Kung Fu and Fantasy can work hand in hand quite well. Mixed with Wire Fu it can create glorious looking film with an artistic style that conveys a message and delivers some meaning. But really, I just wanna see some cool fights!
The movie Wu Dang is a bit of an example to the above – the fantasy kung fu and wirework and a visual style with CGI to top off the ‘expensiveness’ of it’s look. But not really heavy on the messages, it tends to rely more on excitement and action. Honestly, wire fu just doesn’t do it for me and, I think it’s safe to say, most people who read my blog are the same!
Wu Dang is a movie based around a bit of treasure hunter in a slightly Indiana Jones / Operation Condor style of fiction that is a bit of disappointment. We follow Tang, played by Vincent Zhao as he tries to steal several treasures from Wu Dang Mountain – along the way he meets a girl named Tianxin who is also a thief.
So the two decide to work together. These two aren’t bad guys, Tianxin is retrieving property stolen from her father (who probably stole it in the first place) and Tang is trying to cure his daughter’s illness with one of the treasures. So their cause is noble!
But of course, there’s always a bad guy working behind the scenes, which is good since this movie probably would have been pretty damn bad without one. Our main villain reveals himself at the end and has a lot of potential for an awesome fight scene but is instead ruined by cheap CGI and special effects. So you’ve got a movie with a pretty unoriginal plot and a stale action finale. But is it entertaining overall?
Yeah, it’s actually not that bad – but not really that good either. The movie’s pace is decent and the action is… well, ‘decent’ – it also and provides a little bit of entertainment value despite the fact it really doesn’t break new ground. The performances are done well and we’ve got a talented lead in Vincent Zhao, who plays a pretty likeable character and has a decent introduction at the beginning of the film when he steals the map to the treasures at Wu dang.
The movie flows pretty naturally and has action sprinkled throughout – it is a bit mixed though (much like this review). There are a few very brief occasions during the choreography where some legit and interesting martial arts movements are used, showing off some nice technicality that any martial artist or fan can appreciate. The problem is it’s all just mixed up with gravity defying wire fu which just serves to slow the pace of the action and kind of diminish the value of some of the better stuff. It’s a bit of a shame really.
Overall it scores a dead standard ‘middle’ rating across the board as nothing being really bad or really good. It was a hard movie to really make a statement in this review since I found it to be just so bland despite being relatively entertaining. But if you want my recommendation – I’d say skip it, there’s much better films out there – unless your a big fan of Wire Fu!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Wu Dang [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)