Monday, July 12, 2010

Fantasia 2010: Clash (2009)

This is the second film review in the coverage of Montreal's Fantasia Film Festival. To be honest with you, this is the worst film I've seen at the Fantasia Film Festival in all time. This means that if you've seen The Rebel, another Vietnamese martial arts film made by more or less the same people behind this film, don't raise your expectations. Besides, American actor/stuntman Johnny Nguyen (The Rebel) still doesn't know how to write a script.

Trinh (Veronica Ngo), a mercenary, has to carry seven missions at the request of Black Dragon (Hoang Phuc Nguyen), her boss. As a matter of fact, he promised her that Trinh will get her daughter back provided that the seventh mission is successfully fulfilled. She assembles a team with four other mercenaries. Their mission is to steal a very important laptop from a group of Frenchmen. However, things get rather complicated for the team. However, since some people in the team died, Quan is the only person from the team willing to help Trinh get her daughter out of Black Dragon's clutches.

Despite being a successful blockbuster at the Vietnamese box-office, Clash's story is not remotely as exciting as that of some fairly good Hong Kong martial arts films. The first reason being that the film is very predictable, because most elements of its script were taken out of the blockbuster handbook. In some case, this might not be a bad thing. However, Crash isn't backed by a meaty script in that we never know from any of the characters what's the big deal with the laptop. All in all, it appears that Johnny Nguyen was just in a rush to pile up as many action scenes as possible.

The second problem with the film comes from the characters. While they're supposedly tough characters, I was under the impression that most of the actors overacted in their parts. Besides, don't be surprised if you see the actor playing Black Dragon laugh like an idiot from the worse blockbusters. Therefore, the only good thing about this film are the fight scenes that combine Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Viet Vo Dao, Vietnam's national martial art. In all fairness, the fight scenes were as amazing as those of Donnie Yen's S.P.L. or Flash Point.

Finally, to put it simply, Clash is a set of great fight scenes lost in a soap opera. If you have the chance to watch this film, wait for its DVD release and press the fast forward button on your remote control just to get to the action scenes.

Rating: 1/5

Origin:Vietnam (2009)
Length:90 minutes
Screenplay:Johnny Nguyen
Director:Le Thanh Son
Starring:Johnny Nguyen, Thanh Van Ngo and Nguyen Hoang Phuc

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