Tuesday, 14 December 2010



Well, obviously it contains fighting. It's called Fist Power and you do actually expect some fighting in a film called Fist Power. Unfortunately, you don't get very much else. Lots of fighting, sure, but not a lot of plot, character etc. Still, mustn't grumble, there's lots of fighting. And the fighting is pretty good, all told - not up to Jackie Chan / Bruce Lee / John Woo standards of walloping, but pretty crunchy nonetheless.

What plot there is in Fist Power is basically a hostage setup: an embittered truck driver, formerly in the Army, takes over a small primary school and threatens to blow it up unless he gets his son back from the clutches of an evil tycoon - the boy's biological but long-absent father - who's about to ship him off to the USA in order to claim an inheritance that very day. While the police stand about doing nothing, three heroes step up to bring the kid back: a security consultant who spends his first scene beating up about a hundred people before solemnly explaining that violence doesn't solve anything, a glamorous and ambitious reporter for a sleazy tabloid, and the kid's goofy uncle who has no martial arts skills whatsoever. However, the evil tycoon has legions - literally legions - of top martial artists willing to get pulped in order to seize the kid back....

They come at him in cars, they come at him on bicycles, they pretend to be cops, they try and snatch the kid on a ferry: like the Zulus in Zulu, there are thousands of 'em, and Man Cheuk Chiu swats them away like mosquitoes in a long string of combat sequences. I lost count of exactly how many fights there were and how many people Man Cheuk Chiu kicked repeatedly in the head, and unfortunately the fight scenes are not brilliantly filmed: the camera seems too close to the action and you can't really appreciate the intricate choreography. Fist Power certainly isn't terrible: it's just a middling string of punchups and fisticuffs which passes the time well enough but isn't anywhere near a classic.

For some reason the DVD carries two versions of the film: an English dub cropped to 4:3, and the original Cantonese language version in widescreen, with subtitles. I don't understand this: if you want to watch a Hong Kong martial arts movie, why would you voluntarily choose the wrong voices and the wrong shape?


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