Film Review: Hong Boxing 百家拳之洪拳(2020) - China 🇨🇳
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Director Li Lian Jun is another Chinese filmmaker heavily influenced by Hong Kong 90s martial arts cinema. In “Hong Boxing”, Li recreates the Wong Fei Hung universe with a back story focused on his famed pork butcher student - “Lam Sai Wing”. Many Hong Kong cinema fans will recall Sammo Hung’s “Magnificent Butcher”, but this film is far from that level, it is simply a decent martial arts film with good fight scenes wrapped within, whist staying true to Hung Ga style.
Meng Fei does a good job in the various stages Hung Ga fight scenes, whilst not having the same physical presence as Sammo Hung. Fei tries hard to act, but flairs far better whenever with a butcher knife or flying fists. Bear Wang plays the love interest and provides an important link between the rival characters and Master Wong Fei Hung. Wang lacks crucial love chemistry with Meng, making their moments together rather forced than romantic. Lu Yantuan does well as the young Wong Fei Hung and teacher. However, it is the overacting and physical prowess from Du Yikang that manages to show the menace required as the main villain. Dang Wei also does well in shaping western boxing to Hung Ga techniques as the rival rich son.
All in all, “Hong Boxing” never tries to be more than it can be and that’s both a pro and a con. The martial arts fight scenes are well staged and the physical interplay between the Meng Fei and the rest of the rivals remains the highlight of the film. The drama side leaves a lot to be desired and the story never goes deeper than the heavy words of wisdom verbally voiced by master Wong Fei Hung. In the end, the film does an adequate job without breaking a sweat or two.
I rated it 6.5/10
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