There was a LOT to talk about, so feel free to look around!
There was a LOT to talk about, so feel free to look around!
When people hear about Special Identity, some may cringe while others get excited. To be honest, the movie had a rough start, but has more than made up for it in the end. Andy On is one of the cast members that joined after Vincent Zhao left the project, but things have been going rather smoothly.
In a recent interview with Movies with Butter, On talked about his experiences on the set and a 10-minute long fight scene with Yen.
Check out some of the questions and answers below:
How did you get involved in “Special Identity”?
One day I got a call from Donnie and he wanted me to help him out. I was very excited and said “hell yes” without knowing what it was about.
There’s been conflicting stories about your role, as to whether you’ll replace Zhao’s character or a new character will be created for you. What’s your role in the film? Can you comment on what’s going to happen to what Zhao had already shot?
Since the departure of Mr. Zhao, the production had to make some major adjustments. The role I play is a gangster named Sunny, a new character that was added to the script. I’m not sure what they’re gonna do about Mr. Zhao’s shots.
Because of the circumstances surrounding how you became involved in the film, did you get any time to prepare for your role?
Not really. Just packed and went up to Shenzhen. Did the fitting a couple days before shooting.
You’ve worked with both Vincent Zhao and Donnie Yen before. If you don’t mind me asking, what’s your take on Zhao’s departure? Have you talked to both of them regarding it?
I think some misunderstandings couldn’t be settled and that’s why Mr. Zhao left. Of course, I was nosey enough to ask Donnie about what happened, but he said it was a shame they couldn’t work together. I haven’t spoke to Mr. Zhao since the promotion of “True Legend.”
I’ve read that there’ll be a 10 minute fight scene between you and Yen. What could we, as fans, expect?
It’s gonna be a raw and dirty street fight. Donnie and his crew put a lot of effort in the final fight scene. We both took a lot of punches, kicks, knees, elbows from each other. Literally.
Personally, I think that this might top the Flash Point ending. Who knows? I’m really excited and can’t wait to learn more about the movie. Hopefully a teaser will pop up soon.
After all of the media attention that came from the fallout of the Special Identity, Vincent Zhao buckled down and started working on his next film. Wu Dang was a film that focused on hand-to hand combat while also implementing a treasure hunting backstory. It also featured Fan Siu-wong, Mini Yang, Jiao Hu, and To Yu-Huang, ensuring that there would be a considerable amount of starpower behind the film. Would the unique story and strong cast keep Wu Dan from being just another basic action film?
The story behind Wu Dang is simple, yet complicated at the same time. Let me explain. The overarching story has to do with a man that is on the search for seven magical treasures that are hidden on Wu Dang Mountain. During this time, a tournament is also being held for fighters around the world, which his daughter is participating in. Mix in a couple “love story” elements, and you can quickly see how this movie tackles too much at once. Things work all right for the film initially, but the ending comes way out of left field and felt forced and absurd at the same time. In the end, I think the film tried to tackle more than it should have.
Characters in Wu Dang don’t fare as badly, especially since there aren’t very many of them to keep track of. Each of the characters has a genuine purpose and it help add realism to the story, even when things get crazy. Everyone has a reason for why they are on the mountain, and it works well. While the story ruined a few tender moments, the characters were relatable enough to have you care about them regardless.
Corey Yuen handled the fights in Wu Dang, and they are very different from another film that he recently did with monks in them. Wu Dang has its ups and downs when it comes to the action. There are some “aha” moments sprinkled in, and the overall choreography isn’t really bad. My only real gripe (besides the end fight) is that the action is a bit too floaty for me. Now, some people like fight sequences that are graceful and whatnot, but I felt it was overused and needed to be toned down a bit. Overall, the action is passable and not bad, but the style may be offputting to some.
Own it, Watch it, Try it, or Skip it?
Your enjoyment of Wu Dang will be linked to your personal tastes. It feels weird to say this, but the film is almost like a “kid version” of an action film. With weird villains and all too convenient ending events, that’s what it feels like to me. The action is decent and really will be enjoyable for some, but not others. I never regretted watching Wu Dang, and I would recommend it to anyone that in interested. For most, I’d say give this a watch if you some something fun to pass the time.
