hair on any child's head!