Greetings valued Dan's Movie Report readers, another exclusive action film review. Direct from Vietnam comes 'Truy Sat' (Tracer) a full force action film produced by and starring the talented Truong Ngoc Anh. Truong's company Transnational Arts Entertainment and Korea's CJ Entertainment produced the project. Before I start this review I would like to thank Truong for allowing me the distinct opportunity to review 'Truy Sat' long before it comes to U.S. Shores.
In addition, I would credit Maria Tran and Trung Ly for pointing out this amazing film and introducing me to a new world of dynamic Vietnamese films, opening my mind and proving that action is not only global, but in order to make better action films, the source funding for these films have to be a unifying goal.
For lovers of real action films, 'Truy Sat' represents an important step, allowing those passionate about movie making to control the quality of production. Truong and everyone involved put out an impressive film worthy of a theatrical release, even in the U.S.!
Describing the plot, Truong Ngoc Anh portrays a cop, with a penchant for conducting her own investigations at the behest of her superior officers. She is not just any cop, she is a special forces investigator, so she is not only weapons trained, she is an expert in various forms of hand to hand combat, and technical knowledge. The cool thing is 'Truy Sat' shatters stereo types, not only is there a strong female character, she is given situations to lead men and control groups and lead an investigation. This is 2016, it is time for action to evolve! Truong is absolutely top notch, a natural in acting, and has a full force talent, that needs to be respected worldwide.
Once again, amazing action, from the Trung Ly and his team. 'Truy Sat' had many action sequences, cleaver fights and a wide variety of settings. Often a difficult dynamic to have mixed gender action with not only non weapon fights. but with weapons. Of course, movie action is far different from real combat, but what I like is when Maria or Truong fight guys it is never a direct attack, and they take damage and punishment also in their fights. A particular action Maria Tran does is a flying head scissors to take down larger opponents, and upward thrusting ground attacks. In all reality, the fights on 'Truy Sat' showcase the talent, and play to the strengths of the talent involved. Chatting with Trung, he states that crafting the action based on a particular person's ability rather than forcing them to do a move they are not comfortable with allows for a smoother choreographed sequence. Trung and his team worked hard on this production.
Director Cuong Ngo is to be commended for allowing the action to unfold, and working to balance a full force action film with some cool sub plots. 'Truy Sat' is a great example of an action film, that is allows the viewers to enjoy the action. The use of drone cameras, which is more prevalent in 2016 allows for increasing the scope of the chase sequences, and clever placement of the actors.
Watch for a couple of cool cameos. Big Mike Leeder as Mr. Cruise, a crime lord. He is a mastermind, and a no nonsense criminal. One has to wonder if his character name comes from Tom Cruise, ha, perhaps not. Trung Ly portrays Mr. Seng a drug lord intent on partying as much as drug trafficking! Developing them as side characters adds a new dimension in 'Truy Sat'. I must say, if the 'Truy Sat' team are looking for a dapper gweilo in a future film, I feel my only talent would be pensive purveyor of erudition, l leave the action to those who can, though I am not afraid to as Maria puts it “re-educate someone” ha!
Back to the review, 'Truy Sat' works as a film to watch a few times, as there is much going on. We witness An's (Truong Ngoc Ahn) personal life with her younger brother, who is a special needs child. As a dynamic, this is important as empathy is developed, for her and her fight to live a dichotomous life.
Of course there are light hearted moments, there is a scene when oblivious to the massive fight taking place between Maria's and Truong's character, a couple is in the beginnings of a passionate exchange oblivious to what is going on around them. Perhaps this is a deeper commentary on social behavior, or just a way to show obliviousness toward others, but it was quite funny, and especially when a fight ends with someone being thrown into a pool, and this is a signal to get the party started!
Overall, 'Truy Sat' is a memorable film in all facets. Fast cars, thanks to Audi, great locations, talented acting, directing, and action coordinating. This is a film that screams, PLEASE, let the action people handle the action. Do not micro manage. It is very exciting to watch, and I am looking forward to witness more of Truong Ngoc Anh's produced films, whether action or drama.
Kudos go to Korean giant CJ Entertainment, for pushing into Vietnam and building cinemas, and thus increasing the audiences for these films. 'Truy Sat' rates a very strong 8.5 out of 10, a must own, and support project. A film that could pave the way for the future in new markets, and hopefully a U.S. Limited theatrical run and film festivals!
Watch for more exclusives on Dan's Movie Report and The Action Elite later in 2016 and 2017 about 'Truy Sat', including an interview with Truong Ngoc Anh!
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