It looks like Special Identity is wrapping up, and some new images have been released. Twitch has posted this awesome picture that is sure to get everyone riled up:
Yeah, this image just looks so awesome to me. Maybe it’s the posture of Donnie or the action in the photo, but it sure looks like they are trying to capture the essence of Flash Point here. Anyways, a little more digging led me to some behind the scenes images and other photos from the film. You may have already seen some of them, but I figured I would share them all in case others haven’t yet.
Even though Special Identity got a lot of bad press, I think it may have made it a better movie in the end. Think about it, do you think they would have pushed as hard to do good action and get rid of the negativity of the film if Vincent Zhao said nothing? I’m not taking sides, but it’s very possible that this movie went from “decent” to “amazing” because of the extra push.
I’ll wait for a trailer to make a real judgement on the film, but these images make the wait that much harder.
Right after the filming of Once Upon a Time in China III, Jet tackled the task of playing another folk hero, Fong Sai Yuk. He teams up with Corey Yuen, who serves as the director and choreographer for the film. Would the two be able to strike the same level of success that Wong Fei Hong did, or were they just wishing for too much?
The story of the Legend is something that starts out simple enough, but ends up throwing a lot of other sub-plots that make it lose focus. The main story has to do with the finding of a secret list, but you’ll quickly find a quirky love story, sad “love” story, and drama all rolled into one. I think that it would be fine if the tone of the film stayed the same, but there are moments that are really depressing and then transition to something that is just too silly to comprehend. Given what it is, the story isn’t bad, it just needed to be a bit more consistent.
The characters typically fall into the “silly” category I mentioned earlier. Jet’s character is a far departure from Wong Fei Hong (which is a good thing) and the dynamic between him and his mother is great. The more “serious” tone comes from the characters who are the parents for each family, though they get goofy from time to time as well. If you just look at Jet, his character is pretty consistent and rather likeable, but there isn’t too much depth to him either.
I don’t think there are too many fights I’ve seen that are more interesting than fighting on peoples heads and trying not to hit the ground. What makes each sequence great are the situations that the characters find themselves in. I liked the situation at the end, and Jet’s speed is really something to admire. I don’t think the fights are truly fabulous, but they are fun to watch and keep you hooked. It’s more because of the situations than the choreography, though.
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
The Legend is a movie that will be entertaining for everyone that watches it. I don’t think it sets a new standard, but that doesn’t make it any lesser of a film. If you are a Jet Li fan, you’ve probably already seen thins, but everyone else should give it a look too. It’s a great film that goes off track sometimes, but it’s a great action film and something that shouldn’t be missed.
A lot of interesting announcements this week. Not sure if they are all good, but they do provide a lot of good discussion topics.
Thought that the Ip Man trend was over? Nope, it’s still going on quite nicely. For starters, Ip Man: Final Battle has finally begun filming. The film stars Anthony Wong as Ip, and is expected to finish shooting in 2 months.
I know that Wong has been training very hard for the role, but shooting the film in 2 months seems pretty fast to me. Maybe there will be more story elements to the movie than action, but I’m curious to see what he brings to the character that we know as Ip Man.
Next up, the TV series for Ip Man is getting help from both Wilson Yip and Ip Chun. This is pretty good news to fans, as Wilson Yip may be able to lend a helping hand to the direction of the series. I don’t think that the show will be linked to Donnie’s Ip Man at all, but having Ip Chun as a mentor will also help things remain accurate.
The series will star Kevin Cheng, who apparently beat out Vincent Zhao for the role. No other cast members have been announced yet, but it is scheduled to air sometime in December.
I’m a fan of the Ip Man films with Donnie, and we all knew this was going to happen. I don’t know if I’ll be rushing to see either of these projects when they come out, as I’ll be more interested in Donnie’s 3rd film as Ip. Regardless, I wish everyone the best and hope they impress us with their own, unique, Ip Man characters.