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The Avenging Fist (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

October 11, 2015 by  



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While me and my friends who loved fighting video games and anime enjoyed this film, watching this film 14 years later, I just don’t feel as strongly for “The Avenging Fist” as I did back in 2001.  The CG looks aged, the acting and various scenes are quite campy, but still, it was a different action film to come out of HK and Andrew Lau and Corey Yuen no doubt made a fun action film at the time.  It’s just that not everyone may find it all that exciting today.

Images courtesy of © 2001 STAREAST. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: The Avenging Fist

FILM RELEASE DATE: 2001

DURATION: 98 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Cantones 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: NR

AVAILABLE ON: October 13, 2015


Directed by Andrew Lau, Corey Yuen

Written by Sap Sam Chen

Produced by Wai-keung Lau, Jessinta Liu, Jing Wong

Music by Ken Chan, Kwong Wing Chan

Cinematography by Yiu-Fai Lai

Edited by Curran Pang

Production Design by Kwok-wing Chong, Sung Pong Choo

Costume Design by Pik Kwan Lee


Starring:

Leehom Wang as Nova/Kong

Stephen Fung as Iron Surfer

Gigi Leung as Erika

Kristy Yang as Belle

Sammo Kam-bo Hung as Inspector Dark

Biao Yuen as Thunder

Ekin Cheng as Young Inspector Dark


 Scientists’ experiments on Power glove are on the verge of success. Power glove is designed to activate the hidden potential in human’s brain to empower the force of human beings. Special agent Dark, Thunder and War 21 are the only survivors in that experiment. Ambitious War 21 gets evil. He captures Thunder with a power glove and disappears… He has become Dark’s fugitive for 20 years. Two decades later, War 21 comes back with brainwashed Thunder and his underground troop aiming to rule the world. Dark is failed to eliminate them but he realizes Thunder has a son who also has the DNA, which enables him to use the power glove to challenge War 21, eventually…


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Back in 2001, filmmakers Andrew Lau (“Infernal Affairs” films, “Initial D”) and Corey Yuen (“The Transporter”, “The Legend” films) collaborated on the martial-arts sci-fi film “The Avenging Fist”.

Originally inspired by the “Tekken” video game franchise, the film would go into a different direction and become more of a sci-fi/fighting film.

The film would star pop star Leehom Wang (“List, Caution”, “Blackhat”, “China Strike Force”), Stephen Fung (“Gen X Cops”, “Taichi Zero”, “Badges of Fury”), pop star Gigi Leung (“Contract Killer”, “Tempting Heart”), Kristi Yang (“A Man Called Hero”, “The Storm Riders”, “Comrades: Almost a Love Story”), Sammo Kam-bo Hung (“Martial Law”, “Ip Man 2”), Biao Yen (“Once Upon a Time in China”, “Project A”, “Wheels on Meals”), Kar Lok Chin (“Lust, Caution”, “The Legend of Drunken Master”, “Cold War”) and Roy Cheung (“In the Mood for Love”, “The Mission”, “Exiled”).

“Avenging Fist” will finally be released on DVD in the U.S. courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment in October 2015.

Thunder was a guy who perfected the martial art of the “Avenging Fist”. As a police officer, he and two others – Dark and Combat 21 were chosen to test the power glove which would allow police officers to tap into the 90% but something went wrong and Thunder ended up dead.

Now it’s twenty years later and Thunder’s twins: Nova and Belle  are twins that have special talents. Nova for fighting and learning his dead father’s “Avenging Fist” technique and Belle with her power for producing heat. Nova never knew what happened to his father, his mother is not saying anything and she does not want him having anything to do with the “Avenging Fist”.

Nova’s goal is to have a “Power Glove” for himself, not knowing what it’s for…just knowing that police officer’s use it to kick butt. The day of his birthday, his mom has a surprise but Nova and Belle are in for a surprise when their long-dead father Thunder reappears.


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VIDEO & AUDIO:

“The Avenging Fist” looks dated considering it was released in 2001.  The visual effects are not as well done, but costume design worked for the film and giving it its futuristic feel.  The film is presented in Cantonese Dolby Digital 5.1 and there was good use of the surround channels during the action-driven scenes in the film.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Avenging Fist” comes with a theatrical trailer.


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NOTE: Because I originally reviewed the HK DVD in 2001, I will update the review to reflect the Well Go USA DVD release:

Back in 2001, when I heard that “Avenging Fist” was going to be out on DVD, I had this grin on my face because of the “Tekken” (the video game) hype surrounding the movie.  The film was pretty much known as “Tekken” but because of copyright, it was expected that the film would have little similarity to the video game.

Anyway, this movie has a lot of people you may have seen from many HK films and a few big names which adds to the allure of the film. Also, the special effects are pretty cool and the futuristic look ala “Blade Runner” was very nice.

This movie is definitely not “Tekken”, it’s more like “Tekken”, “Street Fighter 2” and “Dragon Ball Z” mixed together.

The only thing that “Tekken” has to do with this film is that it’s a fighting movie (ala videogame like fighting movie) and the main character (Leehom Wang, the guy who played Aaron Kwok’s partner on “China Strike Force”) has hair like Kazuya which is pretty cool.

The only thing that “Street Fighter 2” has to do with it is the fighting characters and Combat-21 (think M. Bison, or if you are in East Asia think Vega). The only thing that “DBZ” has to do with this is the ending segment which is reminiscent of how DBZ ended with Goku’s battle with Boo.

Anyway, the plot is humans can only use 10% of their brain. What would happen if humans can tap into the other 90% which is called the “Forbidden Zone”.

Anyway in the past: Thunder was a guy who perfected the martial art of the “Avenging Fist”. As a police officer, he and two others – Dark and Combat 21 were chosen to test the power glove which would allow police officers to tap into the 90% but something went wrong and Thunder ended up dead.

Now it’s twenty years later and Thunder’s twins: Nova and Belle  are twins that have special talents. Nova for fighting and learning his dead father’s “Avenging Fist” technique and Belle with her power for producing heat. Nova never knew what happened to his father, his mother is not saying anything and she does not want him having anything to do with the “Avenging Fist”.

Nova’s goal is to have a “Power Glove” for himself, not knowing what it’s for…just knowing that police officer’s use it to kick butt. The day of his birthday, his mom has a surprise but Nova and Belle are in for a surprise when their long-dead father Thunder reappears.

Back in 2001, I wrote that people who love video games especially fighting video games or anime will love this movie.  But 14 years later, the film has aged a lot since then, the CG is outdated and the video game culture, especially fighting games have changed so much that people will probably not make the connection with the film and “Tekken” video game anymore.

It’s interesting because back in 2001, my friends and I thought this film was so cool!  And I wished for this DVD to be released way back then.  I never imagined it would take this long.  But having watched it again, the film has lost its luster.

As for the DVD, similar to the original HK DVD release, there are no special features and unlike the HK DVD release which came with a Cantonese DTS 6.1 and Digital Dolby EX audio track.  The Well GO USA version comes with a Cantonese 5.1 surround sound soundtrack.

Also, fortunately with this DVD release, the English subtitles are much better and do not have the typos as the HK DVD release.

While me and my friends who loved fighting video games and anime enjoyed this film, watching this film 14 years later, I just don’t feel as strongly for “The Avenging Fist” as I did back in 2001.  The CG looks aged, the acting and various scenes are quite campy, but still, it was a different action film to come out of HK and Andrew Lau and Corey Yuen no doubt made a fun action film at the time.  It’s just that not everyone may find it all that exciting today.






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