Jet Li and Wen Zhang star in this utterly bonkers martial arts slapstick comedy. It’s the kind of movie where the majority of people will just think “huh?” while watching it… I know I did. It has a few moments that are genuinely humorous and it’s hard to dislike a movie that’s just plain fun.
Badges of Fury (Bat Nhị Than Tham) seems to have all the ingredients of an old school Hong Kong action classic, with Jet Li playing the grizzled partner to Wen Zhang’s rookie as they tear around Hong Kong on the trail of a prolific serial killer. The cast boasts a number of proven martial arts stars, including Wu Jing, Collin Chou and Bruce Leung, sharing the screen with a host of cameo appearances from hot young talent like Huang Xiaoming, Stephen Fung and Tong Dawei, while first time director Wong Tsz Ming is ably supported by revered action director Corey Yuen.
The fights are mostly spectacular with Jet Li (Ly Lien Kiet) not showing any signs of aging. It’s a shame it’s let down by such appalling CGI/visual effects at some points. Martial arts movies don’t need special effects to be awesome, just human skill.
It’s not like Jet Li or Wen Zhang can’t fight; they both have several scenes where they do some breathtaking fighting moves. It should be noted though that Jet is in a bit of a smaller role; he still has plenty to do but the main character is played by Wen Zhang. He actually gets pretty annoying rather fast because he’s such an idiot and you’re almost counting the seconds until Jet comes and saves the day.
It references the Police Story movies and a few others too which does get tedious as self reverential humour is always lame.
I have to say that I didn’t see the twist coming at the end and it was all such nonsense that I found myself smiling despite myself. It gets an extra star for the “Scottish” party at the beginning which gave me a good laugh.
Hey, at least it isn’t a reboot or comic book movie so I applaud the filmmakers for trying something a little different.
Overall, I found Badges of Fury (phim hanh dong vo thuat) more confusing than anything and the terrible effects in places really let it down; some of the “humour” just didn’t work either. It did however have some great fight scenes and Jet Li is always worth watching.
In just 3 days, three cases of Smiling Murder shock Hong Kong. The young detective Wang Bu’er and his buddy Huang Feihong embark on an investigation full of excitement and unexpected events.
Director: Tsz Ming Wong
Writers: Tan Cheung, Fengxiang Yang
Stars: Jet Li, Zhang Wen, Shi Shi Liu