Donnie Yen Weekend – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)

Director: Woo-Ping Yuen

Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay) Du Lu Wang (Book)

Starring: Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Harry Shum Jr, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jason Scott Lee, Eugenia Yuan, Roger Yuan

 

Plot: A story of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption.


Tagline – The past returns with a vengeance.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sequel

 

Story: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny starts 18-years after Yu (Yeoh) saw her love die returns to safeguard the sword of destiny, after a warlord Hades Dai (Lee) goes in search for the sword believing it will give him the power to conquer the land.

Needing to protect the sword, Yu puts out a call for warriors to come and help defend it, which sees Silent Wolf (Yen) put together a five-person army, while Yu takes on a new student Snow Vase (Bordizzo) with skills advanced of her age.

 

Thoughts on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny

 

Characters – Yu has returned from her isolation and mourning after 18-years away only to stumble into the next attempt to steal the Sword of Destiny, here she must learn who to trust, reunite with an old ally and put herself in the teaching position. Silent Wolf has lived a life in isolation, where his loved ones believed him to be dead, he returns to help defend the sword for the greatest honour in his life. Wei Fang is a young warrior that is being forced into stealing the sword to protect his master, he learns about his past and along with Snow Vase who also has a decision of her own to make, provide the unsure future for Yu on who to trust. Snow Vase is the talented young fighter knowing skills beyond her age, she askes to be taught even if she isn’t as disciplined as she should be.

PerformancesMichelle Yeoh returns to this role, she brings the fight skills that made the first one fantastic and must play the role with an emotionless feeling of being broken, which she does with ease. Donnie Yen takes up the mysterious fighter role which is a role that he could take any day and never look out of place. it is the new comers that impress in the fighting side of things, where they struggle in places with the emotional factors at play in their characters.

StoryThe story here returns Yu back to the land she once fought for, where she must defend it from a new warlord that wants the sword which could bring power to control the land. This is a sequel that does well to return one of the favourites which also dives into her past to bring a new character, while also offer people that could become the new leads if the series was going to continue. When we break down the story it does play into tradition of being loyal and honour. It would have been nice to see more from the villain which only has a few moments which are just generic villain style, without seeing him do anything truly villainous.

Action/FantasyThe action in the film is the martial arts material we have enjoyed for years, we have the weightless effects which were famous from the first which add the style required to be unique. This does play into the fantasy of the action which goes against the physics of fighting.

SettingsThe film brings back the settings we knew and still look fantastic, with the final showdown being in a new location which is used to add to the fight.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make the fights feel like they could be real, the weightless style is the best part of the fights.


Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments of the Wei Fang and Snow Vase does drag at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel to a much more superior original, it will entertain without being anywhere near the level original.

 

Overall: Entertaining for the fans.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – R – Revenge of the Green Dragons (2014)

Director: Andrew Lau

Writer: Michael Di Jiacomo, Andrew Loo (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Chon, Kevin Wu, Harry Shum jr, Eugenia Yuan, Leonard Wu, Jin Au-Yeung

 

Plot: Two best friends rise through the ranks of New York’s Chinese underworld in the 1980s.


Tagline – The true story of New York’s most notorious street gang.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Crime Drama

 

Story: Revenge of the Green Dragons starts as we follow the two young boys that immigrated from China to America and New York City, in a neighbourhood that is run by the Chinese gang known as the Green Dragons.

Recruited at a young age Sonny (Chon) and Steven (Wu) have grown up as part of the Green Dragons under the leadership of Paul (Shum Jr) a businessman that uses the gang to get what he wants. We get to see how the two rise through the ranks in the Green Dragons that even grabs the attention of the FBI.

 

Thoughts on Revenge of the Green Dragons

 

Characters – Sonny is the quieter of the two friends that gets taken in by the gang, he is the one that would like a life outside the gang which isn’t as easy as it seems, even when he falls in love. Steven was built for the gang, even after he gets seriously injured in the battle between the gangs, he becomes the one that won’t hesitant to pull the trigger. Paul is the leader of the Green Dragons, a businessman on the outside, that uses his intelligence to make sure he can stay ahead of the game in the gang battle.

