Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wu Xia - Movie Review

Yes, its Donnie Yen again in another martial arts movie. Watching the trailer does not reveal much of the story, so it is fine to watch this following trailer. I thought it was a satire or a comedy at the start, but it quickly changed my mind.

I would say this movie is unlike any martial arts movie I saw, and I rather liked it. I will try my best not to reveal any plot in this review, but not knowing anything before watching this movie really did blew me away.

If you intend to watch this movie no matter what, I say, just go, and don't read any further, it might spoil the fun.

Director Peter Chan, someone whom I've not really take a lot of notice before really transformed the genre of martial arts movie. Set in 1917, the story starts slow with the life of Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen), a simple paper maker is changed completely when he faced 2 thugs and some how managed to defeat them "by luck"

Then the story goes into a CSI style investigation when Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) examines the death of the thugs and digs deeper and deeper in the investigation. At times, the deduction made by Baijiu may seem unreal, but more light sheds as the story continues.

When the investigation phase is over, Jimmy Wang Yu appears as the scary figure of Jinxi's past and the dark and creepy past of Jinxi starts to reveal. This movie then transforms into a fight fest as the spectacularly choreographed fight scenes changed the whole tempo of the story.

Cinematographers Jake Pollock and Lai Yiu-fai did a fantastic job of bringing in the 1917 village and town to life. Overall, the movie is well made, well edited, and very enjoyable to watch.

Although there is no "feel good" ending or the feeling of just giving a standing ovation when the whole movie ends, I still feel that the whole new way to a martial arts movie is told by this movie is something that people will be talking about in time to come.

If you are waiting for a great summer movie to watch, this is it!

Rating: 8.5/10

-- Robin Low

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