Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Kung Fu Hero (AKA Kung Fu Man) (2012) Movie Review (C) 2014 Dan's Movie Report
Kung Fu Hero (AKA Kung Fu Man), starring Tiger Chen, Chyna McCoy and Vanessa Branch was the very first film I ever covered on Dan's Movie Report see post: . Although principle photography commenced back in 2009, the release was not until 2013. The delay was also due to the fact that Tiger Chen was working on another project with Keanu Reeves called Man of Tai Chi. By releasing that film first more attention will be placed on Kung Fu Man, as Tiger Chen will be better known. This review also contains some exclusive photos, from the production from Chyna.
The movie takes place entirely in China, and the essential plot points are that Ping (Tiger Chen) protects a young boy named Christopher (Arman Darbo) from ruthless villans including Andre McCoy and Vanessa Branch
Kung Fu Hero is part action, part kids oriented story, part chase drama. The film opens with a mysterious box being delivered to an unsuspecting store worker (Chen) at night. Lo and behold, the wicker box moves! Ping investegates the contents, and Christopher is found, bound and gagged inside. Christopher is 8, initially suspicious of Ping, although there is a language barrier, eventually Ping convinces Christopher he is the only person to trust.
Turns out, his kidnappers are actually those originally hired to protect him, a plot point revealed early in the story. The principal antagonists Chyna McCoy and Vanessa Branch are hell bent on finding him and extorting ransom money out of his real and very wealthy parents.
The Chinese Police are hot on the trail and not sure who to believe. Kung Fu Hero, is a fast and furious actioneer with a well thought out story, taking time from the frantic action to develop storyline. An extensive amount of taken in the beginning of the 83 minute film for the interplay between Ping and Christopher. Later in the film the two meet up with and especially heartwarming, unsuspecting teacher, who becomes entangled in the plot, and has to help enterperet the boys English for Ping, thus facilitating communication. The actress who portrays her does a wonderful job, I will update this space when I learn more about her.
Kung Fu Hero is a thought provoking film, has underlying tones of Superman and superhero movies, as Christopher relates to Ping as his own personal Superman. Intersperse some imaginative, wistful, animation into the film and Kung Fu Hero is a story the whole family can enjoy.
With regards to the child actor Arman, I thought that he did a decent job, perhaps a bit of repetitiveness in lines, however stress can do that, this the film-makers were adding a sense of fear, I do think he nailed the facial expressions for a kid on the run.
Andre (Chyna) McCoy shines here, in a role, what I determine to be the "Supreme Villain Zen Master": calm, cool, and calculated. He is a man of few words but the fights he partakes in toward the end with Tiger Chen's Ping character fall into the epic category. No short cuts here, full force action, Tiger and Chyna going hard, in a bombastic, ballet of brutality. Weapons can be anything and come from anywhere, and watch Tiger soar on wires.
Vanessa Branch's role is a bit limited, as she tries to be the innocent person looking for the boy, turns out she is a vile kidnapper in disguise, her character is cold, and ruthless, perfect for a villian.
Tiger Chen, is, in a word amazing, he has the moves, intellect, and timing to be the next action hero. He is Kung Fu Hero in the truest sense. The fighting, speed, adept wirework, everything is just mindblowing, Tiger is a master at his craft and his craft gets more creative by the minute.
Overall, I really enjoyed Kung Fu Hero, I give it a must own especially if you have 8-15 yr old kids, it is an enjoyable film with repeat watchability. I give Kung Fu Hero a solid 9 out of 10, it is really a blast!
Check out the official Trailer @
For more info follow Tiger Hu Chen on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/Tigerhuchen8
Chyna McCoy official facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/CHYNAS-MCCOYS-FAN-PAGE/10150115640730377