You may define your own banner on the settings page.
FilmsAsia: Asian film reviews
Soh Yun-Huei
Dave Chua
Brandon Wee
Wong Lung Hsiang
Felix Cheong
Foong Ngai Hoe
Adrian Sim
sieteocho
Chris Khoo
O Thiam Chin
Lau Chee Nien
Sinnerman
Ambient Noise
Drakula
daface
Sarhan Rashid
Ying Wuen
Liverbird
Ellery Ngiam
Toh Hai Leong
Toh Hai Leong, Auteur
Wong Kar Wai
The Seduction of Wong Kar Wai
Tsai Ming Liang
Lav Diaz
Mikio Naruse
Leslie Cheung
Jonathan Foo Interview
Chinese Ghosts
Assassins in Asian FIlms
Sex in Asian Cinema
Erotic Cinema of the Shaw Studios
Homosexuality in Chinese Films
My Left Eye Sees Creativity
Hollywood Remakes
Comic Book Superheroes
One League of Social Consciousness
Emerging Trends in East Asian Cinema
Postwar Korean Cinema
Decline of Hong Kong Cinema before 1997
Bollywood
Rise of Afghan Films
Singapore's Mini Cinema
Creating A Singapore Cinema
Why Cinema is Important to Singapore
Singapore Film Industry
Rites of Passage
Replying to Critics
Daniel Yun Interview
Singapore International Film Festival
Bangkok International Film Festival
Tokyo International Film Festival
Toronto International Film Festival
Writer's Block
15
19
2046
Acacia
All Tomorrow's Parties
And Also the Eclipse
Another Heaven
At Five in the Afternoon
Audition
Avalon
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Bangkok Haunted
Barking Dogs Never Bite
Batang West Side
Battle Royale
Bear Hug
Beautiful Boxer
Beijing Rocks
Bend It Like Beckham
Best of Times
Betelnut Beauty
Big Durian
Big Shot's Funeral
Bird Man Tale
Blackboards
Blissfully Yours
Blue Kite
Bounce Ko Gals
Brighter Summer Day, A
Butterfly
Cafe Lumiere
Cat Returns
Chinese Odyssey 2002
City of Glass
City Sharks
Clean
Color of the Truth
Color Blossoms
Confucian Confusion
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Dark Water
Desire
Destination 9th Heaven
Divine Intervention
Dolls
Double Vision
Dumlings: 3 Extremes
Enter the Phoenix
Era of Vampire, The
Eye, The
Eye 2, The
Eye 10, The
Face
Fat Choy Spirit
Floating Weeds
Fog of War, The
Formula 17
Friend
Full Alert
Garuda
Gemini
Ghost in the Shell
God or Dog
Golden Chicken
Golden Chicken 2
Goodbye, Dragon Inn
Grudge
Guru, The
Hana-Bi (Fireworks)
Harold and Kumar
Headlines
Hero
Hidden Blade, The
Homerun
House of Flying Daggers
House of Fury
House of Sand and Fog
Howl's Moving Castle
Hypnotized
I Not Stupid
In the Mood for Love
Infernal Affairs
Infernal Affairs III
Innocence: Ghost in the Shell 2
Install
Iron Ladies 2
Isle, The
Jan Dara
Jealousy is My Middle Name
Joint Security Area
Ju-On: The Grudge (2003)
July Rhapsody
Khakee
Korban Fitnah
Koroshi
Kung Fu Hustle
Lan Yu
Last Life in the Universe
Last Samurai, The
Legend of Zu, The
Liang Po Po
Love/Juice
Love Letter
Lucky Number
Marry a Rich Man
Me Thao
Medallion, The
Metropolis
Monrak Transistor
Moveable Feast, A
Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Musa the Warrior
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
My Neighbors The Yamadas
My Sassy Girl
Naked Weapon
Name of a River, The
New Police Story
Nobody Knows
Nobody Knows How to be a Film Critic
One Leg Kicking
Ong-Bak
Perfect Blue
Phone, The
Ping Pong
Pirated Copy
Princess D
Quill
River, The
Road Home
Romance of Book and Sword
Runaway Pistol
S Diary
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Samsara
Scent of Green Papaya
Seoul Raiders
Sepet
Seventeen Years
Shall We Dance?
Shanghai Knights
Shaolin Soccer
Shower
Shutter
Singapore Gaga
Skywalk is Gone
So-Called Friends
So Close
Someone Special
Song of the Stork
Spider Forest
Spirited Away
Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring
Stories About Love
Storm Riders
Summer Holiday
Sumpah Pontianak
Super Size Me
Surprise Party
Swing Girls
Tale of Two Sisters, A
TalkingCock
Tears of the Black Tiger
Teenage Textbook Movie
This Charming Girl
3-Iron
Three: Extremes
Tokyo Raiders
Touch, The
Tree, The
Truth or Dare
Twelve Storeys
Twenty-Four Eyes
Twins Effect
Twins Effect 2
Virgin Stripped Bare by her Bachelors
Visitor Q
Volcano High
Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Waterboys
Way Home, The
Welcome Back Mr McDonald
Wesley's Mysterious File
When I Fall In Love With Both
Wishing Stairs
Wolves Cry Under the Moon
Woman is the Future of Man
Women's Private Parts
World Without Thieves, A
Zombie Dog
A Time to Live A Time to Die
e-mail me


