It been a while since I last check out a Martial Art film so I decided to checkout The Rebel which had a good reputation. It didn't live to all the praise it got I believe and it certainly could have been better.
The Rebel is set in the 1920s when Vietnam is under colonial rule, one French elite will join a resistance fighter while battling his inner-self to retain his culture or continue his mission. I saw real potential in the plot, but unfortunately it never goes into any interesting direction and it's really unappealing to look at due to the bad color filter. The plot is pretty decent, but you'll see things coming a mile away in predictable manner. While well written for the most part, secondary characters are completely flat and not worth caring about. This movie also has a ridiculously powerful villain who can take a chair to the back, a chandelier to the head, and cut with a knife to his throat and walks it off like nothing happens. This kind of villain really doesn't for a movie who wants to be realistic. The plot is not the best in the Martial Art genre, but it's gets you through the film with enough violence to keep you awake. The fight choreography is performed well, but it's honestly nothing great. Our main man, Johnny Tri Nguyen, kicks way to much which made me wonder often if he forgot if he had hands. It's really distracting when your hero only line of defense is kicking 95% percent of the time. The cast acting is above average, but it's certainly better than what I've seen from Thailand Martial Art flicks. I like the design of the movie for making it look like the 1920s and by showing us allot of Vietnam scenery.
The Rebel doesn't stand out in a populated genre in any way, shape, or form and highly doubt it'll get a bigger audience any time soon. This is by no mean a bad movie, but you'll be wishing more from the experience like I did.