Beware the Fists of ‘Furie’

25 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Release Date: June 25, 2019
WELL GO USA

* Spoiler Alert

When a young girl gets kidnapped and mom is nearby, hell hath no Furie than a woman scorned. This idiom gets an all new meaning in this movie starring Veronica Ngo. She appeared in The Tailor (2017) and had a supporting role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She shines as a tough as nails ex-gang member wanting a simple life in the countryside of Vietnam but has to be John Wick.

Director Le Van Kiet’s work (The Last Tour: Vietnam) offers a balance not often seen in revenge films. He also sticks to themes that he knows well. His previous films are about survival. Also, a vulnerability has to peek through despite all the rage and anger going on. That’s why Nicolas Cage’s Mandy worked. Some folks simply want a simple life away from the violence of the big cities. Hai Phuong (Ngo) moved to the countryside to get away from gangsters and raise her daughter Mai (Mai Cat Vi) in peace.

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However, the world she wants to leave behind catches up and it becomes a race not only to save one child, but many. Police resources are always limited, and that’s why some individuals go vigilante. That’s when this film gets intense. The fact we have two tough streetfighters makes the lamented Chun Li movie from a decade ago look tame. Their fight on a moving train is far more exciting than a WWE diva match and Nu Quai (Thanh Hoa) makes for a terrific stock villainess.

The action is intense. The fast cuts and editing sells the moments which I was waiting for. And while the fight on a train is quickly becoming very cliche in Asian cinema, this moment felt better as no crazy heroics were involved. I was waiting for someone to get clobbered by the gateway of a tunnel entrance or a tree branch. It’s no spoiler to say it didn’t happen.

The film stays realistic enough so that the narrative is not too cut and dry. Phuong obviously can’t do it all, and who she gets as the Calvary is expected. Ngo is multitalented. In addition to being a singer, she’s now an action starlet on the rise. I cannot wait to see her go fists of fury again.

4 Stars out of 5

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