by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Jet Li as KUNG WEI
Anita Mui as INSPECTOR FONG
Tse Miu as JOHNNY KUNG
Yu Rong Guang as PO KWONG
Studio: Dragon Dynasty
Directed by: Corey Yuen
Back to DVD Review Home
WHAT IT’S ABOUTClick here to read more DVD reviews!
Click here to read more movie reviews!
Click here to watch films by 7M Pictures!
Kung Wei (Jet Li) is an undercover cop who has infiltrated a ruthless gang. When another cop accidentally blows his cover, the gang leader targets his family. It’s up to Kung Wei and his young son, a martial arts protege, to overthrow the gang and bring justice to the streets.
WHAT I LIKED
While I’m not what you’d call an aficionado of the martial arts movie, I definitely appreciate it when a good one comes down the pike. And while I am quite familiar with Jet Li’s work for the American cinema, I am greatly deficient in knowledge of what he did in Hong Kong before becoming a star in the states.
“The Enforcer” was made before Li got his American break with “Lethal Weapon 4,” but he was still a superstar in the martial arts world. Unlike the films of Jackie Chan, which were equally popular in the mid-1990s, Li’s stories weren’t as light-hearted. His martial arts was more gritty and fit better in the modern cops and robbers movies of the time.
This film is very impressive in terms of action, special effects and martial arts. The story, not so much, but the reason to see a film like “The Enforcer” is for the action sequences rather than the tight character drama. The production value is excellent, and the highlights are definitely the quality fighting sequences, featuring not just Jet Li but the young Tse Miu as his son.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Because the film relies so heavily on action and martial arts, the story suffers a bit. It borderlines on sappiness with Kung Wei’s wife dying and how this affects his son. Fortunately, there’s enough action throughout the film that brings you back into the movie when you get bored or distracted with the only so-so character development.
Also, since this film was made and distributed before Jet Li became a full-fledged American action star, the dubbing of his voice doesn’t match what we recognize today. This is a sign of the time, which also is a sign that Li wasn’t as fluent in English as Jackie Chan was in 1995, and it is forgivable albeit distracting.
The DVD features are made for the martial arts fans who enjoy the Dragon Dynasty line. They include a feature commentary by Hong Kong Cinema expert Bey Logan as well as three interviews. The first is in English with producer Wong Jing. The other two are presented in the Chinese language with English subtitles. A grown up Tse Miu is interviewed as well as the one of the thugs, Ken Lo, regarding the film.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Jet Li fans and lovers of the mid-90s action movie.