Tag Archives: swallow

Kung Fu Jungle, Kung Fu Killer, Last of the Best, 一個人的武林, Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Charlie Young, Michelle Bai, Alex Fong, Louis Fan, Xing Yu, David Chiang, Deep Ng

Kung Fu Killer (AKA Kung Fu Jungle, 一個人的武林, Yī Gè Rén De Wǔ Lín): a ‘Maritial Arts Maniac’ is making his mark by fighting – and killing – the best of the best in each of the traditional fighting disciplines. Donnie Yen fronts this movie, which is absolutely crammed with HK & Chinese action legends in supporting roles and bit parts – from this aspect it almost feels like a love-letter to the industry that has served up some of the most influential and heart-pounding action movies of the past few decades. Despite this, and including fights centered around boxing, kicking, grappling, swordfighting etc the film struggles to deliver. The the action scenes are a 50-50 mix of good old-fashioned kung fu and the worst of modern fights (shaky cam, quick cuts, too much wire work, lazy CGI) – leaving a lot of the action as sketchy and hard to follow. There’s also a lot of ropey and wholly unnecessary CGI of inane things like hanging washing, traffic and bamboo sticks – all of which should have been done in-camera given the budget of the movie. The choice of villain being a physically disabled person with an axe to grind also felt like a misstep. Despite the stellar cast, and grand ambitions this movie falls down through a distinct lack of originality – it feels like you’ve seen the story, fights, and characters do all of this before. I used to expect a lot more from Donnie Yen, but these days, he appears to be more interested in quantity over quality.

Score: 5.5/10


Maria Full of Grace: (and Cocaine) follows the story of a typical Colombian chick with big hair that’s trying to make a fast buck as a drug mule: naughty, naughty!  With the tagline ‘Based on 1,000 true stories’ I thought this was going to be a no-holds-barred affair like ‘Lilya-4-Ever’, however this misses a trick by keeping it safe, glossing over the potentially nasty bits. Several parts of the story were plain rubbish (U.S. Customs / Last scene) and the American Dream aspect was too much: it almost glorifies smuggling as a way of getting into the ‘States, and infinitely better prospects. Two of the lead women look so alike that it’s quite confusing when they share the screen. What isn’t confusing is how good Maria is, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, and unquestionably the best thing about this as she effortlessly takes us through the good and bad times. It’s a powerful story, but could have benefited from being a lot rawer.

Score: 5.5/10