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Critic Reviews for City Under Siege (Chun sing gai bei)
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Audience Reviews for City Under Siege (Chun sing gai bei)
Apr 17, 2011Not a bad Hong Kong sci-fi-action flick, but it's a bit complete mess. The lead character is insipid and uninteresting, the storyline is poorly developed, and the emotional subplots are laughable and unconvincing. Shu Qi and Zhang Jingchu aren't bad in their roles, and some of the kung-fu action is decent. There's also Aaron Kwok and his crazy overacting - and hey, if entertainment has a name, it's Aaron Kwok. Despite this major setback, Benny Chan (<i>Invisible Target, New Police Story</i>) who has a track record churning out entertaining action flicks over the years is still an adept hand in conducting massive mayhem be it on the highway or high-rise buildings with his frequent collaborator, action choreographer Nicky Li. Obviously when it comes to action sequences, no one do it better other than Chan and Li with the nimble combination of wirefu and explosions. The various fight sequences populated with plenty of CG enhanced daggers turned out to be less memorable and engaging this time though it will still please the action fans seeing Colin Chou sparring with Wu Jing and so on. I see Chou is yet again in a one-dimensional, poorly-written baddie role that he so commonly portrayed in the nineties.Dean M Super Reviewer
Aug 29, 2010<i>"People may get lost sometimes, and even lose the ego."</i><p> I'm a fan of Benny Chan. He's made some really enjoybale action films in the past, such as <i>New Police Story</i> and <i>Invisible Target</i>. His latest offering, <i>City Under Siege</i>, sees him taking on the sci-fi genre. All I can say is <i>"I'm disapointed."</i> This is a nightmare of a movie. <u>SUMMARY:</u><p> Sunny (Aaron Kwok) is a professional clown who dreams of being a star dagger thrower and generally acts like a complete idiot. Sunny is an optimistic, childish and totally daft dope who's routinely ridiculed by the circus' other performers, an evil bunch led by Cheung (Collin Chou). One night, Sunny and Cheung's band of evil circus performers happen across a buried lab in Malaysia (which was used by the Japanese in World War II for experimenting with a strange gas to turn people into super strong mutants with a predilection for violence) and bust it open thinking that it contains gold. They manage to find capsules that do contain gold, but soon consume some of the gas, and go through mutation soon after. All the mutants end up back in Hong Kong, with Cheung's gang pillaging and ravaging, while Sunny becomes a star after saving someone from a criminal. He attracts the eye of TV Reporter Angel (Shu Qi). <u>REVIEW:</u><p> Benny Chan is an awful writer. I still don't know why he continues to write the scripts for his films. He is an appalling screenwriter. Like many action films nowadays, <i>City Under Siege</i> has the dumbest storyline ever. All this dribble about mutants and Japanese soldiers is terrible. There's some silly use of "flying daggers", which isn't well suited to this kind of genre. In terms of character, the film goes for the amusing kind. The hero of the film, Sunny, is a numb skull. He's dumb and weak. To the audience, he's supposed to be the underdog that we love. Well, I didn't love him. I found him annoying. The villain here, Cheung, is your basic baddie. He's evil, he's scary looking, and he's a criminal. It's a shame that he had to have a little bit of humour, with a few lines that aren't funny at all. <i>City Under Siege</i> does follow a rather typical plot line. It's the basic kung-fu movie type of storyline - hero gets strong, hero fights with bad guy, bad guy wins, hero trains with a badass, hero defeats bad guy with new found power. I had a problem with this due to the fact that the film isn't a kung fu movie. It doesn't have the right to fit into the catergory. It's way too silly! Aaron Kwok's performance is way too over-the-top, and it seems that he was directed to do that by Chan. Gosh, he makes the character of Sunny annoying. He's not very charming at all. Shu Qi does a solid job as Sunny's love interest, though I found her very unlikeable. The best thing about <i>City Under Siege</i> is Wu Jing and Zhang Jingchu. They play a couple who capture mutants. The two of them are asked to protect Sunny and Angel from the mutants that are after him. The great thing is that they have chemistry. Wu and Zhang are a great couple, working really well together. Their performances were definitely the best of the film. Collin Chou has heaps of fun