Saturday, July 14, 2012
Movie review: “Buddha’s Palm”
Derek Yee Tung-Sing as Long Jian Fei
Alex Man Chi-Leung as Gu Han Hun/Flaming Cloud Demon
Sek Kin as Foot Monster
Short Story Summary: After he is nearly killed in an attempt to steal his techniques, Gu Han Hun goes into hiding. Years later he takes an apprentice who must stop the evil Monster Foot.
Story: (7/10) The story was okay, but could at time be kind of confusing to follow. It follows the standard fare for martial arts films; hero gets defeated in a fight and then is trained by a powerful master to defeat a great evil. The film is also heavily set in fantasy, which are both a blessing and a curse I will explain. While certain fantasy elements keep the story interesting (like the dragon-like creature), others just ruin the experience (like the over use of special effects, which I will talk about in a bit).I am also not sure whether or not they were going for a comedy film or not, but some of the stuff that happens in this film is hilarious. I believe they were heading in the right direction, but just couldn’t quite get it right.
Characters/Cast: (8/10) The characters were not terrible in this film and T the actors gave an overall decent performance. It was pretty standard for these kinds of films and I have taken that in to account with the score. Fans of the martial arts genre, like me, enjoy these types of over the top performances some times, so for them it will be nothing new. For people not accustomed to these films may feel a little put off and bewildered by the actions of the characters, so they may have a harder time getting into the movie.
Action: (1/10) There was no real good MA fights in this film. Almost all the action is done with special effect attacks that get boring after a while. When I sit down to watch a Ma film I want to see Martial Arts, not people fighting with energy blast and lightsabers(yes, there is something in this film that looks like a lightsaber from Star wars). There are a few, very small, fight speckled throw the movie, but not enough to keep viewers interested. There is also a lot of wire work used in this film which just makes the fights look even worse. It never a good sign for the action in a MA film to be the weakest link.
Music: (1/10) It had some wacky music near the beginning of the film that was not very good. Other than this, I don’t recall much in the way of a soundtrack.
Visuals: (3/10) Sorry, but they went way overboard with the special effects and the wires. Every fight had those really out dated looking energy blast flying everywhere and it just made me lose interest in the fights. The whole time I was watching the film, I was begging for them to stop with the stupid effects and have a normal fight. If I want to see this kind of effects I will go watch Dragon Ball Z or a superhero film. Here it is just over done and just not welcomed. I did however lie the job they did on the dragon looking thing. It was really well done and that is the one saying grace for the effects department.
Conclusion: While the story and characters are okay, the over-use of special effects ruins the action and just makes the film laughable. I suggest passing on this one, as there are many other better done Fantasy/MA films out there.