HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
   
 
  House of Fury Gillian and Charlene go kung fu crazyBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: Stephen Fung
Stars: Gillian Chung, Charlene Choi, Stephen Fung, Anthony Wong, Daniel Wu, Josie Ho, Wu Ma, Winnie Leung, Philip Ng, Jonathan Foo, Jacob Strickland, Michael Wong
Genre: Comedy, Action, Martial Arts
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Nicky (Stephen Fung) and Natalie (Gillian Chung) are embarrassed by their dad, Yue Siu Bo (Anthony Wong). Every day the widowed chiropractor picks them up from school and brags to all their friends about his heroic past as a kung fu super-spy. Ella (Charlene Choi), Natalie’s bright and sassy best friend, notices a few inconsistencies in Siu Bo’s tall tales (“The last time you told this story you said there were six ninjas!” “Six? Er, I meant twelve”), which embarrasses his kids even more. Family relations are far from harmonious. Nicky and Natalie put their martial arts skills to ill use, quarrelling constantly while Siu Bo wishes his wife were alive to help raise them right. One day, the mysterious, wheelchair bound Rocco (Michael Wong) visits Siu Bo’s clinic, asking questions about someone called Tai Chi Lung. Siu Bo feigns ignorance and is kidnapped and tortured, while assassins target his children. Aided by Ella, and Natalie’s boyfriend Jason (Daniel Wu), the kids escape and set out to save their dad.

This madcap, martial arts comedy-thriller is a sophomore outing for young actor/director, Stephen Fung. Posters and publicity stills show Canto-pop superstars Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi posing in kung fu pyjamas, but don’t be fooled. It’s a shameless attempt to lure fans expecting Twins Effect III. Choi wisecracks through a handful of early scenes, lounges seductively before tongue-tied Nicky, and floors some bad guys with a fire-extinguisher - but that’s your lot. She disappears for eighty minutes; off to film the infinitely superior A Chinese Tall Story (2005). Fortunately, scrappy Gillian holds her own, dropping villains like a pint-sized powerhouse. She and co-star Stephen Fung shine throughout slapstick set-pieces choreographed by veteran Yuen Woo Ping. There is a believable antagonism between brother and sister, culminating in an hilarious kung fu tussle over the TV remote control. As director, Fung does a good job maintaining a furious pace with slick visuals seemingly inspired by the Spy Kids movies. More impressive, as co-screenwriter he weaves in the obligatory message about families sticking together, skilfully and warmly, and includes a few neat twists. However, House of Fury has several major problems.

Chief among them: Anthony Wong, severely miscast, and phoning in another glassy-eyed performance. No amount of wirework or CG effects will convince you he’s a kung fu badass, which might be forgivable had he an ounce of charisma. Wong is a hot name in Hong Kong cinema at the moment, which is why he’s been shoehorned into a role better suited to someone like Ti Lung or Sammo Hung[S/TAR]. Co-star [STAR]Wu Ma outclasses Wong in every way. Though he’s obviously CG-doubled in some scenes, Ma is energetic and poignant as Uncle Chiu, the family friend with something to hide. Another problem Rocco’s muddled back-story. A C.I.A. agent out to foil an Al-Qaeda attack on the United States he was crippled by Hong Kong secret agent Tai Chi Lung. Now he wants revenge and to recover a list of terrorist operatives. Eh?! He’s the villain?! Regardless of feelings about American foreign policy, you must admit the screenwriters chose a curious motivation for their bad guy. Rocco’s use of torture and murder is wholly reprehensible, but if Tai Chi Lung hadn’t crippled him in the first place… And why the hell are the HK secret service out to save terrorists? Fung downplays this aspect of the story, but knowing the knock-on effect makes it hard to root for Nicky and Natalie. Isn’t this supposed to be a teen comedy?

House of Fury features a strong supporting turn from the ever-underrated Daniel Wu, but accomplished actress Josie Ho is grievously wasted as a femme fatale who doesn’t utter a single word. Far more impressive is spiky haired, American youngster Jacob Strickland. He displays some prodigious martial arts skills as an evil adolescent who locks horns with Nicky. Canto-pop fans should keep their eyes peeled. In a neat joke, all the students at Gillian’s school are played by boy band and girl group members.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2517 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: