Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chop Sockey Night: Episode 2: Duel of the Brave One

I really had meant to do this feature about once a week, but of course, I'm too lazy to even watch a movie, if I know that I'm going to have to do some form of work afterward (like write up some thoughts on the movie). But the time has come.

The second film from the self-proclaimed GREATEST KUNG FU KILLERS of all time! collection, is Duel of the Brave One, which sounds like a title for a good movie. Too bad it's not.

This one's going to be short, people. Frankly, I didn't like this movie at all. The long and short of it is, I couldn't tell who anyone was (with one or two exceptions), who was on who's side, what the hell was going on, or why the hell anybody put this movie in a collection called the Greatest anything.

It was basically about a territory dispute between two gangs. I think. Also, how some guy had supposedly betrayed one of the gangs, even though he served prison time because he wouldn't squeal to the cops. Probably. Also, there was a reasonably attractive chick in the film.

I tried really hard to follow what was going on, but while the first movie in this collection had about 8 people total in it, this one had many, many more than that. And they all looked the same. There was no identifying outfit that either gang wore, or even colors (that I could tell) to distinguish one side from the other. I'm not even sure how much we really saw the other side. There was a cop, who was big for a Chinese guy, he was a good 6 inches taller than most of the characters, if not a foot. His boss was some white guy, and I think he said The Empire or the Crown at some point, so maybe this took place in Honk Kong, or some other British held city.

The fighting was faster than in Shadow of the Tiger, but it also felt much less refined, more poorly choreographed, much less real, too unstructured, and too confusing (what with not knowing which side anybody was on).

I tried, I really did, but I could not stay interested in this film. I kept drifting off to sleep, and even though I think it's partly because I was getting sick, that's extremely rare. I kept telling myself the movie was almost over, I felt like it had been going on forever, but when I finally checked the run time, I had barely seen over half of it. There was still 40 minutes to go. And I gave up. I turned it off, and I went to sleep. I don't think I can possibly finish it, I am so lost as to what's going on and who anybody is, that I feel I have no investment in any of the characters, what their plights are, or what the main point of the story even is. And I certainly don't want to start it over again to try and figure out what's going on, so I think I will pass on the rest.

I just went and examined the case again, and there are three people on the cover. I think I know who two of them are, one is the leader of one of the gangs, we've seen him 2, maybe 3 times, all he's done is yell at his underlings. One is, I think, supposed to be the protagonist, because everyone was looking for him for a while, and we're still following him around a lot, but I couldn't tell you why. I have no idea who the third person is. The stills on the back of the box don't even look like scenes I'd seen yet, it almost made me curious to see the remainder of the film, to get to those scenes, but not only did the scenes not look familiar, neither did the people in the scenes, which means it's entirely possible I DID see them, and just don't remember them (although the lighting in one makes me think it came from the other film on the disc, Shadow of the Tiger), so color me completely lost and confused with this film.

My conclusion is, then, don't watch Duel of the Brave One. The blurb on the back makes it sound exciting. It's not. It's incomprehensible and confusing. It's got poor kung fu, and I couldn't stay interested in it for even half of the 90 minute run time. Even the (presumed) promise of better fight scenes at the end of the film can't make me sit through the rest of it. This film has no redeemable features. Avoid at all costs. It's so bad, I wouldn't even scan the cover for you to see. At this point, I feel the $2 I spent on this 6 film collection to have been wasted. $2, for 6 movies. So far wasted. I could have bought some soda which I would have expelled from my body a few short hours later, and gotten more out of it, than I got out of this film. If anyone tries to get you to watch this movie, it means they don't like you.

I hope this "Greatest Kung Fu Collection" gets better.

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