Scorching the Retinas – Another Jackie Chan film

Posted: October 23, 2019 in Guest Post - B, martial arts, Scorching the Retinas - Film Review
Tags: , , , ,

Scorching the Retinas – Another Jackie Chan film

kung fu cinema

 

Well, howdy. B here again. It’s been a minute (actually a whole bunch longer but that seems to be a popular expression in these parts). One might notice that my additions have been sporadic as of late. My apologies, I’ve been wondering and have found the neighborhood to be bursting with delicious pets. Honestly this is an activity I’d never thought I’d partake in but after an adventurous Bison (a dog not the cantankerous horned animal similar to the buffalo native to the plains) decided to relieve him/herself against my temporary residences front entryway  (leaving a horrendous stank in the process) I found that I couldn’t resist.

bison dog

now imagine this cute lil’ bugga’ working its way down the gullet

Naturally, it wasn’t as if I jumped in full board. Nope. It was gradual. Initially a transfixing glare, which then transformed into a low growl. This didn’t amount too much to be honest. The poor mutt didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. And his/her resulting downfall was a result of the poor bastards overriding curiosity. I must smell good, though I doubt it, I most definitely don’t have much else going for me other than my questionable appearance; that of a malformed gargoyle fashioned from patchwork flesh rather than stone. Regardless, its hypnotic state climaxed in my jaw sliding its way around its furry little torso. A yelp, a smidgen of BBQ sauce later, a slice of tomato, a little lettuce, a spot of bread (Cult is spoilt. I believe his wife would prefer him plump) and my appetite was quenched if only until another quadruped found its way betwix my mandible.

Too much information? Probably. But I felt the most recent addition to my penchant list was deserved of sharing. Apparently, millions of Eastern denizens aren’t wrong, but keep the floss equipment handy, that fur is a bitch!

Now, where was I?

jackie chan film collection

Ah, yes. Cult has been busy lately, his brats have been in town and between what he deems his ‘pirate creating activities’ (his job, it’s all rather enigmatic unless you know him and what he chooses to do to pay those pesky bills) and family duties his digits haven’t touched the keyboard in appreciation of that which would normally grace his senses on a normal weeks basis. Poor bugga’. However, during this time I did spy him watch a few movies with his offspring whilst gorging on an astonishing amount of fizzy beverages and sugary delectables.

I’ve provided relevant details, below, for one of the films, for those into such things (details and wot not). And, lucky you, I’ve decided to write a little something about it.

Kung-Fu Yoga (2017)
China

kung fu yoga

Written and Directed by Stanley Tong
Runtime – 107 minutes
Taihe Entertainment
Shiner Pictures

Jackie Chan is the star here, though as always unselfishly shares the spotlight, and for those who think he’s lost any of his former flair, speed, ability and flexibility you are sorely mistaken. Obviously, this isn’t as outlandish as either entry in the “Armor of God” (or for that matter “Project A”) series though it does run amok with stunts, limb flailing and Indiana Jones homage elements. From what I could make out Jackie is a historian (he even uses his real name) and with the help of a few friends (some he hasn’t spoken to in a while) he embarks upon a quest to unearth an Indian treasure site thought to be the stuff of legends. Along the way he encounters greed, a plethora of foes with supposed family ties to the treasure in question and enough tomfoolery to confuse a clown.

kung fu yoga gif 2.gif

The story is easy enough to follow and showcases a slew of extravagant locations whilst including history regarding (centuries) past relationships between China and India. The film’s opening is not what one might expect, bathed in CGI brilliance this is the stuff of console games. Albeit online affairs of the RPG type including, but in no way limited to, armored elephants, heroes, a landscape bursting in conflict and dizzying acrobatic agility. (What does the X do again? And what happens when I hit X,Y and the triangle button in rapid succession?)

(The films opening CGI scene courtesy of Kurnia HD)

The beginning serves as an introduction to the treasure itself but also successfully drags the viewer in with its vivid, larger than life, nature and stark visuals. I’m left wondering whether those responsible went this route due to possible PETA complaint (resulting from the obvious) or the fact that elephants of this size are hard to train, let alone find. I would imagine most are squirreled away someplace taking selfies, auditioning for the live action adaption of Peter Jackson’s classic “Meet the Feebles”, skateboarding or taking part in something else equally as outlandish/improbable.

kung fu yoga gif

Kung-Fu Yoga itself is nothing but utterly watchable, the action is fast and furious though strays from the type of brutality exemplified in “The Raid” and “The Night Comes for Us” making it a feature the whole family can enjoy, if they be so inclined. The humor element works well both in dialogue and in the action scenes. Obviously, all one has to do is look at the DVD’s cover artwork (featuring Jackie and a Lion in an SUV) to see that it comfortably fits the Jackie Chan cinematic output mold (although he has made more than his fair share of dramas) and the film is sufficient to make most but the truly jaded and insufferable smirk during its duration.

The love interest element is playful rather than intense keeping this on a ‘family film’ platform. Seriously what’s more annoying than watching a film with a child only to have them ask “(include parental suffix here) why’s that guy putting his piss stick in her mouth?”

kung fu yoga lion

Several scenes warrant mentioning but based on the fact that I’m a lazy bastid’ I will only mention that which graces the films artwork. There’s a large cat, for some reason it’s in the back of an SUV (this scene was shot in Saudi Arabia if that’s reason enough) which Jackie is using to chase another who has recently stolen that which is the focal point of this film’s narrative. As one might imagine the cat gets frustrated and Jackie as well as trying to navigate the busy streets (of whenever this was filmed. Dubai?) he has to contend with the animal’s discontent and the fact that he/she could at any moment cleave him in twain. It’s an amusing scene and shows Jackie in top form without him once resorting to kicks, blocks or somersaults.

(courtesy of Hollywood dubbed movies)

Other animal moments include an escape from a pack of caged hungry hyenas (PETA might have a problem with this one, although I doubt the kicking animal antics were real). Another scene (which bears mentioning) is the films finale. Sans ruining the climax I’ll note a similarity to a recent “Mr. Bean” film in which the same sort of thing transpired, although in another style completely. It doesn’t ruin the film, as at this point you could hit stop and still ‘get the point’. And it successfully manages to tie the film into both Chinese and Indian cultures though is a scene (which tends to drag) one will either want to watch in its entirety or not.

(I’ve even included a trailer courtesy of UMP Movie Guide)

There you have it, I’ve managed to gloss over one of the most popular, highest grossing, Jackie Chan films in recent years whilst adding my own flair, vulgarity, silliness and more than a fair share of gifs and YouTube clips to whet the senses. And you probably didn’t learn a single thing, I didn’t mention any of the other actors, although I probably should have, the soundtrack and/or numerous other things Cult would have. I had fun, that’s how I roll. But now I have to be gone. I can smell my next meal and before I even start to think about munching upon it I need to find the flossers. That fur is a bitch, but I believe I’ve mentioned that before.

-B

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