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Movie Review: House of Fury

Friday, April 08, 2005

I watched this movie last week during my movie marathon and took my time writing this review because I seem to suck at writing reviews particularly for Chinese movie. Anyways, managed to finally get some 'inspiration' to write and here we go.

The plot follows Teddy Yu (Anthony Wong), a widowed Chinese chiropractor and his son Nicky (Stephen Fung), a dolphin trainer at Ocean Park and daughter Natalie (Gillian Chung), a high school student, who has been learning the art of kung fu from him. However, they are unconvinced and skeptical of their father's claim to having a hidden life as a heroic bodyguard for retired secret agents. Due to his constant bragging of tales of his heroic days, the children became increasingly tired and thus, creating a rift in the family. The plot then takes a twist with the introduction of Rocco (Michael Wong) who seeks information on an ex-agent for the purpose of revenge. Thus, begin a cat-and-mouse chase to find the identity of the ex-agent.

This movie marks the second directorial for Stephen Fung, his first being Enter the Phoenix. This time round, he managed to acquire not only a great cast, namely Daniel Wu, Anthony Wong and the Twins, he even got action director Yuen Woo-Ping of Matrix fame to choreograph the fight scenes. Furthermore, you'll notice superstar Jackie Chan's name on the executive producer title. Not only did Fung direct the movie, he penned and acted in it as well. In directorial/story point of view, I would say that this movie improved on all areas. In terms of story, it was pretty predictable. Imagine the plot, some spectacular fighting in the beginning, villain comes out... bring me to... or else... then back to more fighting, some romance scenes.. then need to help family... more fight... reconcile... then happy ending. :) yeah... typical 80s Andy Lau movie. For me, eventough it was predictable, I enjoyed the humour carefully spread out through out the movie and the beautifully choreographed fight scenes. The only complaints I had was that the some fight scenes are abit too lengthy, and how ex-agent 'fly' across buildings was abit unreal and corny. Anyways, Fung's work looks promising and I reckon he'll have many blockbusters to come.

The actors did a rather good job in the movie. Anthony Wong, after his excellent performance as the Police Inspector for undercover cop in the Infernal Affairs, plays the widowed father/spy protector convincingly. However, I reckon that so much more could be done to expand his character and show off some of this superb acting skills. But regardless, his presence is enough to send laughter throughout. Others like Twin's Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi did an okay job. Gillian did more of the physically demanding fight scenes while Charlene was more of an eye-candy and had some bone-tickling moments with her expressions. Fung and Daniel Wu's acting was just mediocre. Wu did not do much in the movie and plays Gillian's goofy bf. I think it'll be more memorable if they use Eason for the role. Fung, like Gillian did the fight scenes and I read from somewhere that all the actors have no prior kung fu experience and while watching, I must say they did an excellent job in making it believable. Another excellent performance was by villain, Michael Wong. The skin head, wheel chaired bound role suits him really well and I reckon he played it with ease... his cold, emotionless expressions were really good but occasionally overdoing it which results in a bore. I reckon if there is an X-men: China version, he'll definitely play Prof. X.

Eventough the fight scenes are over exaggerated and lengthy, I've enjoyed the movie, especially the cheesy humour and the typical Chinese family scenes. :) Overall, a popcorn movie worthy of bringing your family to.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3
Sound : 3
Picture : 4
Storyline: 4 [Predictable but funny]

posted by Ivan, 8:02 pm


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