Ji Zhan (Unbeatable) Reviews
Cheung's plays a similar role to the one he played in " Beast Stalker"; a guy with a successful boxing background who gets himself involved in crime, leading to a life of hardship. In the events of the movie Cheung's character becomes acquainted with his new grief stricken landlord and her daughter which give him motive to redeem himself. Yuyan's character plays the son of a, bankrupt business man who's hit rock bottom. He gets drunks every night and becomes bitter with his son. Nonetheless Cheung Tries desperately to get his father back on his feet again. Both men enter an MMA tournament to inspire their loved ones to get through their difficulties.
The underdog fighting for a noble cause, I could have predicted the plot but it was just so well executed that it wasn't really and issue. The the progression between the drama and action was great and both aspects had equally developed. I was compelled me through to the very end. I guess you don't always need and original plot to make a good movie. As expected Cheung portrayal of his character was excellent but also a notable mention for Mei Ting's portrayal of the insane bereaving mother. Man I love the over the top, screwed up physiological stuff Hong Kong action movies often have. There were also some really well done comedic and feel-good moments in the film that makes you wanna "ahhhh".
this movie doesn't get into the technical, geeky aspects of MMA and in fact gets some of the rules wrong. I would have liked the fights to be more visceral perhaps more swelling makeup. I just didn't get that sense of intense, physical pain that I remembered in movies like "Best of the best" or "Rocky." but I'm really that's just nit picking. I don't really watch many Asian films but ill definitely be watching out for this creative team in the future.
There aren't a glut of hot-blooded hand-to-hand combats (4 is the exact time), instead Lam and his screen writer team manage to consolidate the context of these two fighters' characteristic backdrop stories and furthermore justify their own causes to fight, Peng is to prove himself in front of his life-beaten and alcohol-abusing father and Cheung is to reinitiate his own potentiality and farewell to his squandered youth. Those are the perpetual themes of sport films, they are soul-inspiring and heart-touching at their best, but over-elaborated and shortchanged for its pragmatism at their worst. Other than the white-knuckle combats in the cage, which has been recorded faithfully with swift and precise camerawork to achieve the sensational verisimilitude (and very impressive pre-fighting training sequences). The entanglement between Cheung and a pair of mother-daughter (Mei, a single mother who is mentally unstable due to a past trauma and Lee, her premature daughter whose Pollyannaish nature under an impoverished situation does strike a chord to any soul with a tender spot) occupies the majority of the narrative, the function of main female characters in the male-driven genre always recedes to either a frail victim (Mei) or a redeeming touch of guilelessness (Lee), the shackles need to be innovated, yet it is a long way ahead.
UNBEATABLE is a strong contender in next year's Hong Kong Film Awards (along with Johnnie To's BLIND DETECTIVE 2013, 7/10), they represent the caliber of the technique peak and the liberation of telling a story without pampering audiences' ostensible reactions from an art form's cheap face value, which is far more self-aware and less money-seeking than most of the players in the over-bloating Chinese film market nowadays.