When a spate of eerie murders erupts across HK two trouble making cops are assigned to the case. Young maverick WANG and grizzled vet HUANG who is fed up with his reckless younger partner always landing them in hot water. Reaching a dead end after discovering all the victims were former boyfriends of aspiring starlet LIU, the detectives must play a deadly game. One of them must go undercover as Liu’s lover to lure the killer out.
“Badges of Fury” hits ya a like a wacky ton of bricks. Under the directorial debut of Tsz Ming Wong, fans of Jet Li are in for a visually exciting but absurdly different experience from our favorite martial arts star. Cover alone, I was expecting a high powered cop drama. Instead we get a combination of police/ detective work, heavy wire work, and lots of humor wrapped under a rather unique shell. Badges of Fury takes a direction that is more closer to films like “Kung fu Hustle” than anything we’ve really seen Jet Li in before. As Huang Feihong, Jet Li costars with Zhang Wen (also co star in the film “The Sorcerer and the White Snake (2011)“) who also takes the martial platform in this film as Wang Bu’er, a detective/partner under the same department.
The story begins in Hong Kong with the strange occurrences of what are deemed the “Smiling Murders”. Each victim falls to their death or some form of paralyzed state that instantly kills them resulting in a curious grin that stays embedded upon their faces. The deaths are cleverly presented in a way that feels a bit slapstick in presentation.
Film screen starlet Liu Jinshui (Shishi Liu) appears to be under a curse that ends in the death of any man who professes their love to her with intentions of marriage. Her sister Dai Yiyi (Ada Liu) approaches the screen eluding her seductive presence intent on stealing away all of Liu former boyfriends. As the case and plots thickens, she also becomes under suspicion for her frequency and number of life insurance polices her acquaintances are attached to. Actress Ada Liu is the lovely beauty who you all might remember from the film “Painted Skin”.
I did find myself getting “somewhat” lost in the material which is comprised of several subplots. It was clear that this film was intent on its main objective of telling a detective story but does so with several break away moments and circumstances. For one, we get plenty of those wacky martial arts encounters that the fans want to see. This is intermingled between goofy moments, a serial killer agenda and a tale of an actress who suffers from loneliness despite her starlet status. Though with all that said, it does tend to amaze with its off-beat cult film style agenda.
“Badges of Fury” features so much wire work that it works like a 3rd silent co-tar in the film by pushing excess to the limits and to the point of being ridiculous. In the case of a comedic film such as this, this aspect works extremely well tot the entertainment of its viewers. The film feature both Chinese and English version of its audio tracks complete with subtitles. To keep things simple, I watched the film in English however my only complaint here was that Jet Li didn’t do his own English voice overs. The voice chosen was definitely not Jet Li, but….despite that fact, it was good enough to bear with it.
“Badges of Fury” is another high powered release from Well Go Usa, a distribution company who seem to have a great eye for martial arts style films that push the envelope. Myself, as a Jet Li fan, it was great to see him taking part in a film that roots itself in humor while still showcasing his amazing talents. The final act features a fantastic “show down” that easily reminded me of Jet Li’s earlier work. Together actors Li, Chou and Wu are a great treat for fans of martial arts. They all possesses a rare agility and finesse that despite excessive wire work is still damn exciting. You can pick this film up at your nearest store or thru the Well Go USA channel itself. Impressively entertaining !!