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    Special ID Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray

    May 09 2014 04:35 PM | Cameron Yee in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    The latest martial arts actioner from Asian superstar Donnie Yen doesn’t tread any new territory, but provides a quick fix for anyone looking for some beat-em-up action.

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Other
    • Distributed By: WellGo
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Audio: English 2.0 DD, English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Mandarin 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Other
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    • Rating: R
    • Run Time: 1 Hr. 39 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray
    • Case Type:
    • Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
    • Region: A
    • Release Date: 05/13/2014
    • MSRP: $29.98

    The Production Rating: 3.5/5

    Undercover police officer Chen Zilong (Donnie Yen) has been posing as an underworld thug for the last eight years, but is weary of the assignment and wants out. Cooperating with Mainland Chinese detective Jing Fang (Jing Tian) to bring down the kingpin known as Brother Xiong could be enough to set Chen free, but it means getting reacquainted with a former protegé named Sunny (Andy On), who’s been striking out on his own with deadly consequences. Though Chen can easily take down his targets with the amount of information he’s compiled, the two gangsters know one critical piece of information about Chen – where to find his mother.

    Action superstar Donnie Yen’s latest beat-em-up spectacle should satisfy basic cravings for Asian style martial arts and action scenes, but it pales against more rousing (and brutal) Yen fan favorites, Flash Point and Kill Zone (AKA S.P.L.). As usual, the story is a bit of a meanderer, providing sufficient backstory for the characters, but taking its time establishing a central conflict that goes beyond the over-generic “bring down the boss” motivator. Thankfully, the film isn’t very long, making it good for a quick fix of martial arts action, but not something many will revisit.

    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    Framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec, the transfer boasts deep blacks and a high contrast picture that’s the result of a mild amount of black level compression. Colors are deep and nicely saturated, particularly evident during neon-lit street scenes. A few artifacts pop up here and there – moiré in tight mesh patterns and some noise in shadow areas – but incidents are brief enough not to be a significant distraction.

    Audio Rating: 3.5/5

    Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is consistently crisp, clear and intelligible. For the most part, surround activity consists of providing support for the guitar-driven soundtrack cues, but a few instances of directional gunfire and crowd noise give the mix some added dimension. Bass activity never goes deep enough to be considered LFE, but there’s plenty of heft to the myriad of punches, kicks and car crashes.

    Special Features: 1/5

    • Making Of (4:06, HD): Includes two featurettes on the martial arts choreography and car stunts.
    • Trailer (1:35, HD)
    • Trailers (7:26, HD): Includes a promotional clip for Well Go USA films, and the upcoming movies Iceman, The Suspect and The Wrath of Vajra.

    Overall Rating: 3/5

    Well Go USA Home Entertainment turns in a solid presentation for action superstar Donnie Yen’s latest project, which is entertaining enough but not a strong contender for repeat viewings. The special features are meager, but the quality of the feature doesn’t demand more than what’s provided.

    Reviewed by: Cameron Yee
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