   House of Fury  



 

House of Fury

Reviewed by daface

Chinese Title: Jing wu mo sing
Directors: Stephen Fung, Yuen Woo-Ping
Cast: Gillian Chung, Jon Foo, Stephen Fung, Josie Ho, Philip Ng, Jake Strickland, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Genre: Action comedy
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Year Released: 2005

(This review is brought to you courtesy of MovieXclusive's lucky-draw invitation, without which it won't be out today, and I wouldn't have as much fun at the gala premiere)

The overall narrative feel of House of Fury, is a mixture of Tim Burton's Big Fish, and Pixar's The Incredibles (with super powers replaced by kungfu prowess), but the delivery is not as polished.

Simply put, it is a story about a family, consisting of two children, played by director Stephen Fung, and Gillian Chung, one half of Hong Kong pop duo Twins, and their single father, played by Anthony Wong. The latter’s secret agent past catches up with him and threatens the family. Like Big Fish, while dramatizing his colorful past in delightful unbeatable-secret-agent-kung-fu-prowess stories, his children outgrow them and their disbelief causes their relationship with their father to be distant at best. Until somewhere along the way when they discover that those stories have some element of truth behind them.

Like The Incredibles, we are shown the potential of the kids, who naturally have learned kung fu, in a similar dining table setting. When daddy is threatened, we know that it is up to the children to bail him out, and in the process, improve family ties.

The Mandarin title contains the phrase "Jing Wu", which invokes Bruce Lee’s film "Jing Wu Men" ("Fist of Fury"). Thus it pays homage while simultaneously elicits comparison with that classic. The name of Anthony Wong's shop also contains the words "Jing Wu". During his fight with Japanese ninja-type adversaries, we see the not-so-subtle break up of the shop's name ("zhao pai") to emphasize "Jing Wu", and become hilarious and creative make-shift nanchakus (a pair of hardwood sticks joined by a chain and used as a weapon). There is also the obligatory fight with an "Ang Mo" ("red-haired" Westerner), and in this show, the Ang Mo is reduced to a teenage sensation whose expertise is with the staff. (We can't expect Chuck Norris now can we?)

The artistes are no real-life exponents, and it is left to Yuen Wo Ping to fashion the martial arts scenes. I applaud the filmmakers deliberate crafting of various martial arts for the lead actors - Anthony Wong's style is subtle yet forceful (funny at times), Stephen Fung's direct and in-your-face, while Gillian Chung's is graceful, elegant, yet packs a punch (I like hers best).

The wire-work seems to be out of place in a movie like this, and it is not executed to perfection, so the audience can tell when it is being used. In a martial arts or pugilistic world, we can suspend our belief when exponents fly from tree to tree. Even in the unreal world of The Matrix, we accept that the laws of physics need not apply to those who are "free". However, setting a film in a real world scenario, and yet see people float around, somehow doesn't cut it. My personal opinion is that if the kung fu was more grounded (pardon the pun) then it will be perfect. And yes, wire-work with wires digitally removed doesn't mean one should opt shoddy work - watch and you will see what I mean.

The good-looking cast does compensate somewhat. There are special appearances by Daniel Wu and Charlene Choi, but it is the veterans like Anthony Wong and Wu Ma who lend their acting weight to this otherwise fluffy teenybopper show. The villains, led by Michael Wong, a cross between Austin Power's Dr. Evil and James Bond's Blofeld on a wheelchair, are one-dimensional, and most prefer to let their fighting do the talking.

Like most Hong Kong contemporary movies, it is peppered with comedic moments throughout the film, very simple romances, a predictable plot cum ending without much emotional depth or intelligence. During the interview before the show, Stephen Fung was asked what the message of this film was, but he sidestepped the answer, asking the audience to watch and decide for themselves. The cop-out answer is as unthinking as the film. Nevertheless, treated as a popcorn movie, it is enjoyable.

More reviews at http://anutshellreview.blogspot.com