films seen
average score
Hong Kong - 45 years old
Alive and kicking
more info
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Rise of the Legend

Huang Feihong Zhi Yingxiong You Meng
2014 / 131m - Hong Kong
Rise of the Legend poster

Hopefully Rise of the Legend is only the first in a series of new Wong Fei-hung films, as the end left me begging for more.


Dai Chui Bo
2012 / 106m - Hong Kong
Nightfall poster

If you're familiar with the genre, don't expect any surprises.

Dynasty Warriors

Zhen San Guo Wu Shuang
2021 / 117m - Hong Kong
Dynasty Warriors poster

Roy Chow's latest is a pretty easy film. Dynasty Warriors is a big budget adaptation of a popular video game series. That's mean he was guaranteed a big budget, a seasoned cast and all the available talent in the right places. The result is what you'd expect. Full-on blockbuster entertainment that doesn't take too many risks.

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The series originated as a spin-off from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a game based on the classic Chinese story. It's a hack & slash affair and you'll see that back in the film. Superpowered heroes are fighting off armies of faceless adversaries, with only the battles between the lead characters carrying any real weight.

Quite a few famous names in the cast, most notably Louis Koo and Lam Suet. Not really a film where actors make much of a different though, as it's the big battles that take center stage here. The action looks pretty impressive, the cinematography is nice, the pacing is solid. This type of film has been done better, but Chow has nothing to be ashamed of.


Sha Ren Fan
2009 / 120m - Hong Kong
Thriller, Mystery
Murderer poster

A very solid Hong Kong police procedural with some mystery elements thrown in to make it a bit more puzzling. Roy Chow is a capable director, and he handles this type of material with grace, but the story does get a little too farfetched in the second half. If that's a dealbreaker, this is probably not the film for you.

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Ling is a police detective tracking a serial killer. During his investigation he is seriously injured, leaving with severe short-term memory loss. Ling tries to pick up the trace again, but he feels he can't trust himself anymore. He does stumble upon some new leads, but they seem so implausible that he's losing the trust of the people around him.

The cinematography looks slick, Kwok and Ho are seasoned actors and the pacing is perfect, even though the film isn't exactly short. The result is typical Hong Kong genre fare, confidently built to be as entertaining as possible, but with a little extra edge. A fun watch, now that Hong Kong's output is just a fraction of what it used to be.

Knock Out

2020 / 119m - China
Drama, Sport
Knock Out poster

It's nice to see Roy Chow is still around. I lost track of him for a while, after he had a very promising start some 10 years ago. But Chow seems to be back on track, Knockout is one of his latest films. Not really the kind of material that will instantly relaunch him, but it's a solid film that shows his talent is still there.

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The film is a pretty classic boxing drama, following the career of a promising boxing champ who sees his life slipping away when he gets mixed up in an escalated bar fight. After spending some years in prison, he tries to pick up the remains of his life and vows to stop boxing, but well ... you know how it goes in these films.

Performances are decent, the mix of drama and action works well and Chow's direction is crisp. The boxing scenes are nice and get the adrenaline flowing, but they're nothing you haven't seen before. Which is the film's biggest problem, not in the least because it's almost two hours long. It's not a bad film, just not a very remarkable one either.