as the villain, though it is a shame that he was dubbed - I'm pretty sure he can speak Cantonese. It's a shame that there was so little action in this, as Chan would always direct films with a whole heap of action. Unlike his other films, Chan uses way too much CGI in this. There's so many special effects on-screen that it soon begins to hurt your eyeballs. Daggers being thrown, trucks flying through midair, and glass exploding - all this is created by the effects. It doesn't work, and Chan has been famous for always doing action with a realistic edge. Here, it's missing. The action itself is average. Sure, it's shot well, but it's boring. Wu Jing is still a lot of fun to watch as he kicks ass. The pacing is a bit off, as well is the running time of the film. It's way too long for a film of its type. I thought this was going to be good. Chan is a good director, and the look of the poster was brilliant. I guess I was judging a book by its cover. <i>City Under Siege</i> is terrible - that's all it is. Wu Jing and Zhang Jingchu may give it some points, but overall, it's not a film I can recommend. Even to a Benny Chan fan. I hope he never touches the Sci-Fi genre again. <div style="width:500px;"><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/city-under-siege-13810131"><img src="http://content9.flixster.com/photo/13/81/01/13810131_ori.jpg" border="0"/></a><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;">James H Super Reviewer
Aug 13, 2010Benny Chan's <i>City Under Siege</i> doesn't live up to its name, yet it does find a way to amuse.<p>The story is straightforward, while the storytelling is uneven. The 1 hour 50 minute run time contains the humor, the action, and even some drama; however, overall the film feels somewhat, for lack of a better word, cheesy. That isn't to say that this is an awful picture because it is entertaining in a silly way.</p><p>Given the talent of a few of the actors, the martial arts wire-fu action is lacking in quantity. As for the quality, it is pretty good despite some overload on the makeup and CG effects.</p><p>The cast is loaded and Aaron Kwok is the star of the show. His performance is the most notable piece in the entire film, aside from some of the action segments. Simply put, Shu Qi is nothing out of the ordinary. Jingchu Zhang, Wu Jing, and Collin Chou never reach their full potential and this is a disappointment.</p><p><i>City Under Siege</i> does have its flaws and its satisfaction level is a toss up. Not a high recommendation, but one to take a chance on.</p>JY S Super Reviewer
Aug 13, 2010I didn't think it was possible, but it somehow was. Here is my official selection for this years worst movie. There were plenty of contenders, and its not even the end of the year, but here we are. This is without a doubt the most cliche ridden, most ridiculously stupid, overacted and just down right retarded movie ever. Circus folk getting superheroes isn't too new, but the way the trailer depicted it, it made it look like a dark, and intense action movie. Its the complete opposite. The overdone action scenes, that come complete with Michael Bay style explosions, lots of yelling and horrific dialogue seriously made me want to slam my head on the chair in front of me. HK's attempt to keep up with Hollywood by going for more CGI and explosions, is pathetic to say the least, and downright humiliating for the thousands of Hong Konger's who watch this. And the acting. Oh dear lord, I haven't seen this much overacting in my entire life. Every member of the cast goes overboard with the tears, and the crying, and the pouting, and yadda yadda yadda. It was just horrible to watch. What should have been a fast paced action movie, gets slowed down by unnecessary love stories between all the characters. Its just so melodramatic and unappealing. Some parts of the movie also seem more like forced comedy then action. The main character acts partly like a retard, and then at the end, is trained to be some sort of hero. Not only is this unbelievable, its downright impossible. Also impossible is the amount of coincidental meetings and appearances that are all necessary to keep the story moving forward. If the writers thought this was the way to keep the movie going, then either they've never seen a movie before, or they just have no common sense. For the sake of sanity, do yourself a favor. Don't watch this movie. This is an example of film-making at its absolute worst, and by watching it, you're only causing damage to your own brain, and adding more money to the pockets of the producers and studio heads.Caius C Super Reviewer
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