films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



Tin Lung Baat Bou
2023 / 130m - Hong Kong
Action, Adventure
Sakra poster

There was a time when you could just blindly go into these big Hong Kong action spectacles and be assured of a great time, but those days are long gone. I had my hopes up with Donnie Yen helming and leading Sakra, but the quality simply isn't there anymore. It's still decent action filler, but not even close to the best this genre has to offer.

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Kiu Fung is the leader of the Beggar Clan. He is a respected man and a great martial artist, but when a letter surfaces that details the mysteries of his past, he is cast out of the clan. Unsure of what to believe, he sets out to discover the truth about his past, hoping to salvage his reputation.

The action is decent, but there's a bit too much CG and the editing could've been better, certainly for a big-budget production like this. There's a bit too much drama in the middle part, which also tends to get a bit too sentimental. It's still a proper action spectacle, but I long for the times these films had the potential to become personal favorites.

Shanghai Affairs

San Tong San Daai Hing
1998 / 85m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Shanghai Affairs poster

A Donnie Yen vehicle. Though Yen never lacked screen presence, nor the chops for onscreen fighting, his ego got the better of him when his star was rising, which made working in Hong Kong a real challenge. Shanghai affairs is a late 90s film that feels like it was 5 years late to the party, a rather cheap looking and rushed action flick with a throwaway plot.

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Tong is a doctor who studied Western medicine in the UK. When he returns to China he settles in a small town, where he hopes to help out the local villagers. When he arrives, it turns out the people there are threatened by the Axe Gang. To make matters more complicated, Tong falls in love with the sister of the Axe Gang's leader.

While this sounds pretty bland, the film has one important redeeming factor, which is Yen himself. As a director/lead he has every opportunity to let the action scenes shine, and shine it does. The rest is rather subpar (though a proper remaster could help, the camera work isn't that bad really), so if you feel like some kick-ass martial arts cinema, this is a pretty solid option.

Legend of the Wolf

Chin Long Chuen Suet
1997 / 94m - Hong Kong
Legend of the Wolf poster

Black Rose Academy

Gin Chap Hak Mooi Gwai
2004 / 91m - Hong Kong
Action, Comedy
Black Rose Academy poster