Okay, it’s January 11th, 2018 and I’ve just NOW watched the best kung fu films of 2017. Yes, I downloaded it illegally. Yes, I’ll be buying the fuck out of it once it gets any kind of release (Hong Kong or otherwise).
“The Brink” is basically what “Sha Po Lang 2” and “Paradox” could have been. It’s a fast paced, gloriously shot, well potted piece of cinema. The plot isn’t anything special but it’s very well done. It’s simply but it’s simplicity done awfully well. It’s cops and robbers…with more ocean.
I hate to say it but Max Zhang (the other master in “Ip Man 3”) is the type of leading man Donnie Yen dreams of. He plays this brooding rough-type cop and does it with flare and a snazzy fashion sense. Zhang really needs to be the next big thing in martial arts cinema. The dude is talented as fuck. He acts alongside a fantastic villain too. Can’t be bothered looking up the dude’s name but he is DOPE. Proper evil too.
“But Guts and Uppercuts, What about the fights!?” I’m glad you asked. They might not be everyone’s cup of cocoa but I fucking loved them. Firstly…no wires. Straight realism. Secondly, the cinematography in this film is bonkers and carries over to the action sequences too. Yes, the camera work gets a little “all over the place” at times and yes, there’s a LOT of slow motion but, goddamn, the action of a breAth of fresh air. It’s very grounded and each hot doesn’t send someone flying through a brick wall (it does happen once).
The ending feels like an homage to “Point Break” as the finale is a two-on-fight on a cargo boat in the middle of a typhoon. Yes, it’s nuts. Yes, it’s bloody ace.
If you can find this film, watch it. More importantly, fucking BUY it. You won’t be let down. It really is a one of the best kung fu movies I’ve seen in recent years. Hell, it’s one of the more enjoyable FILMS I’ve seen in recent years.