Kung Fu Jungle (一个人的武林) is an Hong Kong-Chinese action film directed by Teddy Chan and starring Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Charlie Yeung and Michelle Bai.
The film had it’s world premiere at the 58th BFI London Film Festival and has received good reviews thus far from most critics.
With action-star Donnie Yen as the lead, I went into the theatre expecting non-stop kungfu actions from start till end. It did not disappoint in this aspect. In fact, it delivered more with a coherent and sensible storyline which is rare for most kungfu films.
One of the silliest thing about kungfu films was that the villains always choose to do battle unarmed, even if they have guns or weapons in their hands. Instead of gunning down the hero, they will somehow forgo their guns and fight it out with their bare fists. In Kungfu Jungle, a compelling justification was given for the choice of unarmed combat. I like this because it makes sense.
The narrative is more believable than most other kungfu films and moves along rationally, keeping the audience in suspense to solve the series of murders.
I like that many erstwhile and current kungfu legends in Chinese cinemas – from famed actors and actresses reputable directors and producers, made cameo in the film in one way or another. Kungfu film buffs will totally dig this while for the common audience like me, it’s still fun to spot historical icons while enjoying the film.
I highly recommend Kungfu Jungle. It is one of the best kungfu films I have seen in recent years. It is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Go catch it! 🙂
A vicious killer Feng (Wang Bao-qiang) is going round Hong Kong killing top martial arts exponents, leaving a secret weapon called the Moonshadow as his calling card. When convicted killer and kung fu expert, Xia (Donnie Yen), hears of this, he offers to help the police catch the killer, in return for his freedom.
Despite their misgivings, the police release the former police martial arts instructor into their custody. With his help, they realize from the chronological order of the victims that the killer is targeting his victims, all the top masters in their martial arts style, following a martial code of training.
When Xia also disappears after a close encounter with Feng, they suspect the worse: that the two are accomplices and Feng was the bait to help spring Xia from jail. But Xia has actually gone back to his home in Foshan to find out more about the mysterious calling card. While doing so, he discovers the killer’s identity and his motivation: the true philosophy behind martial arts was to kill opponents who were weaker than him.
Steadfastly, Xia refuses to be drawn into a fight with Feng – until the killer threatens the women he loves most. Only then does he realize that he would have to go against the martial code in order to uphold it.