Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jacky Wu, Ronald Cheng, Miki Yeung, Theresa Fu, Siu-Fai Cheung
Director: Dennis Law
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
(Action) A naïve young athlete joins an underground prizefighting circuit to earn a little extra money to support his girlfriend. Surrounded by greed and ruthlessness, he is hardened into a brutal fighting machine, de... more »
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[3.5] There's a new sheriff in town
dominion_ruler | Carolina, USA | 01/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wu Jing made his presence quite known in the wonderful Kill Zone movie, which was originally recognized for Donnie Yen vs Sammo Hung, but some people like myself may have found the Donnie Yen vs Wu Jing fight the real highlight of the film. Wu Jing was very memorable. I was very pleased to learn that another HK martial arts movie would be continuing to showcase his talents, this time, by putting him as the lead role in "Fatal Contact". While in Kill Zone he played a villain, he's a good guy here - in fact, a very good guy, too good. As the story describes on the reverse dvd cover "he is a young naive man". That actually got to be nearly annoying early on, but in the end, that sets things up for a better story.
Not that I purchased this for story, but I was rather amazed. Like Kill Zone, there is emotion to this film and depth between characters. You wouldn't expect this from things early on in the film. This movie gets a slow start, and even slow with the action. But that is the beauty of it in the end. The film slowly gets darker and deeper, and the action...yeah, as expected is teriffic.
In the end it is all about the action. Wu Jing is definetly in top shape here. He's extremely athletic, fast and powerful. His moves and style are very refreshing to the martial arts genre. The directing and choreographer certainly worked well with this guy, and it shows in every breathtaking scene. The action in the film is nearly all one on one fights, and while they begin kinda slow and short, each fight gets longer and more brutal. I was expecting the climax of the film to be a huge fight, but instead it focuses on a very important element to the story. It's still not dissapointing, but it's not a fight scene so much.
Like many will point out, Chan an Li are going to be gone soon, and surely missed. We certainly don't want the genre to leave them. They can never be replaced, but when you got guys like Tony Jaa and now Wu Jing, things ar looking good for the future of ths genre. Fatal Contact could have been better overall, as the story is not great, but still above average for this genre. It comes down to martial arts action, and even more so, watching Wu Jing in action.
Action - 4.5
Characters - 3.5
Dubbing - 2.5
Story - 3.5
Overall - 3.5"
Wu Jing kicks his way into a starring role... finally!
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 01/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I won't dive too deep into this. For one, it's pretty shallow. For two, you need to see it for yourself. The fast and graceful Wu Jing plays Kong, a martial artist who performs for the (contemporary) opera. His athletic prowess is observed by some gangsters, who offer him some lucrative pay to fight in underground matches for them. He declines, of course, then is persuaded by the girl he likes. She is attracted to money, and she likes watching other guys get their tails kicked. She's also really hot, so he decides to go for it. After he wins a couple of matches, his girl negotiates better pay and higher stakes. A rival gangster (a pimped out Ken Lo), whose fighters have all lost to Kong, is determined to beat him. So the matches get more and more dangerous.
Like "The Protector", this movie is short on plot and heavy on fights. The plot in this is WAY more coherent, but the fights aren't nearly as plentiful. This is more of a heart-breaker because with some tightening up, it could've been a good movie all around. With fights like these though, I'll take what I can get. These are some of, if not THE best fights that I've ever seen. This is the type of choreography (by Nicky Li, a former member of Jackie Chan's stunt team) and editing that should be done in ALL fight movies. The brawls are FAST, creative, tough, and athletic.
Dragon Dynasty gives us a great version with plenty of special features. I haven't watched any of them yet. I didn't think that the extras were necessary to recommend the film. The English dub is bad, so I would recommend the subtitles. I don't know who this is on the cover though. It really doesn't look like Wu Jing at all. -1 star for plot. 5 stars for fights. 5-1=4
3 ½ Stars: Wu Jing's martial arts prowess are the true high
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 09/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"FATAL CONTACT (aka. Underground Fist) is the latest martial arts action film directed by Dennis Law. Jackie Chan is getting old, Jet Li is also getting old and may be retiring from the Wuxia foray (don't think so) and Donnie Yen is, well, always being Donnie "COOL" Yen. Wu Jing, after SPL (aka. Killzone) looks to be the next promising new action star. Martial arts fans are clamoring for a new action hero, Wu Jing's charisma and actual fighting savvy make him a top competitor. (He is the national Wu Shu champ in real life) Aside from Tony Jaa from Thailand, who will make the cut? Director Law thinks Wu Jing can make the cut and he gives him the lead role after the terrific "SPL".
Derived partially from back cover:
A young martial arts champion from Mainland China Kong, came to Hong Kong on a short contract with an opera group. Lured by the promise of wealth into the world of underground full-contact fighting world by a gambling boss and encouraged with his girlfriend Tin (Miki Yeung), Kong brilliant fighting style changes the game. Win after win, Kong becomes unbeatable in the arena. A rival boss seeks a fighter capable of defeating him but Kong still defeats all comers.
Now, Kong realizes that there is more to this underground world than fighting and winning. Kong thought he was in control and he was only using his body and skills for financial gain, but eventually he may end up losing more than he had first bargained for.
The main draw for Fatal Contact would be the extensive fight scenes. A bit of wires were used, but I have to admit that Wu Jing's martial arts prowess is the true highlight of the film. He moves as quick and graceful as a cat, truly this film was tailor-made with his skills in mind. Wu Jing exhibits power and poise in the action sequences. The fights are brutal and fast-paced, bloody and stylized. To the fight director's credit, the fights don't lose its realism and doesn't become repetitive. The fight scenes are very fun to watch.
Kong's character is a showman, therefore, in the beginning it seemed like he lacked "killer instinct". The film successfully develops this aspect of Kong's character that you see him changing with each drag-out brawl. Kong's innocence and good nature slowly evolves into animal instinct.
Miki Yeung plays Tin, Kong's love interest. Her eye-catching way of wearing "short" shorts and her cute smile can captivate Kong as well as the audience. Ronald Cheng plays "Captain", a dopey low-level triad who assigned to take care of Kong. Cheng actually steals the show with his slapstick comedy, his comedic one-liners save the screenplay from the canned melodrama in the film. A lot of the drama falters, and a lot of issues arise, one of them is the role of Theresa Fu who is little more than a plot device to emphasize the burdened conscience of Miki Yeung's character Tin. There is a lot of tough existentialism in the film and the dialogue is too obligatory and the drama ends up hampering the film a little. The screenplay and the direction sometimes tries too hard to call attention to itself with its attempts to add "meat" to the simple plot; it ends up being pretentious. Characters tend to banter overlong with their hopes and dreams, their moral values which end up boring because the characters don't demonstrate said characteristics.
That said, at least the film's good points will please the fans of Wu Jing and Ronald Cheng. Once the film takes off with the action and the occasional comedy, the bad points may be forgiven. It does tend to focus more on its bad points but when viewers get a glimpse of the good points, it is a fun watch.
I have the 1-disc Hong Kong edition released last year.
VIDEO/AUDIO: 2.40 ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN. Nice transfer, colors are natural and contrast is sharp. Black levels are solid although somewhat muted in some scenes. 5.1 Dolby/5.1 DTS Cantonese Language track. English Subtitles are good and well timed.
Final remarks: Fatal Contact has the potential to be a very good action film, but it takes its desperate elements too seriously and executes them poorly. It fell to the usual canned melodrama in an attempt to add complicated issues to the simple plot. It's a bit disappointing that Wu Jing will not achieve superstardom from this film, a film can either "make" or "break" an action star. At least, "Fatal Contact" will not "break" Wu Jing. His other supporting roles in "TWINS MISSION"(Horrible) and "INVISIBLE TARGET"(sub-par) will hopefully be a sign for better roles for him. Wu Jing steals the show in these 2 features.
Recommended for action fans and worth a rental for everyone else. (3 ½ - stars)
Disappointing but still has great action
Jeremy Peterson | Naperville, IL USA | 02/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was a bit let down by this one, but should I really have expected a lot to begin with? I didn't go in knowing much, other than being quite impressed by the lead actor in SPL. For the record, I rented this one and didn't see any of the extras. Just the film.
Emotionally and thematically this movie was all over the place. Taken as a whole, it was a mess. There were a lot of individual scenes and some characters that worked really well, but it's like someone was trying to make 4 movies at once. I really liked the three leads for the first 90 minutes. They became good friends and had some very funny scenes, especially the big training scene. The action as well was all excellent. But the last 15 minutes or so were terrible. And what about that lead, Jacky Wu? He was great, but his character had no reason to do all that fighting. Ok, he technically did it for the money, but on a whim. He wasn't greedy. He was poor before but had no trouble getting by. He didn't even want to fight at first because it was illegal and he was an all-around nice guy. Just didn't make sense. Oh and this is not a tournament movie. Wu's character just gets used by two rich guys who keep gambling with each other over their own fighters."