Not a totally successful mix, but still good at points.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 05/02/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Chinese title to this one was extremely deceptive: "Letters to Father". It suggests a full-out drama and, to its credit, The Enforcer (an entirely inaccurate title, actually) does contain more dramatic elements and better acting than the usual martial-arts/action fare.What we have here is a true polarization: Truly amazing moments juxtaposed with extreme clumsiness at spots. The ultra-sentimentality of the script is beaten to death time after time in this movie, and sometimes even a pretty good actor falters because of the overkill. Anita Mui isn't very well used in this movie; the part when she breaks down and cries at the death of the mother is completely unbelievable, because the story didn't sufficiently set up the rapport between the women. Xie Mao, who plays the child, is unusually watchable as an actor thanks to some less-than-obvious choices (when his mother dies, he goes for an attempt to be strong which works quite well), and he moves well (though some shots of him in action appear to be sped up). But too much sentimentality still ends up hurting the character.The action sequences and fight choreography are wonderful, without most of the vices that plagued Fist of Legend (slow-mo being the most important one). There *is* too much camera trickery at some points -- overheads, triple cuts, etc. -- but in this one it's acceptable. Less so are the incredibly disorienting ellipses in the storyline, and the incredibly bad acting of Yu Rong Guang, the lead villain, entirely without charisma or humanity, just another smart-cracking bad guy with no depth or real power. When will action writers realize that a villain works better when he's smart and likeable to a degree? This villain is a typical Wong Jing villain (Wong Jing being the tasteless exploitation producer/director who came up with this story), and completely grating to watch.Jet Li does well in this movie, the character tapping into the more brooding side to his cinematic persona, but for nearly 20 minutes his character leaves the film, resulting in a temporary void.Worth a look for slam-bang action sequences, but could've been much, much more given better above-the-line talent and less sentimental raw material."
This movie is My Father is a Hero
Wu Tang | Toronto, Canada | 03/21/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before buying this movie people should know that it is the same movie as My Father Is A Hero. Having said that, this movie was OK. Jet Li and the kid have one fight sceen each and then they have one together at the end. I watch martial arts movies because I love to see the fight sceens, and this movie just dosen't have enough fights. The story however was pretty good plus Jet Li is in it so I couldn't give it less that 3 stars."
Awesome Film, Laughable Subtitles
Shawn D. Stone | Vacaville, CA United States | 04/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This film is my all-time favorite Jet Li film. Jet's son in the film is set to be the next Jet Li and is an awesome powerhouse in his own right. This movie has some wonderful fighting sequences, though it does seem to drag in a couple spots, when trying to establish the relationships. I didn't get the English version "The Enforcer" because the title has nothing to do with the film (it sounds like a rejected Steven Segal title that a studio exec came up with) and that the dubs are a little cheesy. However, after watching this DVD, I'd have to say I prefer that version. The video quality is barely better than VHS video, and the audio is very tinny, no highs, no lows, even on a 5.1 system, it sounds like it was all recorded in a tin can. The disc seems to be recorded with little to no quality control. Putting the disc in my computer's DVD-ROM drive, the title did not show up as "My Father is a Hero", it showed up as "Untitled". Also, none of the DVD functions are labelled. Selecting subtitles does not give you the choice of English or Chinese (simplified) or Chinese (traditional), it gives you subtitle 1, subtitle 2 and subtitle 3. You get to play around with it to find out. The menus are static images with a single word in English and Chinese for each page/function. It looks like this disc was put together with no care about how it will look. All that I could forgive. The problem that made me return this disc to the store is the subtitles. Chinese film translators, understand this: CONSULT A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER. I hope they heard that. Every single scene in this movie is filled with lines that either make you go "hunh?" or make you laugh. When Kung Wei tells his boss that he has to go see his son perform, his boss tells him: "If you do that, beware your brain!" Yeah, I'll have to watch out for my brain there, jefe. The subtitles were so horribly/hilariously done, that it was so distracting I couldn't even watch the whole thing through. It's a travesty that this was done to my favorite Jet Li movie. Until some company releases a proper hybrid English/Chinese DVD with a readable/reasonable translation, I guess I have to stick with the cheesy, Hollywoodified dubbed version. Sigh."
..Jet rides again..
gr8dame | Los Angeles, CA | 04/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a well done movie, the little kid is fantastic, I just wish he had shared more fight scenes with Jet. The female cop sent to find him is also very good, their scenes show an underlying friendship/love and admiration. Very well done and one of my fave Jet Li flicks.."