Podcast on Fire 68: True Legend Special

Playing right now in Hong Kong, Stoo and Ken preview Yuen Woo-ping highly anticipated martial arts movie with special guest Mike Leeder. Also featuring over 20 minutes of worthy deleted conversations (just not worthy for the show...ish) in the Members Only Area, available via a free, simple registration on the forum.  To get you in the mood, also in this show post are trailers for True Legend and production stills.

Links Official True Legend website Impact Magazine

2 Responses to “Podcast on Fire 68: True Legend Special”

  • Kamen Liew:

    Hey guys,

    Thought you guys were going to review True Legend! But thanks for the discussion, particularly enjoyed the dissection about Vincent Zhao’s career over the years.

    Just saw this overseas a week ago.. keep your expectations low! Film suffers from plot structural problems and incongruent pacing. Use of CGI seem impractical in most scenes, and the film struggles to find footing in whether to be a fantastical, classic kung-fu wuxia film or a martial arts biopic.

    That said however, True Legend is a throwback to the old, classic martial arts action films of the 90′s with fantastic and awesome martial art sequences that manages to outdo a few of Yuen Woo Ping’s previous films. The final fight scene between Andy On and Vincent Zhou probably ranks as one of the best fight scenes in HK cinema since Jet Li stuff in Once Upon a Time in China.

    As a leading man, Vincent Zhou deserves praise. His acting seems to have evolved and manages to ooze charisma and maturity, making him a likeable and relatable presence. Physically, his martial arts and physique is as impressive as a mid-30′s Donnie Yen in SPL, not just gracefully but packing a lethal punch. He seems to have aged very well, there’s a scene in the film where Vincent looked like he just walked off the set of Once Upon a Time in a China. If Mike Leeder thinks True Legend is a breakout film for Vincent, this will be it.

    Other casting praise goes to Andy On, who plays a menacing villain with fighting prowess to match Vincent’s (looking very much like an Asian Kratos from the videogame God of War) but also the (thankfully) underused Jay Chou, who plays 2 characters in this film with believable onscreen martial arts and finally, good acting. (compared to your Shawn Yue Nic Tse miming martial arts) It is the second character that Jay Chou plays which demonstrates his promising talent in film acting.

    In regards to all the break-dancing arguments, the style used in the martial art sequences is more reminiscient of Capoeira than the aforementioned dance style. This breakdancing style is a huge part of Beggar Su’s fighting style as the Drunken Fist often involves its practictioner to lower his gravity by lying on the ground (sort of like faking a drunken sleep) to counter his opponent’s center of gravity and breaking their balance.

    Good cinematography and high production values, camera angles well-placed allowing you to see what happens, and long cuts to show you the amazing fight choreography. Other than that, bear with the confusing pacing and some unexplained plot points, an ending that feels lifted from another film (also choreographed by Yuen) and the abundance of lazy CGI that takes you out of the film. Narratively Stephen Chow’s “The King of Beggars” is a better film. Otherwise, there’s plenty of martial arts action to please in True Legend. (too much martial arts, I might add)

    Do however avoid Donnie Yen’s 14 Blades like a plague. The film fails as either a martial arts film or a good film at all. Storyline is absolutely clique and characters are severely underdeveloped. Main villain is unsatisfying, fight scenes are confusing, hard to follow and cut together wildly. Don’t waste your time with this garbage. I strongly suggest watching True Legend or Ip Man again.

    Keep up the good work!

    Regards,

    Kamen.

  • Knetan:

    Hey!

    it was a PRE-view after all but thanks for the breakdown and feedback! Highly appreciated, sir. I’ve heard mixed things of TL (but I tend not to be affected and will decide upon viewing) but it’ll be exciting to see once it hit dvd and blu ray, especially since the action delivers and god knows there’s a craving for that sort of thing.

    Bte, when seeing Daniel Lee’s directing credit on 14 Blades, I lowered my expectations. A fine drama director but overly stylized action one.

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The Podcast On Fire Network aims to provide a large, continually expanding overview of Asian cinema. On the flagshow Podcast On Fire, the big guns out of Hong Kong cinema gets a spotlight through discussion and review while the remainder of the network shows gives you insight into Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese cinema and the history of adult oriented Hong Kong cinema!

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