If you liked the hilariously dumb, questionably plotted, but wonderfully choreographed Hong Kong action films of the early 1990s, then like me, you’ll probably be able to roll with Bad Blood and be relatively entertained.
A movie so ham-handed, misguided, and downright ludicrous that it should have been every bit as enjoyable as Chan’s previous movies. Unfortunately, whatever enjoyment might have been mined from the idiocy of the script is smothered under tons of truly horrendous melodrama.
It’s not surprising that one of the central themes to emerge in the movie is that you should keep trying, find ways to keep believing, and always try to keep yourself moving forward while, at the same time, not forgetting what came before you.
It’s cheap, shoddy, sloppy, and generally idiotic. But it’s not lazy, it’s not mean-spirited, and it’s not lethargic. This isn’t the kind of movie that will turn someone into a Hong Kong movie fan, but if you’ve been one for a long time, then you might, like me, find a movie worth enjoying amid all this nonsense.
This can’t be right, I thought. This sounds awesome, but I distinctly remember the movie being so incredibly boring that I almost gave up on finishing it. But then the fog cleared, and I remembered that part of what makes Amazons vs. Supermen such a colossal disappointment is that, in summary, it sounds like so much fun. But it isn’t.
Dynamite Johnson was the third film to be turned out by Suarez’s BAS Film Productions, following closely on the heels of 1977′s The Bionic Boy and the next year’s They Call Her… Cleopatra Wong, while they were primarily Filipino productions, they made concessions to the Singaporean market by drawing from that country’s talent pool for their titular stars.
If you want vintage Sho Kosugi, you are better off watching Revenge of the Ninja. If you want James Bond with a splash of 80s casualness, you are probably better off just watching The Living Daylights. But if you don’t mind somewhat slack and flawed, cheap action films, Black Eagle isn’t completely shabby, though I seem to be a lonely voice in saying this.
Bat Without Wings takes the now familiar Chor Yuen wuxia trappings and injects an element of the horror film into them. Yuen’s style has always seemed somewhat informed by a combination of horror films and old mystery serials, packed as they are with sinister cults, trap doors, secret identities, and hidden chambers.
The underlying story — about a man discovering the world beyond the safe confines of his palace home, as well as discovering the sordid past of his otherwise heroic acting father — may take a back seat to all the chicken leg kungfu and lasers, but its presence at all makes Battle Wizard a cut above the usual fare.
The Web of Death is one of those martial arts films in Chor Yuen’s catalog that is inessential, but nonetheless enjoyable. It provides a nice break for completists like myself, who have had to suffer through far worse in their mission to watch every single one of the man’s films.