Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie Review “Holy Flame of the Martial World”

Max Mok Siu Chung as Yien Tien-Chu
Mary Jean Reimer as Tu Chuan-erh
Yeung Jing Jing as Yin Tan-Feng

Short Story Summary: A brother and sister seek vengeance on the ones that killed their parents.

Story: (8/10) The bases of the story is nothing special. It is the usual revenge tale that shows up in many martial art films. That being said, I did find the movie really entertaining. It is a fantasy/Wukia film that is well written and stays at a nice, steady pace. I will warn that this movie is very campy and may not be for everyone. Crazy, over the top things happen throughout the movie and it may turn off some people.

Characters/Cast: (9/10) First, the dubbing job on this film is hilarious to listen to. Also, for some reason,every time the characters do something they perform a series of hand gestures(they even perform hand signs for holding their breath.) Even though their acting is really comical to see sometimes, I did really like the cast in this film. Max Mok Siu Chung is great as the main protagonist of the film. I found that his character acted more normal than most of the others and he is overall likable . His sister Ying Tan-Feng, played by Yeung Jing Jing, is also good and is the other sane character in this film. She also really good and I actually found her to be the more interesting of the two main protagonist. The reason is that while her brother is set on a steady path from the beginning, she is in a terrible situation of being manipulated by the people that killed her parents. It is interesting to see her struggle in trying to make sense of the confusing situation before her. As for the rest of the characters, the best way to describe them is that they are each their own form of crazy. They all do crazy things, like Yien Tien chu’s master has a laughing attack(that is the only way I can describe it), there is a mummy that knows martial arts, and that is just a few on the crazy characters that you will see. Even though they are quirky, I still liked all the characters and the cast did a top notch job.

Action: (7/10) I was not that crazy about the fight scenes. They were entertain to watch, but most of them you could not really call “martial arts”. The fights in this film consisted of mostly magical attacks such as flying swords and shooting beams out of their fingers like Yusuke from “Yu Yu Hakusho. The more traditional fights where mainly sword fights, but they were okay. The final fight is not so much intense as it is hysterically over the top and a sight to see. Not the best action scenes, but entertaining none of the less.

Music: (9/10) while not much in the way of music, what’s there is really good. They really add to the action scenes and are a welcome addition.

Visuals: (7.5/10) Three words: Too…much…wire! I am not really the biggest fan of wires, but if is used in moderation I can stand it. This film thought uses it in every fight scene and even sometimes in other scenes as well. There are wires on everything from the actors to the weapons they carry. I know that this is a Wukia film, but could they not have just toned down the wire use a little. Also, when the actors are flying it looks comically bad. I will say that the scene when the swords are flying around is cool and looks well done. The blood affects are pretty good, but the skeletons that some people get turned intolook obviously fake. There are also a few good explosions thrown in for good measure (this was made in the 80’s after all) and the sets are interesting.

Conclusion: A film not for everyone, but still a well-made comedy/martial arts/fantasy movie. I recommend checking this one out.

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