Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Undercover Punch and Gun - Movie Review

The Movie: Undercover Punch and Gun

The Directors: Koon-Nam Lui and Frankie Tam

The Cast: Phillip Ng, Vanness Wu, Andy On, Yinsheng Li, Joyce Wenjuan Feng, Luxia Jiang, Nicholas Tse, Carrie Ng, Susan Yam-Yam Shaw, Suet Lam

The Story: Undercover police Wu teams up with unlikely allies in order to fight a major drug dealer and take down a drug smuggling ring.

The Review:
Okay so this movie feels like a throwback to classic martial arts flicks like the stuff Jackie Chan was putting out early in his career. The fight scenes are over the top but not excessively so and there's a fair amount of comedy sprinkled in to make sure you know not to take the story too seriously. The directing team of Koon-Nam Lui and Frankie Tam seemed to make every effort to make this movie as fun as possible and for me just about all of it works. I will say, you are going to want to set aside the part of your brain that will analyze and critique a movie, it's definitely more enjoyable as a kick back with some popcorn and relax your mind type of show.

Phillip Ng has been a mainstay in martial arts movies since the early two thousands and he always brings some of the best moves and strongest fighting skills and all of that is on full display as his character Xiao Wu who is about as deep undercover as a person can get. Also playing an undercover cop and Wu's literal partner in crime is Vanness Wu who some might know as a member of Taiwanese boyband F4 and the Korean Mandopop duo Kangta & Vanness. How do I know this stuff? I just do. Wu provides a lot of the comic relief for the movie as well as a martial arts style that blends parkour skills into other fighting styles.

The entire cast is pretty badass when it comes to the fighting or at least, the directors make them look badass but either way, just about all of the fight scenes are very impressive. Along with Ng and Wu, we also get to see Andy On, Wenjuan Feng, and Luxia Jiang do their thing with Carrie Ng and Nicholas Tse showing up in supporting roles. Don't know who these people are? get to know them, they've all had great careers. Some of the special effects are a bit cheesy although most of what you will see on screen is good old fashioned practical effects work. During the credits, you will get to see some of the bloopers which is also a callback to Jackie Chan movies and you sometimes wonder how they survived given all the bumps and bruises and falls.

I think everything about this movie, the effects, the fights, and the story are all very reminiscent of 80's and 90's martial arts action movies. It's kind of hard to describe it's more the tone of the movie and how it feels while watching it more than anything else. This is something the directors captured very well whether it was intentional or not, I think it was, and for the most part it works. I also like the fact that the heroes are working to save women who have been kidnapped and held to eventually be trafficked to who knows where and for what purpose. I'm always down to see people fighting against human trafficking so definitely a highlight for me.

The Verdict:
Undercover Punch and Gun is a high flying throwback to 80's style martial arts movies and it really is a lot of fun even if it is a bit cheesy. The story isn't anything you've never seen before and the stellar cast makes it a worthwhile adventure.

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