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  Publicity Stills of "Flash Point"
(Courtesy from GV)

In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
Director: Wilson Yip
Cast: Donnie Yen, Louis Koo, Collin Chou, Fan Bing Bing, Lui Leung-Wai, Ben Lam, Kent Cheng, Xing Yu, Ha Ping, Law Lan, Xu Qing, Timmy Hung
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: www.flashpointthemovie.com

Opening Day: 2 August 2007


Ma Jun, a serious crime detective sergeant has been working on to crack a triad of three brothers; Archer, Tony and Tiger for years. He planted a mole, Wilson to infiltrate into the gang. Over the years, Wilson started to have more disagreements with Ma Jun. During a gang confrontation, Wilson’s identity was exposed and Tiger died during the battle. Tony destroyed all the evidence. The only person left to bring Tony and Archer to justice is Wilson…

Movie Review:

Despite the numerous names changing during the production process and initially touted as a sequel to “SPL”, “Flash Point” at the end is a stand-alone, straightforward action piece by Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen. Perhaps it’s due to their budding chemistry, this third collaboration is a much faster-paced and tighter production as compared to “SPL” and “Dragon Tiger Gate” which are comparably more laborious in terms of plotting and characters.

As what director Wilson Yip says, “Flash Point” is based on the timeless “cops and robbers” genre. And it indeed wastes no time on explaining further, Donnie Yen plays an impulsive cop named Jun who is bent on bringing the infamous triad gang of three brothers behind bars. Archer (veteran actor Lui Leung-Wai), Tony (Collin Chou, more well-known as Seraph in “The Matrix Reloaded”) and the youngest, Tiger (Xing Yu).

In order to infiltrate the gang, Jun assigned a mole Wilson (played by Louis Koo) to assist in bringing the gang down. Unfortunately, Wilson’s identity is exposed midway, resulting being nailed crippled by the ruthless Tony.

While I applaud Wilson Yip’s intention to give the various characters a more dimensional outlook instead of just plain action sets to pace the story, the end result is pretty much a haphazard combination. Take for example, the Alzheimer-suffering mother (Ha Ping) of the three brothers who is supposedly created in the script to bring out the theme of filial piety. But sadly, the character just didn’t possess enough screen time to justify the audience’s empathy, it ends up solely as a cliché story point. What’s more, the blink-and-miss role of Jun’s mum (veteran actress Luo Lan) is hardly justifiable either.

The pretty mainland actress Fan Bing Bing (last seen in the ghostly romance, “The Matrimony”) who played Wilson’s love interest has the typical slot of being the damsel in distress. Nothing outstanding to speak of.

Nevertheless, Yip and Donnie Yen seem more at ease choreographing and shooting the action sequences. Without the presence of Sammo Hung, Wu Jing or Nicholas Tse to divert the audience’s attention this time round, Donnie has the whole action plate to himself. His character Jun is akin to the tough cop role played by Jackie Chan in the 80’s (think “Police Story”). (1) He fights ruthlessly hard (2) He never stop running after the baddies (3) Repeat 1 and 2.

Employing a concept called Mixed Martial Arts (MAA), a fighting technique which the combatant has no specific ‘style’ of fighting. The guys onscreen punch, leap and kick with amazing agility and brutality. We can see that there’s minimal wire-enhanced technology used. Pure adrenalin stuff. The showdown in the finale has Yen fighting Chou and since both possessed supreme martial-arts background, prepare for a real treat. The ladies might squirm at some of the aggressiveness though.

“Flash Point” works so well as an action movie that one just has to forgive the countless cliché-filled subplots. To appreciate action genres, you need to sit back and absorb in the atmosphere. And not even Louis Koo, Fan Bing Bing or even Lui has the opportunity to outshine Yen. This is Yen’s moment. And a moment reserved for action buffs to savour.

Movie Rating:

(Donnie Yen kicks! Donnie Yen punches! Give the man what he wants – Buy a ticket to catch Flash Point!)

Review by Linus Tee

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