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Kung fu legend Donnie Yen (Hero, Seven Swords) returns as the police force's most dangerous detective, building a case against a vicious trio of drug smuggling brothers. When evidence is destroyed and witnesses are murdered, he takes the fight directly to his enemies - no holds barred.
My expectations were quite high for this one, as I had heard from several people that it is definetly a great martial arts action film. I also see a lot of comparisons to the previously released "SPL aka Kill Zone" and rightfully so, since Flashpoint has both the same director (Wilson Yip) and the same action star (Donnie Yen). Though I find Flashpoint not quite up to par overall with SPL, that's still saying quite a bit, since SPL seems to be the film to beat these days. But what Flashpoint may lack in overall tone, it more than makes up for with breathtakingly superb fight action, Donnie Yen style.
Now when I say Donnie Yen style, it's cool and it's MMA (mixed martial arts). Well, at least he's always trying to act cool (as many reviewers will point out about Yen) and I guess it works, but its never necessary. Yen is so skillfull with his choreogrpahy and skill that that's plenty cool enough for me. Flashpoint is praised for its incredible fight action, but it will have to wait about an hour into the film for it to begin, When it does, it is intense and never lets up. The final 30 minutes of the film is the huge climax. Tensions and emoitons are at the highest (I want to say almost comparable to SPL at this point, and ironically the stories are somewhat similar as far as Yen's character is concerned). The tension can be felt in the fights, as the past hour of the film all comes together in what is to be a spectacular finish. There is a decent shootout that occurs throughout fields of grass before we see the big one on one between Donnie Yen and our main villain - Collin Chou (Matrix Sequals, Forbidden Kingdom). The fight lasts 8 minutes and is almost unlike anything I have seen.Read more ›
First of all, this release from Dragon Dynasty is perfect. I will go over the special features at the end of the review, but I wanted to first mention that the final fight is uninterrupted. In the mainland Chinese version, there was a part where Collin Chou's mother comes in and tells him and Donnie to stop fighting. It totally ruined the flow of the fight. So I am very happy to see that Dragon Dynasty got the right version.
Now to the movie review. If you liked the action at all in SPL (Killzone in US), then you are in for a real treat. The final fight in Flash Point is easily one of the best fight scenes ever filmed. Probably top 10. It is much better than Donnie Yen vs. Sammo Hung. At one point I thought I was watching a UFC match, except they aren't fighting in a cage and there are no rules. Donnie Yen is on his back kicking upwards and trying to block Collin Chou's punches, and he manages to grab hold of Chou's shirt and gets his legs around his neck. Almost choked out, Chou decides to bring Yen up and then slam him onto the ground. He slams Yen a few times, and it just keeps going back and forth like this nonstop. And the fight goes on for about 8 minutes! Fast and furious doesn't even begin to describe it. I have never seen anything like it before.
Donnie Yen was in an experimental stage during the late 90's and had some good and bad movies. Ballistic Kiss was horrible, but Legend of the Wolf was a wonderful piece of art. In SPL, Donnie mixed in some grappling and a few other techniques, but the final fight felt too choreographed and dancelike. Flashpoint focuses more on realism, but it is still very much focused on style. Donnie and his crew have perfected their style and are in my mind the top action crew in Hong Kong after making this.Read more ›
FLASHPOINT is the third collaboration between Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen. This is the prequel to the highly successful "SPL: Sha Po Lang" (a.k.a. Killzone, U.S. title). Directed by Wilson Yip with fight choreography directed by Donnie Yen, "FLASHPOINT" looks very promising. How does it compare with one of my favorite action films of 2005, "SPL"?
Synopsis partially derived from the DELTAMAC dvd back cover: Pre-1997, a hero's story. The timeline is just before Hong Kong was turned back over to China. Police Inspector Jun Ma (Donnie Yen), Serious Crimes Unit. Inspector Ma is fast, precise and brutal - Ma is all-business, his superiors often doesn't agree with his methods. Ma detests crime and his life long nemeses are a Vietnamese gang of three brothers - eldest brother Archer, the bully; second brother Tony (Collin Chou), the cool calculator; youngest brother Tiger (Xing Xu), the fighter. Their skills have seen them grow steadily in the criminal world. In order to further infiltrate the gang and fight them from within, Ma has planted a mole, Wilson ( Louis Koo), who has managed to gain the complete trust of the gang and has become their personal bodyguard. Over the years Wilson has become more and more unhappy with Ma's impulsive and unruly style, their disagreements in their way of working has led to constant arguments and altercations.
Unlike Yip and Yen's other 2 collaborations, SPL and Dragon Tiger Gate, "Flash Point" is all business. It is a straight-forward action film, losing all excess "meat" like intricate storytelling and character development. Donnie Yen once again reprises his role as Inspector Ma, the film is made for Donnie Yen fans--it is all Donnie!! If you're an action fan, then this film will satisfy. The result is "more style than substance".Read more ›