ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – M – Monster Hunt (2015)

Director: Raman Hui

Writer: Alan Yuen (Screenplay)

Starring: Baihe Bai, Boran Jing, Wu Jiang, Elaine Jin, Wallace Chung, Eric Tsang

 

Plot: In an ancient world where monsters rule the land while humans keep to their own kingdom, a baby monster, Wuba, is born to a human father and monster queen. When mortals and creatures alike set out to capture the newborn, Wuba’s adventure begins. The cute baby monster Huba is the child of a human man and a monster queen, threatened by both monster-hating humans and monsters attempting to capture the new-born in an ancient world based on medieval China.


Tagline – The monsters just got bigger

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Doesn’t Translate Well

 

Story: Monster Hunt starts as we enter the ancient world where monsters rule and are now in the middle of a civil war, the Queen in on the run to save her baby which lands her to the path of humans, Song Tianyin (Jing) and Huo Xiaolan (Bai), she passes her baby to Song to protect from the people who are hunting it.

The two set off on their adventure to keep the young baby monster Wubu safe in an attempt to return him to his father when both monsters and humans are chasing them down.

 

Thoughts on Monster Hunt

 

Characters – Huo Xiaolan is one of the two people given the responsibility to look after the new royal baby, she takes it with her travelling partner, she does seem to be the brains between the two and equally capable in combat. Song Tianyin is the other travelling partner, he is impregnated by the queen and takes responsibility for the baby, comes off as the butt of the jokes more often than not. Along the way we do meet a host of colourful characters which are after the prince for their own reasons.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are good throughout, Baihe Bai and Boran Jing work very well together and have wonderful chemistry between the pair.

StoryThe story brings us into the world of monsters and humans where the next generation of one species is being bought into the world that is being hunted down only to be guarded by a couple of humans. This does everything you would come to expect when it comes to returning a lost child to their family, it does show us how the people need to learn to overcome their own problems to become the person they were meant to be.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is good throughout the film with a mix of combats going on, the adventure takes our characters on out of their comfort zone to achieve the mission, with the fantasy elements of the film being used to show us monsters and humans together.

SettingsThe film takes place in ancient China which works but also hinders this for the world cinema.

Special EffectsThe effects are good in the film and concept behind the creations can be seen working in the real world.


Scene of the Movie –
Th final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It did get confusing at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the fans of the monster hunter idea, it does show character developments on the journey and the adventure feels like a must for the peace of the world.

 

Overall: Simple and fun throughout even if it can be hard to keep up with.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Franchise Weekend – Infernal Affairs III (2003)

infernalDirector: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Writer: Alex Mak, Felix Chong (Screenplay)

Starring: Tony Leung, Andy Lau, Leon Lai, Daoming Chen, Kelly Chen, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Sammi Cheng

 

Plot: Months after the events of the original film, Ming suspects a police superintendent as being a new mole for the triads, while years earlier, Yan embarks on his first mission.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Conclusion to the Saga

 

Story: Infernal Affairs III starts by splitting the stories in two, first we follow Yan (Leung) before his death in the first film as he deals with the gang trying to uncover the mole, while we also follow Inspector Lau (Lau) as he gets cleared of any wrongful in the death of Yan and his life after what happened in that day, where discovered he wasn’t the only mole within the police department.

We follow as Lau is trying to uncover the rest of the moles in the department while Yan continues to rise up the organisation with both clashing with Yeung (Lai) in their different time periods, but just who is he really working for that is the question being asked here.

Infernal Affairs III really enters into the realm of confusion with the final part of the story, jumping between the two times doesn’t help and the only way I could really understand what happened is to remember two other characters from The Departed which did seem to piece together the final outcome. If you were to see this film without any information you would finds yourself lost through this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Tony Leung: Chan Wing Yan is the man who is undercover with the gangs, he has just started to make a name for himself as he goes to climbs the ladders but we also get to learn more about his time in therapy to make sure he stays on the right path. Tony is good in this role returning to his original role.

Andy Lau: Inspector Lau Kin Ming is the lone survivor after the events of the first film, he now wants to uncover the rest of the moles in the department believing that there are in fact multiply ones with one trying to pick off the rest. Andy returns and gives a good performance throughout.

Leon Lai: SP Yeung Kam Wing is the man in the department taking over from Lau after he gets promoted to internal affairs, Lau believes he is in fact a mole himself and the two go into battle against each other to uncover the truth. Leon is a good addition to the films who adds enough mystery.

Daoming Chen: Inspector Shen Chen is the current crime leader that Yan has to answer to, he is keeping everything in order as we see Sam waiting for him to fall. Daoming is a good addition as we learn who his character is in the final act.

Support Cast: Infernal Affairs III has the same supporting cast as previous outing which all go very well throughout.

Director Review: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan MakThe pair finish their saga well even if it is slightly confusing in places.

 

Action: Infernal Affairs III has solid action when needed but doesn’t go over the top for it.

Crime: Infernal Affairs III continues to show the crime story going on in the world created.

Thriller: Infernal Affairs III keeps you wonder to what is happening through the film.

Settings: Infernal Affairs III uses the settings well again which you would expect from this saga.

Suggestion: Infernal Affairs III is one to watch to finish the saga off really. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Once you figure it out it is good.

Worst Part: Confusing at start.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

 

Overall: Tidy conclusion to the saga even if it has confusing moments.

