Movie Details

Wu Xia

It is 1917 Yunnan and Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) lives a quiet life with his wife Yu (Tang Wei) and their two young sons Xiaotian and Fangzheng. Liu runs a paper mill and the village prospers. One day, two fugitives arrive demanding money and after a long fight with Liu, end up dead. The bigger one is identified as an especially powerful fighter. Liu becomes a local hero but detective Xu Baijiu (Kaneshiro Takeshi), an expert in physiology and pressure points, is puzzled how a seemingly ordinary man like Liu was able to defeat two hardened fugitives. Liu finally tells Xu that he is actually a convicted killer and spent 10 years in Jingzhou prison. However Xu, who notices that Liu is surrounded by a powerful qi force-field, is still suspicious, and when an associate (Jiang Wu) reports from his investigations in Jingzhou, he realises Liu is actually Tang Long, second-in-command of the murderous 72 Demons gang and the favourite son of its Tangut leader (Jimmy Wang) and his wife (Kara Hui).

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 21 Jul 2011
Genre: Action / Drama / Martial Arts
Running Time: 1 Hour 56 Minutes
Cast: Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Kara Hui
Director: Peter Chan
Format: NA


Writer: Syahida Kamarudin

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: “The Warlords” and “Ip Man”

The first thing that the audience must understand is that this is first and foremost, a Peter Chan movie. It is highly stylised, rich in narrative and might be a little slow at showing all the action scenes. It's there, but good things come to those who wait.

Second, every single fight scene is choreographed by Donnie Yen, which means it's brutal, bloody and not for the faint-hearted. And if you are the sort of cynical person who goes "What? Donnie Yen? Again?", you might be surprised at how good the movie is and how different it is than all the Ip Man of the world.

"Wu Xia" is done in a way that combines noir - where its central character is Takeshi Kaneshiro amidst his narration and self-reflection, with action-drama, and where the main role is played Donnie Yen and his mysterious past presented in a traditional Kung Fu movie style. How these two characters interact and makes their different approach known, is what so unique and special about "Wu Xia".

The film starts with Donnie Yen's character waking up and doing his daily routine that doesn't look and feel like the film is going to have any fight scene at all. But then the pace changes when Kaneshiro appears as the curious detective that reminds you of Mac Taylor of "CSI: New York" and Hugh Laurie's "House" all at the same time.

Cinematography-wise, this movie is filled with scenic view of the Yunnan province, from its picturesque villages, to the almost therapeutic scenes of waterfalls and forest. Even without paying attention to the plot, you will fall in love with the cinematography. The action choreography is trademark Donnie Yen; with lots of one-to-one combat, no cheesy flying scenes and several visual explanations on the effect of each and every hit.

In short, this is not your no-brainer Kung Fu movie where everybody bleeds and dies a gory death and the hero comes out as clean as a whistle. It grabs your attention all the way even when the actors are just staring at each other. And most importantly, it will satisfy your thoughts and your need to see somebody punched in the face. It's a complete package!

Cinema Online, 19 July 2011
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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