Genre: Action Director: Michael Chuah Cast: Michael Chuah, Henry Thia, Fiona Xie, Wang Xiao Chen RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins Released By: Cathay-Keris Films Rating: NC-16 (Violence) Official Website:
Opening Day: 4 August 2011
Synopsis: FIST OF DRAGON tells the story of Li, who comes to South East Asia by the request of his father to help out his uncle who has been facing financial difficulties. Li, upon arriving in the town, feels out of place due to the differences in cultures of the people here. When he discovers that his uncle has been facing many hardships posed by the local mobsters, Li decides to stay and to help his uncle and get rid of them. However, Li encounters numerous resistances from the locals as Li's action brings the wrath of the triad and drags the whole town into turmoil. Moreover, his uncle's daughter, Lily is on the triad side, and their relationship is badly affected when the confrontation between the two groups reaches its peak.
Here’s a definition of marketing we found online: A process used to determine what products may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development.
If you don’t already know, the words “From The Producer Of Ip Man 2” printed strategically (we suppose the effect of white text on a black background shouldn’t be overlooked either) on the poster of this action movie is what the distributor believes will be 'of interest to customers'. The distributor is probably hoping that viewers of the beloved Hong Kong movie starring everyone’s favourite Donnie Yen will also fork out money to watch this collaboration between Singapore and China.
For some of us, we believe that the marketing angle would be a certain Fiona Xie (notice how her name is placed in the centre of the three listed cast), who shocked us mere mortals by going MIA some two years back.
Xie plays a triad member, who, well, does nothing much except accompanying her gangster boyfriend to rough it out in gang fights. She is also on a quest to unravel the mystery behind her mother’s death. This is nothing compared to our hero of the movie, a nice young man from China who visits his uncle in a small Southeast Asian (from the accents of the locales, we are guessing that it’s Malaysia) town. There, he has to fight off the mobsters and get the town to unite against the evil doers.
Oh, somewhere in the not so original plot, there is apparently a horrifying scientific experiment involved – one that threatens to wipe out the entire town.
Just for that 'so ridiculous it’s good' portion of the movie where we poor kidnapped townsfolk froth at their mouths, we will not dump this production in the 'do not waste your time' category. In fact, we are going to list a few commendable aspects which may even have you considering giving this movie a chance.
1. Two words: Fiona Xie – Sure, Ms. Xie may not have delivered an award winning performance here, but who cares? Throughout her career, viewers (mostly male ones) have given her thumbs up not for her ability to act, but her lovely, err, figure. Although her bosoms are not on show here (nope, you are not going to see her run down the town in her bikini), her screen presence has a strange welcoming effect which no words can describe.
2. Henry Thia – We are familiar with the man’s fumbling ways, and how he is often given the obligatory goofy roles on TV and in movies. There is nothing new here, but looking at the other cast members’ dreadful acting, you may find Thia’s acting endearing. No kidding, Thia may be the best actor of the lot here.
3. Michael Chuah – The Malaysian takes on the role of the director, as well as the leading man for this 91 minute popcorn flick. He may not look like Donnie Yen (or have a hot bod which will leave girls swooning), but he sure knows his stuff when it comes to martial arts. There are a number of action sequences which sees the professionally trained actor engaging in some serious business, and these will prove that Chuah is the real stuff. Besides, how can you bear to fault him when he had to step in as the leading man after contractual conflicts forced the original lead to quit?
(Seriously, this fumbling action flick could have been worse)