Dragon

Still of Peter Chan in DragonDragon

Plot

A sinful martial arts expert wants to start a new tranquil life, only to be hunted by a determined detective and his former master.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 7.0/10 (2,249 voted)

Director:
Peter Chan

Stars: Kara Hui, Wu Jiang, Takeshi Kaneshiro

Storyline
A sinful martial arts expert wants to start a new tranquil life, only to be hunted by a determined detective and his former master.

Cast:

Kara Hui


Wu Jiang


Takeshi Kaneshiro

Xu Bai-jiu


Yu Kang


Xiao Ran Li


Wei Tang

Ayu


Kenji Tanigaki


Yu Wang

The Master


Hua Yan


Donnie Yen

Liu Jin-xi



Details

Official Website:
Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 4 July 2011



Technical Specs

Runtime:



User Review

Almost a Masterpiece – thanks to Donnie and Takeshi

Rating:


"Wu Xia" may not be the martial arts flick in the "Ip Man" vein but it
grips us right from the start with an intriguing plot, rich
characterisation, breath-taking locales and top class performances.
This combination is rare in a Chinese movie, let alone a kungfu flick.
But then again, "Wu Xia" is not just a kungfu flick. It is also a
detective mystery with CSI elements, and a family/clan drama with
well-developed characters. The one downside to this effort by director
Peter Chan is its supernatural ending that borders on the absurd.

The plot is set in 1917, and Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) is a paper-maker in
a small village where he lives with his wife Ayu (Tang Wei) and their
two sons. However, when a couple of bandits try to rob the local store,
Liu intervenes and accidentally kills them in self-defence. Or so it
seems until detective Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) investigates the
botched robbery. While Liu claims to be just the average guy, Xu (who
is also a physiology expert and acupuncturist), suspects that he is
hiding a deep secret, and goes all out to uncover the truth behind
Liu's identity. Xu's dogged persistence threatens the peace of the
typical clan settlement and even his own life.

The first thing that grabs us is the movie's detailed setting – in an
idyllic valley with quaint thatch-roof homes that have cattle grazing
on its roof. Scripter Aubrey Lam defines the social structure of the
times in a scene when Xu asks Ayu to show him the back door. "There is
no need for doors in a village like this," she replies.

The movie's 'CSI touches' are intriguing and even educational. As Xu
probes into the deaths, we get replays of the action with illuminating
insights into Xu's detective powers. There isn't much wushu-tye action
in the early segments but the probes are nevertheless fascinating as
Chan adds narrative details and character backgrounds to story.

The cast is top notch, with Donny Yen and Kaneshiro verbally sparring
against each other. One can safely say this is one of Yen's best
portrayals as a caring husband and father trying to escape a sinful
past. Kaneshiro gets our sympathy as the obsessive cop who will risk
anything to find truth and justice. His demeanour reminds me of Peter
Falk's Columbo. Tang Wei (of "Lust, Caution" fame) personifies the
rural housewife who is fearful that Jinxi would abandon her – just as
her first husband did years ago.

And of course, it is nice to see veteran Wang Yu (of "One-Arm
Swordsman" fame) in a cameo as a crime boss, and fighting another
one-arm swordsman himself. All in all, Wu Xia, which was one of the
highlights at the 2011 Cannes Fest, is a refreshing change to the usual
kungfu thrillers. Now, if Chan had rendered a more credible ending, it
would have been a masterpiece. (limchangmoh.blogspot.com)