HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Wounds
Love & Peace
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Flashpoint don't do as Donnie doesBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun
Stars: Donnie Yen, Louis Koo, Collin Chou, Ray Lui, Xing Yu, Fan Bingbing, Kent Cheng, Xu Qing, Ben Lam, Ha Ping
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial Arts
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Hard-bitten, Hong Kong cop Jun Ma (Donnie Yen) is out to nail a vicious, drug-smuggling gang headed by three Vietnamese brothers: Tiger (Ray Lui), Tony (Collin Chou) and Archer (Xing Yu). While they tighten their grip over the drugs trade, he baits his trap with the aid of Wilson (Louis Koo), an undercover cop who infiltrates the gang and manages to win their trust. However, Ma’s recklessness leads to the rookie’s cover being blown and the fallout from the failed sting brings violent repercussions for his team and Wilson’s girlfriend, Judy (Fan Bingbing).

Following S.P.L (2005) and Dragon Tiger Gate (2007), this marks the third collaboration between director Wilson Yip Wai-Shun and producer/fight choreographer/star Donnie Yen. Movies like Flashpoint were dime a dozen twenty years ago, but the relative paucity of fast-paced action-thrillers amidst current Hong Kong cinema has caused some to over-praise this mild effort. Yip Wai-Shun’s first major splash in cult movie circles was the inventive horror-comedy, Bio Zombie (1998). In the ten years since, his films have grown progressively slicker, with the comic book superheroics of Dragon Tiger Gate proving a particular standout. Flashpoint upholds his high production values, but an uneven pace and uncertain approach towards an ambivalent hero means it lacks the zest of the truly great HK action-thrillers.

It opens in a strobe-lit nightclub where flashily dressed triad thugs snort coke, talk trash and flirt with pretty party girls. A caption swiftly informs us the film is set before the 1997 handover, because nothing like this goes on under Chinese control, right? “Have I ever busted the wrong guy?” Jun Ma muses in an interview. “I’ll leave the judge to answer that. My duty is to catch thieves.” His take-no-prisoners arrogance leaves him hard to warm to, although Yip Wai-Shun includes an amusing scene that shows Ma takes the same no-compromise stance when rehearsing the police brass band. Donnie Yen’s acting has improved since his early career as a high kicking blank slate, but remains more effective when playing the villain. As a leading man he has two settings: pensive or pissed off. His fighting skills were never in doubt and the adrenalin-pumping fight sequences are fast and furious in a way not seen since the mid-nineties. Elsewhere, Louis Koo brings some pathos to his role as the paranoid undercover cop. Talented mainland star Fan Bingbing (rather slumming it here) is initially a sexier, more vivacious presence than stock female characters in the gangster genre, but once Judy is hospitalised she falls back on squealing clichés.

Yip Wai-Shun draws interesting parallels between cops and gangsters’ attitudes towards family (both hero and villain are kind to their mothers), but a lack of focus means the plot lacks urgency and fails to grip. Things pick up considerably once Wilson’s cover is blown, and blackmail, assassination attempts, and recriminations push Ma so far over the edge he bashes child murderer Archer to a bloody pulp. Yip Wai-Shun throws in some engaging eccentricities: an explosive device concealed in a roast chicken, a salsa dancing convict, a car chase where Tiger flees the cops with his elderly mother in tow. Yen’s climactic, rabid, out of control brawl with Collin Chou is tasty, bone crunching, kung fu mayhem, but don’t be surprised if you crave something more substantial afterwards. Cine-Asia’s 2-disc special edition includes a making of feature, a documentary exploring Yen’s use of the Mixed Martial Arts fighting style pioneered by Bruce Lee, TV spots and a theatrical trailer (featuring different dialogue and a brighter transfer), plus interviews with Wilson Yip and his cast - of whom Collin Chou proves the most affable and engaging.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2931 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: