Suburban Senshi iChat #1281: “Lead Crow reviews: The Blue Wolf and Kung Fu fighter”
#1281: “Lead Crow reviews: The Blue Wolf and Kung Fu fighter”

Karasuma Akane's Blog
Movie Reviews: The Blue Wolf & Kung Fu Fighter

Okay, so since Ginga TV is on Strike with the whole WGA solidarity thing (hello global marketplace, more of a headache than anything, let me tell you), I've decided to scratch my newscasting itch and pen a movie review myself. It's not edited or proofed, because hey, you're getting this for free on a blog and not through the AP, so you get what you get.

And yeah, Haruka, I'm using space on your page, deal with it, you'll get a beer later or something.

Beer. More like watered down urine. But anyway, I digress.

So anyway, the boss gets us a metric f**kton of movies to look at and review (hell, new boss is a lot better than the old boss, who had us do some pretty heinous things, let me tell you), and these are the first two, which we selected by rolling dice.

The dice, so far, hate us.

The Blue Wolf: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea is a joint Japanese-Mongolian adaptation of the novels "Blue Wolf" by Yasushi Inoue and "Until the land ends and the sea finishes" by Seiichi Morimura. It's basically a biopic of the life of Genghis Khan starring Takashi Sorimachi. Name sound familiar? If you've seen the live action Great Teacher Onizuka, you know why. He was Onizuka. Yeah. Onizuka as Genghis Khan.

Surprisingly, he's got the range to pull it off. The movie itself is pretty, visually, with lots of nice panoramic shots and wide-angle views of armies massing, and there's a bit of emotion to it as relates to the nature of how women were treated in Mongolian society and the consequences for their children, who are often defined or rejected by bloodline. It was a long film, and it could get a bit draining. There were historical liberties taken, but all in all it was an epic experience. The battle scenes, for example, would often feature up to 20,000 (No I didn't misplace a decimal) Mongolian extras clashing on the field.

It's a more or less historical drama, so don't go looking to it for awesome fight scenes or heavy action. It's great to watch if you're interested in historical figures. Here's the trailer for you:

In a way, the dice were kind making that the first film, because it whetted my appetite for more action.

This was their cruelest trick.

The Boss came to me all happy and genki saying "Ne, Ne, Karasuma-san, you get to review the Sequel to Kung Fu Hustle!!." She loved that movie, the second huge blockbuster to come out of Stephen Chow (director of Shaolin Soccer's brain. Too bad for her, this movie-- entitled Kung Fu Fighter wasn't a sequel at all. It wasn't even by Stephen Chow!

Now granted Boss Aino can be a bit thick sometimes, but she can't be faulted for making this mistake. The box looked similar to Kung Fu Hustle's. The Font used in the title was the same. The core cast of actors (sans lead) was Stephen Chow's troupe. The sets were even done up in the same 30's style as Kung Fu Hustle. It was a maximum visual ripoff.

Now, we didn't know this prior to screening the film. So as it started, we expected the same light-hearted comedy of Chow's works. What we got instead were a few lame jokes, a lot of pointless death and angst, subplots that came and went out of nowhere, and a few visually impressive (but hardly groundbreaking) fight scenes smushed together in a poorly edited, badly paced, waste of time that doesn't even end so much as STOP.

I mean, Stephen Chow should come back and smack all of his friends for starring in this thing, it was so embarassing. If I hadn't done follow-up research and found out he wasn't involved, I'd have thought to myself, "man, Chow's lost it." This kind of thing damages the visual brand that Kung Fu Hustle established.

This movie was boring, pointless, and frankly an insult. I feel badly for anyone who lost an hour and a half of their lives to watch it. Do not buy, do not rent, do not pass go. Just pass it.

Here's the trailer if you want to see just how bad a rip this is (and i just saved you money, all the best scenes are in it):

More later.
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