PerformancesThe performances in this movie are fine, nothing is great or bad, we get to see the different ranges of emotions that the two friends must face during their decisions. We don’t have any of the performances that stand out though.

StoryThe story follows the gangster storylines we have seen before, two young men or in this case boys get recruited to a rising gang to become big players in their gang in a war against another gang, until they step out of line. This time we follow Chinese immigrants in New York and it shows how they would never hold back on anybody of any age or gender. This does give us a brutality in the story, but in the end it is just more of the same.

Action/CrimeThe action is just gun battles and brutality to the people who get in the way of the crimes being committed by the Green Dragons, as we see how they try to stay off the radar while conducting their business

SettingsNew York will always be a great choice for settings for crime movies, this is unlike any other showing us how gangs had neighbourhoods and always want more.


Scene of the Movie –
Put the gun down, it brings a clever kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offered nothing new to the genre.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book crime movie, it shows the rise of two in a gang and just where they would go onto be in the gang, but otherwise gives us nothing we haven’t seen before.

 

Overall: Been Here Seen This.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Best of 2018 – C – Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Director: Jon M Chu

Writer: Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim (Screenplay) Kevin Kwan (Novel)

Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr

 

Plot: This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family.


Tagline – The only thing crazier than love is family

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful

 

Story: Crazy Rich Asians starts as economics professor Rachel Chu (Wu) gets invited to meet her boyfriends Nick (Golding) family back in Singapore for a family wedding. Rachel meeting up with an old college friend Peik Lin (Awkwafina) she learns that Nick is from the richest of the rich family in Asia.

Rachel must meet countless member of the family with most looking down on her, while Nick must continue to be the humble man that Rachel fell in love with.

 

Thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians

 

Characters – Rachel Chu has worked her whole life to become an economics professor, daughter of a single mother, she has had to fight for everything she has. She is dating Nick whom is from a rich family one she didn’t know about, she must meet the family and learn where her place might be in the family if her relationship became more serious. Nick Young is the man Rachel has fallen in love with, he wants her to meet his family, one which he is expected to follow in the footsteps of his family, a life that he hasn’t told Rachel about. He faces a big decision in his life, to be with Rachel or to take over the family business. Eleanor Young is the mother of Nick, she has been helping in the business her whole life, she has also been wanting to handpick a wife for her son, she doesn’t approve of Rachel for the most part because of how she was treated coming into the family. Astrid is the one friend that Rachel finds in the rich society group, they have been friends as she is the only member of the family has met with Nick, she is also going through her own tough times with Rachel being the only one she can talk to about things.

PerformancesConstance Wu is wonderful in the leading role, she shows us the emotional impact her characters situation gets put through, while remaining strong a balancing act to keep up through the film. Henry Golding is wonderful on his film debut as the man trying to prove himself to his family. Michelle Yeoh is great as the disapproving mother while the supporting cast are all strong throughout the film, with Awkwafina getting the most laughs.

StoryThe story follows one lady that comes from poor background that has met the love of her life who just so happens to be from one of the richest family in the world, she must meet her family who disapprove of their relationship. This is one of the movies that goes for the meet the parents angle, it has a different culture for both sides to get through, the American Chinese meeting with the Chinese only culture, which shows us just what we needed to see for something different, I have experienced this before seeing two cultures you think would be smoothly together, there is differences. This is the first part of a trilogy and luckily this doesn’t end with a cliff hanger which will make us want to come back for more.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy is balance very well not to be over the top just to have a moment of fun here or there, Awkwafina brings most of the comedy which in a supporting role only. The romance in the film shows us just how much love can complicate the rich hierarchy in certain positions.

SettingsThe film starts in just New York before showing us the beauty of Singapore as we see just how rich live in this country.


Scene of the Movie –
Mah-jong

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does fall into the generic meet the family film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful rom com that gets the feels, the laughs and the heart behind everything correct.

 

Overall: This is one of the most enjoyable movies of the year.

Rating