AKA: Flashpoint, City With No Mercy, City Without Mercy
Year of release: 2007
Director: Wilson Yip
Action directors: Donnie Yen, Bruce Law, Yan Hua
Producers: Nansun Shi, Donnie Yen, Shan Dong-Bing, Liu Li-Juan, Zhang Zhao
Writers: Szeto Kam, Nicholl Tang
Cinematography: Tony Miu, Cheung Man-Po
Editor: Cheung Ka-Fai
Music: Comfort Chan
Stars: Donnie Yen, Louis Koo, Ngai Sing, Fan Bing-Bing, Xing Yu, Kent Cheng, Ben Lam, Helena Law Lan, Sammy Hung, Austin Wai, Ray Lui
Rated IIB for violence
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Donnie Yen's always kind of been the red-headed stepchild of Hong Kong movies. Any action fan worth their salt certainly can't deny his martial arts talent. He's been in a number of classics of the genre, most notably Once Upon a Time in China 2, where he squares off against Jet Li in one of the finest fight scenes ever filmed.
But there's always been something holding him back from becoming a true mega-star. Most accounts would point to Yen himself, whose attitude on the set has been difficult to say the least on some productions. However, in the past few years, Yen's hubris looks to have subsided a bit and he seems to have found a copasetic directorial partner with Wilson Yip (SPL, Dragon Gate).
So his latest project, Flash Point, has been met with a great deal of anticipation by action junkies. Rest assured, it's not only a solid movie, but it has some of the best fight scenes put out by a Hong Kong production since the much-ballyhooed "golden age" of the mid-1980's to early 1990's. Yeah, it's that damn good.
I'm not even really going to go into any sort of details about the plot. It's the typical throwaway stuff you see far too often in movies like this. And frankly, for the first portion of the proceedings, you might find yourself going for the fast-forward button. But just hang on -- you're in for a great ride.
Like a lot of the pictures from the golden age, Flash Point holds back until the final act, and then it's on like Donkey Kong. This is balls-to-the-wall stuff that will have you yelling like a little kid seeing a Bruce Lee movie for the first time. The final fight between Yen and Ngai Sing (aka Collin Chou) ranks right up there with the Jackie Chan/Ken Lo brawl from Drunken Master II.
Yes, dear readers, I'm serious with that last statement. Flash Point not only proves that Hong Kong action cinema isn't dead, but it still has the ability to slap you upside the head and make you ask for more, all the while with a huge smile on your face. Do yourself a favor and see this movie now. You won't be disappointed.