ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – K – Kung Fu Yoga (2017)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writer: Stanley Tong (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur, Aarif Rahman, Miya Muqi, Sonu Sood, Paul Philip Clark

 

Plot: Two professors team up to locate a lost treasure and embark on an adventure that takes them from a Tibetan ice cave to Dubai to a mountain temple in India.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Fun Jackie Chan Film

 

Story: Kung Fu Yoga starts as new evidence that could connect an ancient story is found between the Indian and Chinese borders. Chinese professor Jack (Chan) teams with the Indian professor Ashmita (Patani) along with their teams Kyra (Dastur), Jones (Rahman), Nuomin (Muqi) and Xiaoguang (Zhang) to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Meanwhile in India Randall (Sood) is planning on getting the secrets and treasures for himself as he looks to take advantage of the discovery made by Jack’s team. As Jack’s team looks to fight off Randall they must use a mix of his kung fu skills and Ashmita’s yoga giving the body peace of mind.

 

Thoughts on Kung Fu Yoga

 

Characters – Jack is known as the greatest archaeologist in China he has been studying the mystery for years and now he can get to the bottom of the ancient mystery but his kung fu skills will need to be used to stop other people who are after the treasure he is about to unlock. Ashmita is the Indian archaeologist that works with Jack she brings an inner peace with her yoga beliefs. Randall is the man who believes he is entitled to the treasure and will force the others to help him, the rest of the team do add to the humour as they all have different motives for being involved in the treasure hunt.

PerformancesJackie Chan is the big name draw for this film and he does what you want him to do, handle the martial arts with a sense of humour. Going into the rest of the cast, Disha Patani looks the part as the beautiful Indian archaeologist, while Sonu Sood makes for a good lead villain. The rest of the cast do all give us a good performance throughout the film.

StoryThe story gives us a mix of what National Treasure and Indiana Jones are with a sprinkle of the Bollywood style. We have a good old fashion treasure hunt across a couple of countries which gives us a mix of the class culture ideas which is needed for moments of the humour in this film. The story doesn’t go into the most original of ideas but stays safe with the hints from previous films in the genre.

Adventure/Comedy/MysteryThe adventure does take our characters into new location between China, India and Dubai and is a pure treasure hunt movie, the comedy comes from not taking itself too seriously which helps us relax through the film too. The mystery comes from Jack not knowing who to truly trust though the hunt.

SettingsThe settings do take us to three countries even if the whole point is being look at the history of a legend between Indian and Chinese borders.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest link here, certain moments do look bad and can take us out of the main sequences we are watching.


Scene of the Movie –
Dubai car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked just one language being used instead of changing almost every other sentence.

Chances of Sequel: We could have a sequel.

Budget: $65 Million

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure treasure hunting movie that can be enjoyed by all the Jackie Chan fans out there.

 

Overall: Sit back and relax.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – R – Rumble in the Bronx (1995)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writer: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Francoise Yip, Bill Tung, Marc Akerstream, Garvin Cross

 

Plot: A young man visiting and helping his uncle in New York City finds himself forced to fight a street gang and the mob with his martial art skills.


Tagline – No Fear. No Stuntman. No Equal

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Action Flick

 

Story: Rumble in the Bronx starts Keung (Chan) heads to America to visit his Uncle Bill (Tung) a shopkeeper in the Bronx, as he gets married Elaine (Mui) plans to buy the shop with Keung overseeing the takeover. Keung finds there is a gang problem on the streets which it doesn’t take him long to clash with them protecting the shop.

Keung starts to look to clean up the streets when he continually gets targeted while trying to convert one of the gang Nancy (Yip) into being a better sister to her disabled younger brother.

 

Thoughts on Rumble in the Bronx

 

Characters – Keung is the kind-hearted young man coming from China to help the trade of his Uncle’s shop but ends up in the middle of a gang war. He uses his combat skills to clean up the streets while learning the new culture, while trying to focus them on new lives. Elaine is the young lady who takes over the shop but is left disappointed when Keung keeps leaving her in trouble. Nancy is one of the gang members that just so happens to live next door to Keung which shows her that she needs to change her ways. Tony is the leader of the street gang who doesn’t care who he hurts to steal and cause mayhem in the neighbourhood.

PerformancesJackie Chan is the star of the show, this film is designed for him and it shows with his performance here as the reluctant hero. The rest of the cast are good throughout letting Jackie take the spotlight.

StoryThe story follows the Asian figure coming to America trying to learn the culture but ends up getting stuck in the middle of a gang battle over the streets of the Bronx. It is the classic fish out of water film where the kind natured man teaches misled characters a new direction while taking on a bigger criminal causing the problems in the area. This is a great fun story to see unfold that could be enjoyed by all.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action is the highlight here, it is Jackie Chan’s bread and butter, giving us some truly entertaining action sequences from start to finish which seem to increase each time the film goes on. The comedy comes and goes which I feel it depends which couple of the film you watch to get the best of it. The crime puts us in the underworld of the Bronx which has different levels of crimes.

SettingsThe film is set in the Bronx which shows the new culture Keung must learn about and it shows the different levels of criminal activity going on.


Scene of the Movie –
Hovercraft

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sadly the version I watched was the edited and dubbed version.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great fun action film, it clicks to both entertain and excite, showing of Chan’s skills without making the story difficult to follow.

 

Overall: Must watch for action and Chan fans.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – F – The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

 

Director: Rob Minkoff

Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Michael Angarano, Jackie Chan, Juana Collignon, Morgan Benoit, Jack Posobiec, Yifei Liu, Bingbing Li

 

Plot: A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Martial Arts Film

 

Story: The Forbidden Kingdom starts as we meet outsider teenager Jason (Angarano) who has a love for kung fu movies, his life is tipped upside down when he ends up in Ancient China with an important weapon, but no one speaks his language. Once in China Jason meets Lu Yan (Chan) a drunken master that helps him return the weapon a staff to the Monkey King (Li) the only man that could stop the Jade Warlord (Chou) reign of terror.

Jason becomes Lu Yan’s student as he joins him on a quest to save the Monkey King, where they are joined by the Golden Sparrow (Liu) on their journey, where the enemies come thick and fast, Jason will need to learn who to trust though.

 

 

Thoughts on The Forbidden Kingdom

 

Characters – Jason is an American teenager who loves kung fu, he is a loner but soon finds himself transported back to Ancient China in the middle of a battle against the Jade Emperor’s reign of terror. Here he must learn the skills he loves on an adventure he could never have dreamed off. Lu Yan is one of the eight immortals living, his elixir is wine, he takes Jason under his wing to head to release the Monkey King. The Silent Monk also joins the journey as another great warrior in need of fighting his way to the give himself the freedom. Golden Sparrow also joins the party as she is fighting for revenge against the Jade Emperor for slaughtering her family. Ni Chang is the general set to retrieve the staff from Jason for the Jade Warlord, she is beautiful and deadly showing why she was the first choice by the warlord.

PerformancesMichael Angarano is the teenager, he performs well with the highly trained talent within the film. Jackie Chan and Jet Li are the big draws for this film, they bring the skills and get to have some fun in their roles. the female leads are strong too, with Yifei Liu and Bingbing Li both showing their skills in combat with the elite in the industry.

StoryThe story follows the loner that gets transported to the time he loves, in this case Ancient China where he finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle for power. This is a routine story that brings two of the biggest icons of martial arts together for the world audience. We have the elements of our teenager learning and the characters that fit the film wonderfully throughout to tell the story of redemption needed to complete their destinies.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is big like you would expect in any martial arts film, with have plenty of fights for both Chan and Li to show off their skills. The adventure takes out unlikely hero from the streets of Boston to Ancient China in what is a fantasy world of immortals, witches and warlords.

SettingsThe American settings show just how far our teenager will go on his adventure, while the ancient Chinese setting shows us the old traditions that Jason must learn to stay alive.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, we have certain moments that look genuine, but they are soon followed by moments you can almost see the stunt being performed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too by the book.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice fun enjoyable action adventure film, it doesn’t take things too seriously and can be enjoyed by all martial arts fans.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun throughout.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – F – The Foreigner (2017)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: David Marconi (Screenplay) Stephen Leather (Novel)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, David Pearse, Michael McElhatton, Katie Leung, Rufus Jones

 

Plot: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.


