Jan 11, 2009

Kill Zone

Donnie Yen is still an name I am not yet accustomed to fully. His cosmetically altered appearance (in an attempt to seal his position as an Asiatic icon) is becoming more and more synonymous with the term martial arts as I write this. From his performance in Blade II to his role in Once Upon a Time in China II, Donnie Yen has been the background actioner that you notice for his fluid-like movements but has never received a chance, until now.

I enjoy many varieties of class, style, and variations in my martial arts films. So I turned to Kill Zone for a prominent detective thriller and was greeted with that plus the most beautifully choreographed action scenes of all time. Kill Zone is a pure of heart gift, plus it wasn't given to us thanks to the pockets of Quentin Tarantino. Sure, he has a decent taste in film yet, but he hasn't given us much other than vapid monologues about foreign cheeseburgers that cause my ear drums to wither.

To drastically switch tones & face, Kill Zone is a swift kick in the good cop/bad cop routine's nuts. Unbiased and totally unforgiving, Kill Zone is so utterly merciless with it's delivery that your sheets will be soaked with drool and tears. With an all star Hong Kong legends cast not limited to Simon Yam, Sammo Hung, and the aforementioned Donnie Yen, Kill Zone is an award winning bonanza of tender emotions, wonderful cinematography, and the single greatest action sequences only to be topped by Tony Jaa's The Protector. We'll just have to wait for Ong Bak 2. Simon Yam (Drama steered), Sammo Hung (Drama/action prone), and Donnie Yen (Jesus Christ Action) all star together in a unique environment of over-the-top situations of traumatic stress and vengeance of the opposite polarities; all this in a jaw-dropping lush city habitat. It's in films like these that make metropolises seem like ant observatories.

Ballroom dancing is a strict art of slack-rigidity and precise movement.Every move must be swift and elegant. What better way to celebrate femininity? Where the art of dancing eventually ends, choreographed martial arts takes up the place to further inject masculinity and fierce primal instincts of combat into the mix, creating an art that is unspoken for and is ultimately better that way; a prose of physical contact. The contours of the body are suited for both offensive and defensive and combined, create rapid-fire visual poetry. Perhaps I'm looking beyond the dust and into the behind-the-camera scenes, but either way martial arts is a bodily art to be reckoned with. It's not only invigorating for the senses but lavishly exclusive for the masculinity in us all.

Perhaps the most graceful albeit sadistic showcased in Kill Zone is the newcomer Wu Jing. The extension of villain plus arm & dagger comes as a surprise. You honestly can't help but be enthralled as this assassin does his deed towards characters we feel for. His pristine white uniform becomes stained with blood splatters as he murders crooked cops who have their own crooked lives. Are his actions justified? These detectives are however, as crooked as the syndicate they seek to dismantle.

If you have yet to view Kill Zone, quit reading this paragraph for graphic imagery of a massive spoiler. In the final instance of the inevitable showdown when Donnie Yen uses a MMA flip to slam Sammo Hung into a pyramid of glass, a weary Donnie Yen celebrates with a glass of wine(?). Out of the blue, a charging Sammo Hung sprints out of incapacitation to throw Donnie Yen out of a umpteenth story window to fall to his death and coincidentally landing on the car holding Sammo Hung's wife and newborn child. This coincidence borders karma on a shocking extreme. Rather than duping you into an all-too familiar ending, Kill Zone goes above and beyond, satisfying cravings that even you never knew about. This is a film that will leave you mourning a marvelous character, all the more so due to his fantastical fate.

Kill Zone is the definitive cop film for me. I can't view such films as Dirty Harry & co. anymore without regretting choosing said Clint Eastwood film over this Donnie Yen masterpiece. No move is anti-climactic and no action is too weak for this film. Cause and effect, my friends. Every action has a reaction. My action was watching this film as a blind buy; reaction? Total and utter satisfaction. Kill Zone is thrilling and beautiful to look at. As my mind's being invaded by thoughts of a beautiful woman, the thought of Zipperheads kicking each other is enough to take my mind off of the theory of love. Damn the finesse of new-age Hong Kong action.


1 comment:

thebonebreaker said...

I just moved this closer to the top of my Netflix Queue - glad to hear that this is as awesome as I was hoping for!

Excellent review mAQ