Kung Fu Fighter (aka Kung Fu Jungle) Review

kfk_poster2Review. Kung Fu Fighter is about a martial arts serial killer and the hunt to stop him. This is an action film.
Synopsis. What if you wanted to not only beat, but kill, the great martial artists of your day to crown yourself number one? This is the basis for Kung Fu Killer.
More Details. Kung Fu Fighter is a 2014 Chinese (produced) and Hong Kong (distributed) film that stars Donnie Yen as imprisoned martial arts master Hahou Mo and Charlie Yeung as Police Detective Luk Yuen Sum and Wang Baoqiang as serial killer Fung Yu Sau. Imprisoned martial arts master Hahou Mo watches a TV report about a killer of martial artists that leave a sparrow emblem at the scene of the crime. Hahou Mo knows he can help the police capture the murderer. Police Detective Luk Yuen Sum is skeptical at first but when Hahou Mo correctly identifies who will be murdered next, she temporarily releases him from prison for his help. Hahou Mo is more knowledgeable than he lets on and the chase to catch the Kung Fu killer is on. Will Hahou Mo and Detective Luk catch the killer or will they become victims themselves?

What I liked about Kung Fu Killer:

kfk_fight3 kfk_fight2kfk_fight1
The fights.
Give me a good marital arts fight any day. Five styles of fighting (kicking, swords, etc.) were represented. The killer wanted to beat and kill each master in his own style of fighting. That’s right, kill the master, in their specialty style, not just win a fight and beat them. If you are familiar with the movie Highlander, the motto among the battling warriors was “there can be only one”. The Kung Fu killer believed the same and chanted “martial arts is for killing”. As the killer went head to head with each master, they fought to the death, in fighting style of each master. Frankly the fights with each master were too short. The final fight was excellent and just the right length. The production of each fight was interesting and well shot. The rooftop chase was good, especially the insane leap our killer made to avoid capture.

kfk_hero
Donnie Yen as imprisoned martial arts master Hahou Mo.
He knew more than he let the police know when they released him from prison to gain his help. Donnie Yen was believable as a quiet master that was forced to track a killer and expose himself and those he loved to the wrath of the killer.

kfk_police
Charlie Yeung as Police Detective Luk Yuen Sum.
I enjoyed her no nonsense style and focus on capturing the killer. I liked how everyone called her Madam and she commanded respect from her team. She gave HaHou Mo some latitude in tracking the killer so they weren’t chained to each other 24/7. Even when she should have stopped tracking the killer, she couldn’t let it go and became crucial at the end.

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Wang Baoqiang as serial killer Fung Yu Sau
. I loved the twist of his imperfect body being a driving force for him to push himself to become a great fighter. It was impressive that he could beat each master in the fight style that was their specialty. Certainly a well rounded fighter! He was frankly a bit unhinged in his quest. But he would not stop until he completed his mission. Focus is fabulous in this kind of movie because you know a final showdown is unavoidable. The portrayal of this character was my favorite of the film. Without his crazy quest, this film would have fallen flat.

What I did not like about Kung Fu Killer:
kfk_final_showdown
The writing was average and the most fights were too short. The actors did what they could with the script but it was a basic story. There wasn’t tons of depth, it was straight forward script. With such a linear plot, the fights could and should have been expanded as they were the stars of the show. Only the final fight was satisfying in length.

kfk_posterFinal Thoughts:
Kung Fu Killer delivers good fights within a basic story. The movie was predictable. I watched the movie hoping I’d get superb fights wrapped in a compelling story. I got well staged fights in a decent story.

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