Kung Fu League 功夫联盟 (2018) - Hong Kong / China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
The highly anticipated combo of martial arts folk legends combining on the same screen is like China’s answer to America’s Marvel. Director Jeff Lau is known for his wacky yet entertaining comedies and this one is definitely high on the wackiness, but lacks the basic plot line and even entertainment value to elevate the film above what could have been. Putting the like of Vincent Zhao (aka Wong Fei Hung), Andy On (aka Fok Yuen Gaap), Danny Chan (aka Chen Zhen / Bruce Lee) and Dennis To (aka Ip Man) may seem like the martial arts universe fanboy dream come true, the result is really a mixed bag as we see the heroes make a fool of themselves at the sake of small laughs, when their glorify past ends up in tatters.
In fact, the four folk legends plays second fiddle to nerdy comic artist (played by Ashin) and his potential love interest (played by the lovely Madina Memet). Vincent Zhao is always welcome as Wong Fei Hung (just as he shown in the recent series relaunch), but whilst the Auntie 13 potential infidelity may be funny at first instance, it goes overboard and stretched. Andy On and Danny Chan amuses themselves as legendary Master Fok and the irreplaceable Bruce Lee, but it is likely that the real kung fu heroes themselves will jump out of their grave in embarrassment of this parody. As for Dennis To portrayal of Ip Man, it turns out to be a total fraud.
All in all, Director Jeff Lau tries to mix action with screwball comedy that goes over the top with wackiness like his 90s effort, but it doesn’t precisely work here and when the only scene that resemble any emotional connects comes in the underwater scene between the two lovers. However it all seems out of place when you have so many action heroes in one film, yet we wasted the opportunity to make this a true martial arts fan fest and in the process end up making fun of our childhood heroes.
I rated it 5/10