The movie opens and concludes with Donnie Yen thinking out aloud, "Have
I ever wronged anyone? I'll leave it to the judge to decide. I'm a
cop... my duty is to catch the thieves." From those words, you can tell
that he means business and so does this film. And this pretty much sums
up the whole movie, to the point and effective. The elegance of this
movie lies in its directness and simplicity. While it follows SPL
concept of bad guys get away due to lack of evidence and eventually
cops get so pissed off and flout all rules to get them, the movie is
less grim, less dark, not as atmospheric and takes place in a somewhat
zany world (albeit without getting silly) where something somewhat
loony would take place here and there, yet at the same time maintaining
an earnest tone. So there are times logic is being put aside. While SPL
carries the underlying theme of father, Flash Point centres on maternal
ties. The movie, which was apparently based on real events, does a good
job in taking time to establish the shimmering characters. It has a
sparkling soundtrack that fits the mood. (I must say I can't stand one
second of the jarring techno, heavy metal stuff in Invisible Target.)
The film can get quite violent at times, insofar as there's apparently
some disputes over the film classification in HK that release is being
pushed back by a week to Aug 9.
In a way, Flash Point is unequivocally an SPL prequel (This may explain
why they'd want to call the film SPL 2 initially. However, Gold Label,
which holds the rights did not allow them use the name as it is
reportedly working on its own version of SPL 2.) with the focus being
on Ma Jun of the renegade star Army Breaker, when he's still an
extremely violent super-cop of one track mind - to catch the criminals
at whatever costs. He has the sadistic tendency to seriously injure the
criminals he is after, and derives satisfaction out of it, he makes
sure that he finishes up the job by cuffing up the incapacitated victim
- dead or alive. Thus, he always lands himself in awkward situations
with his superiors. However, being a loner, non-conformist, he always
defies authorities - often to great comical effect. Fancy Donnie Yen
being relieved of his duties as an investigator and made to conduct a
band? Such are the oddball relations between Donnie Yen and other cops
that something funny would bound to happen whenever there's another cop
Xing Yu carries himself very well, standing out as a brash,
straightforward guy who resolves everything with his fists.
Unfortunately he was not given enough time to give full play to his
martial arts skills - all his action scenes are rather short. Still,
it's amazing to see him running over the chairs and tables, seemingly
unassisted by wires, that could topple any minute.
There are sporadic action scenes throughout the film, but they're all
rather short. I thought they're being a little too stingy with length.
With Invisible Target, you get desensitised with over-dosage of action,
but Flash Point just leaves you wanting for more. There are two or
three places which could definitely benefit from having extended action
scenes without getting in the way of drama: at the beginning in which
the three brothers are attacked by their rival Lin Guo Bin/Lin Kwok
Pun, Xing Yu-Donnie Yen showdown near the end (Reportedly Xing Yu
eardrum was shattered by Donnie Yen when filming this scene. Maybe
that's why it's it was kept short.), and the opening scene whereby
Donnie Yen storms the boxing training facility (How about putting the
unseen martial artists from around the globe to block Donnie Yen before
he could catch his target there?).
In the finale, we get an intense, superbly shot gunfight, followed by
the excellent Donnie vs Ngai Sing exchange of fists. The camera was a
mite too close in the beginning when the fight breaks out in a storage
room on the 2nd floor. Thankfully, this was addressed quickly once they
get to the ground floor. In the middle, there's a splendid scene in
which they go freestyle for 2 rounds, with missed hits, bad
synchronisations, all executed at incredible speed, similar to the
fight between Donnie Yen - Wu Jing in SPL. However, it is reduced too
early to a one-man show, as Ngai Sing loses out too soon and is already
limping in the last 2/5 of the fight, getting beaten up only.
The martial arts scenes in Flash Point are more evolutionary than
revolutionary. If you've seen SPL, you'd know what to expect here. But
this time around, there are more interactions with the environment.
However, I don't like too much takedowns, chokes, ground holds, and all
that, which feel sluggish, as in the case of the finale between Donnie
Yen and Ngai Sing (or Sammo Hung vs Donnie Yen for that matter). Mixed
Martial Arts or not, I still prefer trading of fists and kicks.
Wilson Yip is the man, and together with Donnie Yen and Szeto Kam Yuen, they pack a delightful and uproarious punch.
Log in to alivenotdead.com with one of these trusted providers
NOTE: Users of the original website please Click here to reactivate your account.
New users - Join the alivenotdead.comcommunity instantly by confirming your identity with a trusted authentication service.
Returning users - Please use with the same authentication service to login to your alivenotdead.com account.
First time users can create a new account from scratch by authenticate using any of the following trusted services:
WARNING: If you disconnect all your social media accounts your profile will be locked and you will not be able to access it again. If you want to keep your page, please add another social media account and then remove this one.
If you understand the risks, click this box to deauthorize your account.