" An interesting directorial cross between an MTV video and a Chinese soap opera. "
Title: Jet Li: The Master by Buena Vista
Format: DVD Action Flick
Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult
The Hype: (Please picture the following said in a bad film dub) "You must die! Only I am best!" That's right, the Hong Kong action flick is back and its helm is the new star is Jet Li. High flying, wire working, and lightening footed- he's hoping you want to see his particular brand of fists of fury.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Acting: Yeah, there's a story…But boy do I have to use that term loosely. The deal is that Li's old Kung Fu master from China is now teaching in L.A. and one of his old and disgruntled students has gotten pissed off and is wreaking havoc on the masters school and his students. A quick phone call to Hong Kong and it's Li to the rescue. So, obviously, story isn't what this flick is about…Or acting either. With the sole exception of some of the rather surprisingly exceptional comedy Li pulls off (in what could be an attempt to break into the market Jackie Chan has had cornered thus far) my 8th grade drama class could act better. But that's not why you're watching this flick- so let's give it the 2 out of 5 and move on.
Action: Personally, I have never been a huge fan of Jet Li. His skill is unbelievable and his fluidity may be unmatched but his compulsion for ridiculous wire work really turns me off. Still, that being said, it's hard not to love the action in The Master. Fast, furious, and obviously designed with the fighters in mind- Li and his co-stunt-stars all shine. Guaranteed to have you kicking your roommates and punching doors after you've watched it. 4 out of 5
Visuals and Directing: The best way to describe the look and feel is typical to the Hong Kong style. Part of the 90's trend towards Kung Fu flicks that were anticipated to hit US shores, the movie is an interesting directorial cross between an MTV video and a Chinese soap opera. Lots of unusual cuts and temporarily confusing shots that, finally, become stylistically decipherable. 3 out of 5
Sound Track: Ooooh…90's Chinese music. Sounds a lot like generic 80's music. Is there anything better on the planet? There is! Good. 2 out of 5
DVD Extras: Depressingly, there are none. It does include 5.1 surround but that's hardly a feature anymore. 0 out of 5
Value vs. Price: You know, I'm all about import Hong Kong flicks. And now that we've got a ton hitting DVD it's like a closet Wushuer's paradise. Unfortunately, with that trend has come a ridiculous jacking of the price. Let me make this clear, people- there is no need or reason to charge THIRTY BUCKS for a flick whose sole appeal is some fast kicks. Plus, as if that fact alone wasn't enough, there's no extras! This should be on a "$15 and under" shelf somewhere. 1 out of 5
|This is definitely a fun fight movie with a great sense of humor…But it certainly doesn't deliver enough for the money.|
The Good: Jet Li is, and will continue to be, awesome (even if I don't personally like his FX).
The Bad: 30 bucks?!? Are you kidding me?
The Overall Ugly: Rent it some night when you want to pretend watching dudes fighting and playing Dead or Alive 3 on the Xbox makes you tough.
What it's Worth: Rental