The following two films are both on Well Go USA. Drug War is currently out, and Ip Man is coming out on the 12th.
Drug War is the latest film by Hong Kong master Johnnie To. I feel no matter what I write after that, people will have their minds made up if this film is for them. Now, before you keep that train of thought let me tell you I had the same thought being I was also a fan of To. I know people are still trying to figure out where he is coming from after Life Without Principle, which was action lite and more of a thriller that he wanted to try and to put in the Oscar race. Drug War seems to be his take on the classic cops and robbers chase films. To be honest, I did not hate the film as much as I did not think this is To at his best. This film takes the police against organized crime lords in a film that I feel suffers from the pace that To tries to keep. The film is shot to be fast paced, but the script and characters seem to drag the story. I mean To has a reputation off these kinds of films, in his homeland he is the king of these gritty crime stories and I just feel that this film comes across more like Romero who is the king of all zombie films giving us Survival of the Dead. China is now governed in this way that if you are caught dealing with drugs or manufacturing them you are sentenced to death. So when Timmy is caught with drugs instead of killing him he helps Captain Zhang with a bigger drug ring to help uncover it. He has only 72 hours or he will face his demise for the drugs. This film was not a bad film but up to the standards that people put a To film, it is a bit of a letdown. The action that was there was pretty fun; it has some little moments that are violent and will keep your attention. The main issue I had with the film was the pacing, at times it rushed itself and at others it slowed down way too slow. Basically what I am trying to say is that this film felt uneven. The script for the most part was very well written and the characters are very well portrayed, you invest an interest even though the film is predictable and you know how it will all end up. All in all, if you never seen a To film, you may like this film more than a fan of To. It is worth a rental, maybe a black Friday or cyber Monday buy if it is on the cheap.
6 out of 10
Review-I want to put the Ip man right there with found footage films as a genre that should have stopped or died many years ago. When anything gains any kind of fame, or a few pennies people want to keep on and on. As long as people keep buying into it, studios keep on blindly putting out more and more to meet the demand. I mean ideas like a Paranormal Activity and Ip man are so thin, that they do not have legs to continue to go on and on, but people keep on creating more and more sub stories off the original. The plot to this one is basically stale as he arrives to mainland China to try and re-establish himself after losing wealth to China being at war with Japan. Along the way in this boring story he is adopted by a group of students, they help him learn and he helps them deal with life and all that. The fights in this film are just the same old stuff you seen time and time again, they fight at times in this kinetic speed that feels like they are trying to speed them up to the point when you do not see half of what is going on. The acting in this film was fine, though at times it does go a bit cheesy dramatic that makes this film seem almost like it tried to be too deep, but have the shallowest of deliveries. The music in this film hurt the film the most, keep in mind I was watching this on blu ray with the surround sound on low, and it was still too loud, which hurts the dialogue at times also. This film I hope is the end of this franchise or film series however you look at it. I was a fan of a few of the films, but that was long ago, and todayâ€™s Ip man films feel more desperate than entertaining. This film is basically setting martial arts films back 80 years and unless you have to see it because you have watched all the others, I would say skip it.
4 out of 10