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China Strike Force [Import USA Zone 1]
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Description du produit
Description du produit
China Strike Force (Leui Ting Jin Ging), 1 DVD, 87 minutes
Darren et Alex, deux policiers de Shanghaï, assistent à un assassinat au cours d'une soirée. L'enquête les conduit chez Monsieur Ma, gangster redouté et respecté. Tony, son bras droit, est mêlé au crime à l'insu de Ma. Il veut mettre sur pled un traffic de drogue avec Coolio, un américain sans scrupules. Une mystérieuse jeune femme leur propose ses services, mais nul ne sait dans quel camp elle est. Pour les deux flics, la traque devient dangereuse : les cadavres s'accumulent et on ne peut se fier à personne... --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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The story: when a huge drug-smuggling campaign is brought to China by an ambitious Triad heir (Mark Dacascos, Brotherhood of the Wolf) and an American gangster (rapper Artis "Coolio" Ivey), it's up to security leaders Darren (Aaron Kwok, The Storm Riders) and Alex (Leehom Wang, Lust, Caution) to team up with a Japanese Interpol agent (TV star Norika Fujiwara) to expose both the actions of the criminals and those of their peers allowing it to happen.
With the legendary Stanley Tong (Rumble in the Bronx) directing and supplying action choreography, it was for certain that this film would be commendable for its fight scenes, and for the most part, what's there is pretty good. Kwok and Wang may be easy to pigeonhole as pop-singing pretty boys, but the smooth camerawork shows that it's clearly them doing the majority of their own fighting, wirework, and even some of the stunts. Coolio, on the other hand, brings a lot to the film in terms of personality and is seen at least taking a punch gamely enough, but his two fight scenes are clearly being performed by a stunt double (thankfully, it's an actual black performer and not an Asian fellow in a wig). Dacascos, henchman Ken Lo (The Legend of Drunken Master), and assassin Benny Lai (Police Story 2) add a sense of legitimacy to the six fights which are otherwise marred by wirework that's a bit too obvious for my liking. The final battle - taking place on a seesawing pane of glass suspended high over the city - isn't a kung fu masterpiece but more suspenseful and nail-biting than I expected, and perhaps best demonstrates the movie's striving for style. You also get a couple chase scenes, one of which takes place on a crowded highway between a Lamborghini and a Formula 1 racer; making for a well-rounded but not mind-blowing action package.
Even with two of its main characters being Americans, it's surprising that the entire movie was filmed with English dialogue, and perhaps even more so that all of the Hong Kong actors do a respectable job of delivering their lines: Aaron and Leehom obviously spoke English to begin with, but even guys like gangster Lau Siu-Ming (Swordsman) don't sound like they're having their lines fed to them. This is in strong favor of making the film seem more like an American blockbuster than a special interest fight flick, and while I applaud most of the efforts to make the movie more accessible to audiences around the world, Tong went a bit overboard when he incorporated a couple "humorous" dream sequences and used Coolio's own Coolio.Com album as the foundation of the soundtrack (good for you if you enjoy it, but that damn "I Like Girls" track doesn't fit the movie at all).
Since my main complaint with Hong Kong fare is that the storytelling is never as coherent as I'd like it to be, "China Strike Force" gets points for being as refined and streamlined as it is, but I have to admit that some of the charm is lost in the process of westernization. It's arguable whether this one would've fared better as a straight American production with Hong Kong influences (a'la Romeo Must Die) rather than the other way around, but in the end, this solid movie just doesn't have enough zing to make it stand out more than a bit.
Using Coolio's "real name" is a hilarious choice: during scenes in which all seriousness abounds, hearing "Maybe Lau's friend Coolio doesn't understand the Chinese?" or "Coolio! How about a drink before you go?" sent us into uncontrolled giggles. Alternatively, maybe that's what Rumble in the Bronx director Stanley Tong intended, as there's a number of other verbal and visual gags throughout the plot-filled but event-less middle.
The endcaps, as in most action movies, are where the big thrills lie. For China Strike Force, it's mostly Jackie Chan-style fast fighting with your requisite flourishes (impromptu props, sleeves ripping off, partner-based super-moves, etc.), some decent moving vehicle stunts, and a chase scene between a Lamborghini and an F1 racer. Incidentally, I note "death by blunt force trauma" but what I really mean is "Death by being slammed into an ancient Chinese temple while on top of a Lakers-colored Rolls Royce being carried around by a helicopter."
The finale earns the film additional stars. Coolio and the male lead (Aaron Kwok) are suspended hundreds of stories in the air on a teetering glass platform about 10 feet by 20 feet. The camera zooms around and over them, showing no apparent safety nets. Every move sends the platform tilting in one direction, causing frantic hands-on-glass sounds as they're sent sprawling precariously over the edge. Down falls the female lead, now three on the glass, fighting space at a premium, metal whining, always tilting, always scrambling. I believed this scene, and it only became more amazing when I remembered that Coolio (Coolio!) was front-and-center fighting for his life too.
One of my tougher criteria for whether a movie is "good" or not is if I'd happily watch it again, and China Strike Force falls into that category. The ending is so strong that it rewards the wait, overriding any of the perceived downtime throughout the rest of the film. Well... ok, that and the scene where a naked Dacascos and Coolio watch Norika Fujiwara striptease and then Dacascos makes a Well-Endowed Black Man joke. ooOOo eEEee, Coolio likes girls indeed.
Death by: 1, 2, 3, 4: gun; 5: spike, neck punctured; 6: gun; 7: sword; 8: spear; 9, 10: gun; 11: blunt force trauma; 12, 13: explosion; 14: fall from great height. Sleaze by: 1: thongs, breasts, see-through; 2: breasts, see-through; 3: striptease (unfulfilled).