URBAN GAMES DVD (城市游戏) (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Webber is an extreme sports fanatic. His stubborn nature in a game accidentally leads to the death of his older brother leaving him guilt driven. By day is one of the many nameless employees with a desk job while he works off his depression in Parkour at night. When his sister got kidnapped, Webber's determination to save her kicks off a game of life and death. Not only did he fall in love with fellow extreme sports expert Fee, the duo unveils a top secret in the process.
With the death of his older brother, extreme sports fanatic Webber (Shawn Dou) decides to quit Urban Games (UG), the outfit, which his brother and him founded. When his sister, Syndra (Ye Qing) is kidnapped by his fellow ex-partner, Tyler (Korean pop singer JUNO), Webber is reluctantly drawn back to the games to ensure UG can continue profit from illegal dealings.
While the DVD touts the involvement of the crew behind Transformers 2 and the first Chinese movie to feature extreme sports, Urban Games is more of an urban legend than any of the boastful taglines the marketing department has conceived.
Yes for the matter of fact, the title is indeed co-directed, written by Bob Brown, a veteran Hollywood stuntman and second unit director of movies liked Transformers, Captain America and Iron Man. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see any action sequences that spoke of such credibility. Webber’s participation in a series of Urban Games is mere overcoming ninja warrior like obstacles, motorcycle racing and one that has participants jumping and hovering above a gigantic industrial fan. All the actions are either choreographed via bad CGI or mundane wirework with zilch amount of excitement and adrenalin to talk about. Even the parkour moves seem amateur at best. Yawn.
Not only the action aspect has failed, the story also seems jarring, predictable and sleep inducing. You don’t really feel a sense of looming danger despite the fact that one of the characters is being held hostage. Because throughout the entire process, Webber still finds time to fall in love with a fellow extreme sports lover, Fee played by You Are The Apple of My Eye’s breakout star, Michelle Chen. Webber saved Fee’s life, they fall in love, dance on the rooftop together and gets intimate as well all at the expense of Syndra’s life.
Tyler’s involvement in the crime is even campier as he spent all his time monitoring Webber’s movements, mouths clichéd dialogue and appears in every scene in flamboyant costumes. Bad guy surveillance the good guy and wear bad clothing. Get it?
Urban Games is riddled with not just the above issues but also bad, wooden acting from Shawn Dou and JUNO. Michelle Chen is obviously miscast while ex-child star Aston Chen aka Shi Xiao-long appears as a fellow UG participant. There’s a mild twist to the plot in the end but that can’t really salvage the fact that the main villain is not seen onscreen being killed or captured. How weird/low-budget is that.
Just a Trailer
The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is nothing impressive with obvious bad ADR work spotted. DVD visual is serviceable and pleasant unless you are into stunning high definition images.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee