BEFORE HE WAS THE MASK, TSUI WAS PART OF THE 701 SQUAD, ANELITE MILITARY FORCE OF MEDICALLY ENCHANCED SUPER-SOLDIERS WHOWER RENDERED VOID OF PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN. DEMORALIZED,TSUI ESCAPES FROM THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN ... more »MANILAND CHINA ANDATTEMPTS TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE IN HONG KONG.« less
"I'm a great fan of Jet Li, and I've seen most of his movies since I love his action scenes and his acting: whether it's serious, hillarious, good, or evil. I own some of his movies, and I recently purchased this movie thinking it would be somewhat like "Batman." Well, my expectation was completely off, but in a negative way. Since I bought a Chinese version, which did not contain the "rap" other people were talking about, the sound effect was ok. It was the plot and action scenes that blew. Jet Li had few fighting scenes throughout the film and those were quite disappointing knowing his abilities from previous movies. The director, Tsui Hark, who also teamed up with Li in OUTIC series, "High Risk," and so on, was able to display great fighting scenes and good plot. This film, which was particularly aimed at American viewers, was a disappointing one. It's not worth buying, but it would not hurt to watch it to see if you want to see Jet Li getting beaten up :) If you want to see Jet Li's good movies, watch "Fong Sai Yuk I & II," "Fist of Legend," "My Father is a Hero," "Bodyguard from Beijing," and the movies mentioned above. Thank you for taking your time viewing my review^^"
One of the best movies with Jet Li!
Dahgene Gweon | 09/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The effects are really great. However, I don't like the rap-like music. Jet Li plays Tsui Chik (Michael in the American version), an ex-member of the 701 Squad, who has his nervous system removed through surgery, along with the other 701 members. Tsui had excaped from mainland China and moved to Hong Kong under another identity (this movie was filmed in 1996, at that time, Hong Kong still belonged to the UK). That's when he realizes that the 701 Squad has caused devastating crimes there. He realizes that he must do something to stop them, or the whole world is doomed.My favorite scenery is the one near the end, when Tsui Chik battles the leader of the 701 Squad, the guy with the long hair and dark glasses. As stated earlier, both of their nervous systems were removed, so they fought without pain. Pretty awesome, huh?If you haven't seen this movie, please see it (despite the fact that it's rated R)."
Panio | NYC | 10/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is incomparable. I saw it three times in theaters and each time converted a new, previously sceptical friend. Jet is as endearing as ever, but more importantly, the fight scenes cannot be matched. They had to write Jet's character's superhuman background into the story simply to justify how fast he moves. You won't be disappointed."
Hong Kong Superhero movie done good
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 03/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can?t remember ever seeing a superhero Hong Kong action movie. You would think it would be something obvious to do considering the dynamic action styling of Hong Kong action films. Sounds like a good idea? Well The Black Mask delivers on that idea. Combine insane stunt work and martial arts choreography along with a masked crime fighter and you get a superhero movie with action that will put Hollywood to shame.
As with many superhero movies the plot isn?t what you call complex or involved. It is just a simple super-villain-with-a-master-plan kind of affair here. The interesting thing about Black Mask is what they do in between the fight scenes and evil plots. You get a good look at the relationships between our hero and his friends and co-workers. Things like a fledgling romance and conflicts of interest with friends actually work here. After a bit of character development the plot thickens and the bullets start to fly. This isn?t high art on the script side, but then again if you shouldn?t be expecting that in the first place. Hong Kong action films aren?t known for gripping stories, just high-flying action. At least here you get a solid story, solid back story, with all the action goodness.
Okay lets get to the nitty gritty. The Black Mask is a martial arts film at its core, and I gotta tell you the martial arts rock. The choreography done in the fight scenes are not only tight but they are fast and furious. Jet Li definitely shows his stuff on this one along with a few other martial artists. It puts just about every fight scene from Hollywood to shame. This movie obviously pays homage to Bruce Lee?s Kato character from the Green Hornet television shows. The special effects do go crazy at times with all the explosions, blood and body parts flying around. Even crazier are seeing some things like colored smoke for no reason and Silly String (yes? Silly String). The English dubbing isn?t great, but to be honest it?s not any worse than your average foreign film dub.
Basically this movie is for action fans and fans of Hong Kong martial arts movies. It?s an entertaining blend of science fiction, police drama, kung fu and of course superhero genres that make this an enjoyable popcorn movie. Granted it?s not going to look polished for the average viewer, but if you like martial arts and cool superheroes I recommend The Black Mask. "
Good pre-Matrix action film
Danno | NY, NY | 08/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Black Mask" is one of several Hong Kong action movies that immediately predates the Matrix trilogy, and influenced the trilogy on a superficial level. It stars Jet Li (who's done much better things) as a superpowered vigillante, and features lots of camera trickery and wirework. The characters tend to wear black trenchcoats, fight kung-fu in midair, and several important showdowns occur on rooftops in the rain (just like in "The Matrix")! I enjoyed this fun film a lot, due to its extremely fast pace and incredibly clever stunts. I would recommend, however, other Jet Li films such as "Once Upon A Time in China" and "Romeo Must Die" if you are new to Jet Li's movies."