Tagline – Never push a good man too far

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chan Shines in Political Action Thriller

 

Story: The Foreigner starts as Quan Mgoc Minh (Chan) is getting ready to buy his daughter Fan’s (Leung) graduation dress in London, but this peaceful moment is shattered when a bomb goes off killing many, including Fan, with UDI claiming responsibility. England is now in locked down searching for the people responsible, while Quan has lost everything, a broken man.

Deputy Irish Minister Liam Hennessy (Brosnan) looks to investigate what happened using his power with the Irish government to try to get a deal between the two countries done. Quan will not rest until he learns who killed his daughter, he turns up at the police station everyday for answer before turning to the former UDI member Hennessy.

Refusing to accept we don’t know as answer Quan takes matters into his own hands, sending a warning to Hennessy, which soon turns into a cat-n-mouse chase around Ireland as we learn the truth about the bombing.

 

                 Thoughts on The Foreigner

 

Characters – Quan Ngoc Minh is a humble restaurant owner in London, his only daughter is about to graduate after losing the rest of his family years before, she is killed in a bombing leaving him empty and broken. He just wants names to see justice for those responsible and will use the training he has to get those answers. Liam Hennessy is the deputy Irish Minister who does have ties with UDI, he remains the on the peaceful side of the battle trying to find a solution, but the question remains just whether he is truly involved or not. The rest of the characters are the British police trying to solve the crime, The UDI members that have been working towards re-igniting the war between the two.

PerformancesThis is easily Jackie Chan most serious English Language role, he never let’s on to have any comic timing which is refreshing to see, the emotionless performance is just what we wanted to see. Pierce Brosnan is great too, he shows us how we imagine politicians to be like during the tension being shown in the film.

StoryThe story is where the things get interesting, the trailers made us believe we are heading into an action heavy movie about one man’s revenge mission about his daughter’s death. What we get is a thriller that looks at the tension between the British government and the Irish who still show the tension because of the difference between the two sides. We do have the revenge angle don’t worry if you want action you will get it, just be aware we balance the two stories very well to make this a thriller you will want to see the next chapter of the story.

ActionThe action lets Chan show off his skills in what is mostly a more serious style and includes him using a gun, which is something we rarely see him do in the English Language movies.

SettingsThe two main settings are London, which in real life has been a target of bombings and is a location which would make the biggest statement for any terrorists and the Irish farm where Quan is picking off anyone who tries to stop him.


Scene of the Movie –
The takedown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does fizzle out in the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a surprisingly entertaining action thriller, you will want to see everything unfold, while also getting rewarded by the action sequences that are only used sparely.

 

Overall: Strong action thriller.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alessandro Carloni

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Bryan Cranston, JK Simmons, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sequel

 

Story: Kung Fu Panda 3 starts as we see how Kai is trying to escape from the spirit world where he has been trapped for 500 years. Po on the other hand is being pushed into become the teacher which Po isn’t prepared for and when his father Li arrives in town, he gets to learn about his past.

Po must learn the art of chi to defeat Kai and only his real father claims to be able to teach him this skill, so Po goes on an adventure of self-discovery. With Po learning about his past the rest of the Furious Six must find a way to stop Kai before he takes all of the students of chi.

 

Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 3

 

Characters Po is ready for the next step of being a master and that is to become the teacher, but as he isn’t ready he searches advice from his father only to learn that his real father is still alive and willing to teach him chi. Li is the real father of Po who wants to bring him home with the promise of teaching him chi. Kai is a vengeful spirit who was once a feared warrior but now he is obsessed with getting all the chi in the world to make him the most powerful creature on Earth. The Furious Six are barely used through this outing with Tigress being the only one who is involved in the main story. The world building of characters is good here as we learn more about the past with other warriors and future with new warriors.

StoryThe story here does show us how Po is continuing his development in training to be a grand master, we have the biggest threat in the villain who isn’t just well trained but has supernatural abilities. This is a huge improvement on the last outing and makes us want to follow the story on the deeper level. The dealing with the parent issues also does come off as an important lesson.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action once again is great and entertaining with the comedy being hit or miss throughout. This does seem to be for the family and will entertain the whole family more than the last outing.

SettingsThe settings once again look great and dive more into fantasy this time which is great to see.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic which is something we have come to know in this franchise now.

Final ThoughtsThis is an improvement on the last outing and I feel is more entertaining than the first one, so I do believe this is the best in the franchise for the story of Po.

 

Overall: Enjoy the third chapter of this franchise.

Rating