After the success of SPL and Dragon Tiger Gate, Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip teamed up for a third time in Flash Point. Originally written to be a sequel to SPL, Flash Point quickly became its own beast with several new components. The main focus was on MMA action, something that Donnie has wanted to integrate for a very long time. Collin Chou served as the main villain in the film, and both he and Donnie stated that the final fight was the most demanding in their careers. Did their hard work pay off, or was it all for nothing?
The story to Flash Point is probably the weakest part of the film. It’s very by-the-books, which is a shame. You’ll be able to see every plot twist coming from a mile away, and there isn’t any real depth with any of the characters. There is very little when it even comes to backstory, and it’s obvious that the main focus is on the action and how to get from one fight to another. While the story isn’t bad, per se, it’s just so overdone that it’s nothing engaging or interesting.
Donnie Yen and Louis Koo have a nice chemistry together, but it’s only good for a few laughs. The other characters are just as one-sided, with Collin Chou’s character showing a little more of a softer side partway through the film. Sadly, this doesn’t really add any depth to the movie and feels a little tacked on. It would have been better if the story and characters were fleshed out, but they serve their purpose well enough.
I know I can say this about practically any action movie, but it really rings true with Flash Point: the fights more than make up for the lack of story. The only negative aspect I can think of is that I wanted more fights earlier on. That being said, the pacing really picks up once the ball gets rolling. The end fight is one of the best I’ve seen, and the incorporation of MMA really sets it apart from the rest. If you like martial arts films or MMA in general, you need to watch these fights.
Own it, Watch it, Try it, or Skip it?
Flashpoint is a film that accomplishes so much in one aspect, yet is lacking in another. The story and characters are basic, yet the great fight sequences justify the creation of the film. People who enjoy a good fight will love this movie while those that want a deep, intriguing story will be left wanting more. But let’s be honest, we all watch these movies for the action. In that respect, it’s a must-have.