Dante Lam is an interesting Hong Kong director who can bring the best of his stars. In Nick Cheung, he has one of the best material to showcase. Nick is willing to make a lot of effort in preparation for his roles, and here, he does a massive transformation, beating his 45 year old body into shape, and producing a top shape chiseled body for his role as a down and out ex boxer who wants to make a comeback as a MMA fighter.
The movie borrows heavily from many other movies, such as Warrior, which borrows from traditional hits like Rocky, and other boxing shows before. What makes the difference is the intensity Nick Cheung brings, and his chemistry with the younger, and new actor Eddie Peng, who does valiantly to keep up and the precocious and yet lovely young actress Crystal Lee who is like Asia’s Dakota Fanning.
Sporting movies with an underdog concept are always welcome, and even though the boxing plot the backbone of the movie, it’s much more than just a sporting movie, and the acting brings this movie to a whole new plane, with a greater focus on relationships, and making the best of difficult lives. There is hope, amidst the sadness, and Nick does wonderfully to portray the down and out boxer, with a solid supporting cast. The MMA fighting scenes are also quite well done, and there is plenty of action too.
4/5 for plot
Surround and action 4/5 : good use of surrounds, bass and the 7.1 DTS-MA soundtrack works well to impress.
Chick factor: lots of sweeties, but not a movie about hotties. The plot and good action, plus the humorous scenes will more than compensate.
A keeper for me.
PS: for the trivia fans, Nick worked for 9 months to get his body in shape, and for the audiophiles, the initial cans the lady used are Panasonics (Panasonic RP-HTX7-W1 Stereo Headphones -White) whilst the I think the second pair are Philips SHL5905BK/28 CitiScape Uptown Headphones and the lovely song is Sound Of Silence by Ania Dabrowska.
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.