Suburban Senshi IRC Chat #10: “Movie Review: Ballistic Kiss”
#10: “Movie Review: Ballistic Kiss”

*** Now talking in #suburbansenshi
*** Topic is '-= This was like the Kiss of Boring Death =-'
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> I just saw Ballistic kiss, and did a review
<// J_Daito //> Hit me
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Heh... I finally get to review a Hong Kong action flick, and I had to get this one.
<// J_Daito //> That rocked, Ten;ou
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Dammit there's more
<// J_Daito //> crap
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> "On paper, Ballistic Kiss (1998) would seem to have it all-- an ex-cop turned lethal hitman. A streetwise Hong Kong cop. A vicious crime boss with ties to them both. Donnie Yen. Unfortunately, this movie tries too hard to be too many things at once, and is severely hurt by a totally pathetic score."
<// J_Daito //> You mean Yen gets the freak on with someone but the scene sucked?
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> The music, punk
<// J_Daito //> I know, I know... just trying to liven up your boring-[BLEEP] reviews
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> :P
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> You see, a good movie is like a well-made pizza-- if all the ingredients are in balance, you'll have a delicious meal that satisfies your customers. If you screw up, you're gonna give them indigestion.
<// J_Daito //> Oh that was pure literary gold my friend
<// J_Daito //> can you write my autobiography
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> STFU
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Ballistic Kiss wants to be a classic Hong Kong Cinema gunfight movie. It also wants to be a tragic love story. Did I mention it tries to also make profound comments about the inherent flaws of humanity while pursuing the first two goals?
<// J_Daito //> So it's _Neon Genesis Evangelion_
<// J_Daito //> And utterly crap.
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> heh
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> This film tries to start off like a classic HK flick, with Donnie Yen showcasing his martial arts moves while offing baddies with their own weapons. But they mess it up. Bigtime.

Donnie Yen, in case you've never seen him onscreen before, is a righteous martial artist. He moves like lightning personified. So what does this movie do? Slow him down, bionic man style. And no, I don't mean during the "bullet time" shots HK cinema is revered for.
<// J_Daito //> You mean they made him move like a constipate turtle going uphill in a mudslide?
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> slower
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> During the hand to hand fights. It was like watching a badly edited fight scene from "Walker, Texas Ranger." They were trying to be all Matrix-like, but failing utterly. My grandmother could have looked like a fighting ace with the obscenely low frame rate of the opening fight.
<// J_Daito //> Your grandmother does look like a fighting ace
<// J_Daito //> a pit bull
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Don't diss my granny!
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> What's worse is, if the music had been better, the fight might have seemed interesting. But instead of an adrenalin-rushing techno soundtrack, or even a soulful Godfather-esque opera choir to occupy the mind, the fights were staged to a drab, ponderous, poorly synthesized repeating tune that sounds like it came out of a bad Lifetime network film. Actually, the whole movie is set that way. There's zero tension in the music-- it's like they pulled out a random CD and just played it behind the vocals and SFX. And it's not the music that drags.

<// J_Daito //> Ten;ou, 99% of HK movies have that synthpop crap. They seem to think it sounds good
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> -sigh-
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Ballistic Kiss suffers from terminal plot slowdown due to the grafting of a "love" story between the assassin and a Hong Kong policewoman which is too rushed to feel believable, and again, only really exists to try and further the philosophical pretensions of the scriptwriter. Every time the action picks up, the "romance" kicks in and slows it down again. They should have pulled a Versus and trimmed the plot down to the barest thread necessary to make sense-- or made it a flat out romance story without the HK pretensions.

<// J_Daito //> Oh yeah like the latter would have gotten ANY viewers
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> The filmmakers must have realized this, because later on, in between his musings on the human condition (which are OK, but they feel dropped into the script in an attempt to make it seem all Philosophical and deeper than what it really is-- a cheaply shot shooter flick), Donnie Yen manages to escape the slo-mo camera and actually deliver some decent gun battle / martial arts action.

<// J_Daito //> Hey versus was a cheaply shot shooter flick and it kicked ass
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> point taken
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Those of you hoping for a classic showcase of his martial arts prowess had better forget it, though. The moves he makes, while cool. are not as impressive as they should be for an artist of his caliber. He does sometimes manage to pull Jackie-chan like offensive moves with the scenery during his fights, which is neat (the ending set piece of the film, and the method by which he disposes of the main character is certainly unique and worth fast forwarding through the film to see), but they can't salvage the film. In fact the funniest part of the movie was listening to the Cantonese actors repeatedly spewing out English obscenities with abandon, trying to sound tough.

<// J_Daito //> FACK YOU! SIT! BUSTURD!
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> Man, Those few minutes Yen spent fighting Adrian Paul in his Highlander IV little-more-than-a-cameo was more than we got in this film.
<// J_Daito //> Because these days Donnie just wants to _Direct_
<--=[ SpeedRcrX ]=--> I'm not afraid to say it... he's a kickass martial artist, but at least for this movie, a [BLEEP]ass director.
<Mdm_Maestro> I could have supplied far richer music to this sad little film.
<// J_Daito //> A chorus of dying cats could have supplied far richer music to this film.
<FireFly_9> Papa!
*** Disconnected