Weekend movie tip

Gallants [2010]

If you’re watching a movie this weekend I would recommend you to have a look at the new Hong Kong Kung-Fu movie Gallants. I’ve never been a fan of Kung-Fu movies in the first place, but this is seriously one of the best films so far of 2010. I love the sheer production value with retro style photo, excellent fighting scenes, witty humour and a good story to go along.

Here is a review from Cineawsome.com

A Hong Kong martial arts film that presents itself as a comedy homage to the martial arts classics of the 60s and 70s, is your typical underdog film with a brassy sense of humor (think The Bad News Bears or Dodgeball).  Shot with natural lighting and low-budget sensibilities, this movie feels like many of the American indy films of the mid-90s.  Rather than take away from the film, the lack of budget is charming and grants Gallants a sense of candor that instills legitimacy in its memorable characters.

The film’s directors, Clement Sze-kit Cheng and Chi-kin Kwok, have worked together in the past (although Gallants is Cheng’s directorial debut).  As a team, they bring a unique vision of a dilapidated community and a once-great-but-now-run-down kung-fu school struggling to survive in the face of foreclosure.  Led by Master Law (Teddy Robin Kwan), five misfits of the old-school mentality pit forces against the modern era of slick and disingenuous martial arts.  It’s the tried and true story of old vs. new, whereas “old” is pure and “new” is inevitably bastardized by the corrupting nature of time.  This idea is exemplified as Master Law insists over and over again that martial arts is not for fitness; martial arts is for fighting.  And if nothing else can be said about Master Law’s character, his geriatric insistence is eerily convincing.  Maybe martial arts is for fighting!

I can’t stress enough how fresh this film is.  As a homage to classic kung-fu films, it holds its ground; as a feel good underdog comedy, it is surprisingly adept; and as a sheer aesthetic feat, it is gorgeous.  Who wouldn’t want to watch a bunch of dorky people kick serious ass?  These guys all look like tourists or office geeks, but when it comes down to it, that’s what we are, and if there’s hope for the hopeless characters which litter Gallants, then maybe our boring lives might take a turn for the theatrical.”


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August 2010
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