Kung Fu Killer (2014)

“Seven” meets “Enter the Dragon” in this hard-hitting contemporary serial killer thriller set in Hong Kong starring Donnie Yen and directed by Teddy Chen.

Trailer

KUNG FU KILLER (2015) Official Trailer | Well Go USAKUNG FU KILLER (2015) Official Trailer | Well Go USASee it In Theaters April 24th!Donnie Yen is a killer and a kung fu expert, recruited by police to track down a murderer in return for his freedom.For more information visit:https://www.kungfukiller-movie.comMORE WELL GO USA CHANNELS:Website: http://WellGoUSA.comFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/WellGoUSATwitter: https://twitter.com/WellGoUSASUBSCRIBE:http://www.WellGoUSA.com/Subscribe

Posted by WELL GO USA/ Home Entertainment on Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cast

Hong Kong action icon Donnie Yen stars as Hahou Mo, a former police martial arts instructor imprisoned for killing an opponent in a duel.

Wang Baoqiang plays Fung, the unhinged, psychopathic serial killer. Wang started learning kung fu at the age of six, becoming a disciple of Shaolin at eight years old. He can also be seen in Donnie Yen’s “Iceman” films.

Michelle Bai plays Donnie Yen’s romantic interest, and has appeared in the films “Shaolin” and “Chinese Zodiac”.

There are also notable appearances from Xing Yu, who appeared in “Flash Point”, and Louis Fan, who appeared in the “Ip Man” films with Donnie.

Plot

Set in modern-day Hong Kong, the psychotic, limping villain, Fung, is killing top martial arts exponents. When convicted killer Hahou Mo hears on the news in prison about the first victim, he claims to have a valuable insight into the killer’s motives, and offers to help the police track down the killer and his victims in return for his freedom.

The police are initially reluctant, but when Hahou Mo names the next victim, they begin to follow his leads.

Hahou Mo figures out that Fung is killing each expert with their own mode of expertise; a top boxer is beaten to death, a top kicker kicked to death, and so on.

As the bodies mount up, the police begin to have their reservations about Hahou Mo, and begin to suspect him of being in league with the killer.

Can Hahou Mo stop the killer and ultimately win his freedom?

Action

Donnie Yen was the action director for “Kung Fu Killer”, and the style shows. In the first few minutes of the film, Donnie has a ‘17-man fight scene’ where he single-handedly takes them on in a prison brawl. It is obvious from this first scene that the action is going to be fast and powerful, with every blow looking like it has been delivered by a juggernaut with no brakes.

While Donnie himself treats us to two or three full-on action scenes. The villain of the piece, Wang Baoqiang, is involved in nearly every action sequence, and he proves something of a revelation!

The serial killer is following a pattern in his victims “to be the number one martial artist”, working his way through fists, feet, weapons and the “internal” methods.

Former Shaolin monk, Xing Yu has a (literally) bone-breaking kicking duel on top of a sculpture of a skeleton.

Louis Fan, who fought Donnie Yen as Kam Shan-chu, “the Northern master” in “Ip Man”, plays a weapons expert. This duel has a great mix of traditional sword work, and some great choreography as the scene works it’s way into (I kid you not!) “Craft Knife versus Scaffold Pole”!

Michelle Bai, who has no formal martial arts training, gets her own action scene, wielding the Jian, or straight sword, and looks appropriately authentic.

Donnie Yen has his moments to shine of course, and they include a rooftop chase, and an escape from the police where he disarms them of their pistols, and of course, the final showdown.

The final duel takes place on a highway, with fast moving trucks and lorries flying past. It adds to the sense of peril for our two leads and the choreography again shines in its ability to demonstrate real power in every punch, kick, knee and elbow strike. There is a bit of CGI in the final showdown, but I’m not sure those shots could be obtained any other way without harming the stars!

Summary

“Kung Fu Killer” is a nuts-and-bolts “cops tracking down a serial killer”, crime thriller. It just so happens that this particular serial killer uses kung fu, and the expert the police turn to is Donnie Yen.

Donnie has become a very accomplished actor, and here he is delivering more drama than action for the most part. He has good support from Michelle Bai and also Charlie Yeung as the female police inspector. I don’t think we have seen such a strong female cop since the glory days of Michelle Yeoh! The standout performance is from Wang Baoqiang. Like a young Yuen Wah, you believe in the power of his technique, and the psychosis of his personality.

Donnie Yen fans will pleased to see him give a solid acting performance in a robust thriller, and at fifty one years of age, he can still move incredibly well. Teddy Chen’s direction ensures “Kung Fu Killer” stands out from recent Asian film releases is a fast-paced, entertaining and absorbing thriller film. Stick around at the end credits to see a well-deserved tribute to some of the stars, stunt performers and behind-the-scenes contributors, who have made Hong Kong cinema what it is over the last thirty years or more.

Trivia

  • Scheduled for a Halloween release in Asia, the film received its World Premier at the London Film Festival on 12th October 2014 on Europe’s largest IMAX screen (26.5m, 87.5 feet).
  • Michelle Bai spent two months training in Jianshu (straight sword) for her role.
  • There are a number of cameos and references to the great stars and also the unsung heroes of the Hong Kong action industry throughout the film.
  • Teddy Chen originally wanted to make a more traditional martial arts film set in the 1950’s, but settled on a contemporary theme.
  • The title changed from “Last of the Best”, to “Kung Fu Killer”, before premiering at the London Film Festival as “Kung Fu Jungle”. The title reverted to “Kung Fu Killer” when the film was released on the international market in 2015.

Film Rating: 8/10

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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