Writer, director, editor, failed YouTuber.
I guess it’s all mightily impressive, but it’s also weirdly inert. I never connected to any of it. It came alive with Jason Momoa, but his performance just stood out as what the film lacked: heart beyond what it all looks like. It’s stunning moment to moment, but overall hollow. Do I even want to see the second part? Maybe, since so much of this felt at best promising and at worst empty due to what they’ve held for later. An expensive shame.
What to most of us outside of the Himalayan landscape would seem treacherous, here is portrayed as normality. It rarely feels like anything but real life, and nor should it - the world seen here is fantastical enough, and is more impressive in its matter of factness than it could ever be through a lens glazed with Hollywood sheen.
Its drama is mild, it’s performances tame, and it’s messages simple, but there is a unique complexity in its humanity. A quiet adventure worth taking.
Jackie Chan considers this his best film in terms of, "pure action". You can see why. Deftly mixing with impactful, hard-hitting violence with entertaining sequences of physical comedy, this is one of those films that really proves why Chan was the best.
As both performer and director he impresses at every point, and surrounding himself with a cast of characters makes sure he doesn't out-shine the other aspects of the film too much.
I've always considered Drunken Master 2 his performance masterpiece, but as director alone this ensures his place as one of the greatest of all time. It doesn't really get much better than this.
A less propulsive, refined film than the later classic The Raid, this is still an excellent action film that lives outside of the shadow of that film through its sheer scrappy personality.
The budget is lower but the energy is here, and Evans crafts some memorably imagery that evolve into the fight sequences effortlessly, plus it is all supported by an excellent Indonesia meets Nine Inch Nails score that I love. The western actors certainly threaten to let it down…