HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
Peter of Placid Forest
Golden Bird, The
War for the Planet of the Apes
One Sings, the Other Doesn't
Great Gilly Hopkins, The
Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
Doom
Cléo from 5 to 7
Ballerina
Night Flight from Moscow
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  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 2396 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
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: