The Avenging Fist
|Stephen Fung||Iron Surfer|
|Chin Ka Lok||Jazz|
|(Roy) Cheung Yiu Yeung||Combat 21|
|Ekin Cheng||Young Dark|
Martial Arts Director
|From Poker Industries|
Just take a look at the credits and you’ll see why I had to have this: Corey Yuen Kwai, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, together again. Was it all I had hoped? Read on! Bear in mind that any resemblance between this film and the Tekken video games is purely coincidental!
Take your standard wired martial art story, Evil A is intent on conquering the world by discovering the secret of the hidden martial art B only to be thwarted by cocky orphan C who has learned the secret art from papers passed down by his dead father. Push it into the future, shine it up with some CGI and some hip hop threads and you have The Avenging Fist. 20 years ago, Thunder developed a “Power Glove” that would unlock the 90% of the brain that is unused, the "Forbidden Zone" (forbidden by God). 3 were made. He also developed the perfect martial art, “Avenging Fists”. 100 policemen, including Thunder, were used as guinea pigs for the experiments with the Power Glove. The glove had horrible side effects. Combat 21 and Thunnder went mad and slew the other officers, with the exception of Dark who had a Power Glove.
Now, Dark has two of the gloves and Combat 21 has the other and his plans are coming to fruition. He is about to take over "Region 3" from the Federal Government. Dark is still fighting against him and discovers that Thunder left behind a son, Nova, who can use the third Power Glove and knows “Avenging Fists” so will be able to use its full potential.
Meanwhile Combat 21 has realized that Nova’s sister, Belle, doesn't need the Glove to tap into her Forbidden Zone... the perfect mate! Nova and Iron Surfer, Belle's new beau, to the rescue!
Nova gets the majority of the screen time but the movie only pretends to be about he and Iron Surfer. Iron Surfer hates the cold and kick’s butt. Such is the extent of our knowledge of him. We know very little more about Nova. As heroes they’re not very interesting because they only dance to the tunes of Combat 21 and Dark and never write their own music.
The first scene of the city, where it is always dark, by the way, was stolen straight from The Fifth Element. It is also the most effective at setting the scene. In the future, all buildings are concrete and most fabrics are metallic. Dark wears a metallic fedora. One can’t help but compare it to that other CGI Martial Arts fantasy from last year, Legend of Zu, and, visually, it comes up wanting. Zu used the CGI to paint a whole other world and The Avenging Fist just throws a dollop here and a dollop there with no purpose. On the other hand, The Avenging Fist has a coherent plot which, I felt, Zu lacked.
Yuen Biao turns in a good bit of his performance wearing a muzzle. Using only his eyes to emote, he does more than the rest of the cast put together. We never get to see Sammo and Biao fight, as in they fight only in the flashbacks in which Dark is played by Ekin Cheng. Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao are both completely wasted as far as the fight sequence go, because other than some hologram scenes, it is is all “futuristic” stuff shot in a way that you can’t really tell what the heck is going on. Chin Kar Lok, also with a Peking opera background, also wasted.
It may seem like I didn’t enjoy the film. Actually I did, but I won’t need to watch it again because there was nothing really memorable about it.
The DVD has decent sound but the picture is just so-so. There are a lot of compression artifacts and pixelization.
Inside of DVD cover. (~54K)
The Fifth Element. (~30K)
Belle's phone is one the fritz. (~18K)
The Power Glove makes a pretty blue. (~27K)