Watched Apr 27, 2012
Craig Grobler’s review:
Eastern martial art films are a challenge to discuss as they appeal to an audience with a very particular set of interests and … well, by definition they belong to a genre so far removed from the sensible mainstream that unless they have a huge marketing budget to support an anomaly success they are relegated to the lower sub genre shelves.
But whilst it would seem that Martial Arts films are traditionally all about the physical skills of the performers with a story and characters tailored to those skills. To truly enjoy the Eastern Martial Arts film experience you have to ideally have an understanding of the culture behind the film - as most of these films are as much about a clash of cultures and ideology sometimes based on historical events conveyed by and large with physical conflict - Jet Li’s Hero is a good example of this - but without a huge amount of exposition, back story or a 5 hour run time sometimes the subtext that can lift a story isn't conveyed appropriately as the pared down translation focuses on hitting the lowest common denominators or are lost in translation because most of these films are aimed at a local Saturday afternoon audience that already understand the significance of historical events or characters that make up the back drop of the story.