Ratingcard

Franchise Weekend – Infernal Affairs II (2003)

infernalDirector: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Writer: Alan Mak, Felix Chong (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Carina Lau, Francis Ng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Jun Hu

 

Plot: In this prequel to Mou gaan dou (2002), Chan Wing Yan has just become an undercover cop in the triads while Lau Kin Ming joins the police force. Both the triads and the police find an enemy in a rival crime boss.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bringing Us Back to Beginning

 

Story: Infernal Affairs II starts by showing the relationship between SP Wong (Wong) and Hon Sam (Tsang) who we see on opposite sides of the law in the first film but with that twist we learn about the connection between the two. We move on to meet Officer Lau (Chen) who has finished his training but has to work his way up the police force while also following expelled candidate Chan Wing Yan (Yue) as he starts to make his way up the Triad ranks.

We see how Sam works with Lau to benefit the both of them trying to climb the ranks where Sam believes it is his time to run the Triads even if Lau is on his payback. We see how Wong is also trying to get to the next level within the police department with his plan to planet Yan inside the Triads. This is all building to where we were in the first film.

Infernal Affairs II puts us into the world where we know the final outcome but puts us into the how they got into the position they are in during the first film. We get to know how far they went and we see the how the connection were made. The twists from the first film get introduced in this one which is important because it doesn’t need to be ignored. In the end this is good introduction to the characters we know from the first outing.

 

Actor Review

 

Anthony Wong: SP Wong Chi Shing recruits Yan to be his undercover officers while already having connection with Sam as he looks to discover as much as possible about the Triads to keep them under control and improve his name within the force. Anthony does a good job in this role where we see the character get built on.

Eric Tsang: Hon Sam is just a low ranking member of the gangs, he wants to reach the top by planet Lau within the police force he has an upper hand on their raids while he looks to take over becoming the most powerful man in town. Eric is good in this role getting a lot more time on camera.

Edison Chen: Officer Lau Kin Ming has finished his training with the police academy and now it is time to start at the bottom within the force as he looks use his position to help Sam take over the criminal underworld. Edison is good in this role take over the role he only had a smaller part as in the first film.

Shawn Yue: Chan Wing Yan is the aspiring police officers who gets kicked out of the training program only to be recruited by Wong to go undercover for the department as they look to get the upper hand on the gangs. Shawn is great in this role and also taking over the small role well.

Support Cast: Infernal Affairs II has a good supporting cast that all make this a much bigger story happening.

Director Review: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan MakThe pair continue their saga with this great addition to it.

 

Action: Infernal Affairs II has slick action throughout the film.

Crime: Infernal Affairs II brings us into the crime world that we know with more bosses than we met first time.

Thriller: Infernal Affairs II manages to bring us to the edge of our seats again even if we know where the four main characters end up going.

Settings: Infernal Affairs II uses the settings well again with this one.

Suggestion: Infernal Affairs II is one to watch as you look to continue the saga created here. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Wong and Sam relationship through the film.

Worst Part: We kind of know where it will be going.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: 2 out of 3

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We all climb towards heaven. We all fall towards hell.

 

Overall: Brilliant continuing story of the criminal underworld

Ratingcard

Franchise Weekend – Infernal Affairs (2002)

infernalDirector: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Writer: Alan Mak, Felix Chong (Screenplay)

Starring: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, Kelly Chen, Sammi Cheng, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue

 

Plot: A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Suspense Thriller

 

Story: Infernal Affairs starts with the training of Lau Kin Ming (Lau) who goes undercover in the police force for the Triads and Chen Wing Yan (Leung) who is forced to go undercover as an officers and become a Triad. After they have both found their places in both sides of the battle they are called upon by both their superiors to find out who the mole is in both organisation leading to the tense race against time to uncover each other’s true identity before the other.

Infernal Affairs is the film that famously got remade into ‘The Departed’ and with this original we get the core story with the intensity we have learnt to love. If you haven’t seen either version, this will keep you guessing to what will happen next but even when I knew the basic storyline I was still on the edge of my seat waiting for things to unfold. This is how you should make a thriller keeping us guessing from start to finish.

 

Actor Review

 

Andy Lau: Inspector Lau Kin Ming is trained by the Triads to go undercover as a police officers to help get them early tip off when it comes to the arrests and busts. When he discovers a mole within the Triads he must uncover the mole before his identity is discovered by the mole. Andy is great in this role playing both sides of the fence.lau

Tony Leung: Chen Wing Yan is the trained cop who has to go undercover with the Triads, he gets push to his limits while undercover having to commit crimes to show his loyalty, but finds himself being hunted down by the mole as he looks for the mole himself. Tony also does a great job in this role and is easily on the same level as DiCaprio is in the remake.yan

Anthony Wong: SP Wong Chi Shing is the only man who knows about the undercover officers and liaise with him for updates. He works with the mole within the department without even knowing their identity all to bring down the Triads. Anthony does great in this role but it would be fair to say we would have liked to see more from him,

Eric Tsang: Hon Sam is the leader of the Triads who puts Lau with in the police department but doesn’t see Yan being a cop himself as he lets him enter into the higher up ranks of the Triad empire. He wants the mole gone but his seasoned battle against SP Wong could be his downfall. Eric is good in this role but much like SP Wong doesn’t get enough screen time.

Support Cast: Infernal Affairs has a great supporting cast that all play their roles in where the film ends up going.

Director Review: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan MakThe pair bring us one of the best crime thrillers of all time.

 

Crime: Infernal Affairs is a great crime thriller showing how both sides are trying to stop the other having the upper hand.

Mystery: Infernal Affairs gives us a mystery to how they are going to expose each other.

Thriller: Infernal Affairs brings you to the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Settings: Infernal Affairs uses the settings to show which character is on the line of the law and each location shows where they can be themselves or undercover selves.

Suggestion: Infernal Affairs is one to watch even if you have seen the remake you should go back and see this too. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Rooftop scene.

Worst Part: Slightly not enough use of supporting characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 3

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Departed

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: Loyalty. Honor. Betrayal.

 

Overall: One of the best crime thrillers ever made

Ratingcards