Heroes Amidst Turmoil 亂世出英雄 (2019) - Hong Kong
Also known as: Troubled Treasures
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Before martial arts sensation Max Zhang got famous, he made a string of lower budget martial arts film during the “Iron Monkey era”. Starring the same characters from the “The Real Iron Monkey”, this sequel of sorts continue to see our heroes take on foreign powers and colluded fellow Chinese businessmen. Director Ken Yip is clearly a better action director than filmmaker as you can clearly see difference between the supposedly dramatic scenes and the martial arts sequences. The acting is also questionable throughout, with characters neither engaging or connecting, the audience is left with focusing on pre-superstar Max Zhang battling his way with a memory lost along the journey.
Max Zhang plays the revolutionary hero trying to battle against foreign powers and forces as they undermine the Chinese people. It’s the same story that is being played out. Zhang gets to showcase some of his moves with co-star and love interest Rose Chen, who actually fights pretty well. We also get martial arts veteran Mo Mei Lin and stuntman Fatih Ugurlu (“Kung Fu Yoga”) to fill the fighting void. It is also refreshing to witness rising stuntwoman Mandy Ho (who recently join the TVB stunt team) showing some valuable martial arts prowess. TVB star Lam Tzi Sin provides the usual comic timing.
All in all, “Heroes Amidst Turmoil” is one of those martial arts B-movie and a continuation of the “The Real Iron Monkey” universe. It also provides martial arts fans with a look at pre-superstar Max Zhang, which reminds us of the those 80s Hong Kong (filmed in America), pre-superstar Jet Li movies. Of course, the calibre of these films are different and considering Director Ken Yip to master Tsui Hark is like comparing apples with lemons. B-movies are made with cheese and the final scene of a mad running Fatih Ugurlu with a time ticking bombs and Max Zhang saving the day rounds out that kind of cheese.
I rated this 5/10