In the action movie “Fistful of Vengeance” there are two types of scenes – coordinated fight scenes, or panic shots.
The film is a sequel to the TV series “Wu Assassins, ” And the main characters of that show also appear here. Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) is a San Francisco chef, the modern heir to ancient fighting traditions, magic, and his friends Lu Xin Lee (Lewis Tan) and Tommy Wah (Lawrence Kao) ). The next movie goes to find friends who are looking for answers after the mysterious murder of Jenny, Tommy’s sister. Their only clue is an amulet found with her body.
Their search for answers leads the group to Thailand, where they meet billionaire developer William Pan (Jason Tobin). Pan explains that Jennie’s death is a minor event in a larger conspiracy run by his twin sister, Ku An Qi (Rhatha Phongam), the head of the Bangkok underworld who hopes to merge ying and amulet. Kai wants to put an end to the plot on his own, but his friends are determined to fight by his side as he pursues criminals.
The appeal of the film is simple – there are lots of well-choreographed fight scenes, with each actor living up to the example of Uwais, a martial artist. But the director, Roel Reiné, confounds the action by relying on puzzling lore to explain his characters’ motives, origins, and abilities. Smaller versions of Taoist concepts – more an intellectual than cultural insult – are said to explain how Kai or his villains use their powers. As a result, there is little room in the dialogue to get to know the characters as humans, rather than as vehicles for their mystical abilities.
With no tactical, philosophical or emotional underpinnings, the fight scenes don’t approach any cinematic force. Knives slash, guns shoot, fists meet flesh. But every movement feels insignificant. At best and at worst, the film mimics the experience of watching a stranger play with unbranded action figures.
Fistful of Vengeance
Rated TV-MA. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. Watch on Netflix.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/arts/fistful-of-vengeance-review.html Review ‘Fistful of Vengeance’: Pursuing the Queen of the Underworld