Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CITY UNDER SIEGE (2010)

I recently wasted my time watching this overblown Benny Chan Muk-sing mess and I am going to waste more time giving it credence through a blog post. I recently posted on my Facebook, "If I never see a Benny Chan Muk-sing film again, it will be too soon. That being said, Hong Kong cinema is like sex and pizza.....=)." Outside of most CAT III fare, and HK's omnipresent romantic comedies, my sex and pizza comment is tailor made for films as shitty as this one. I am not a fan of the ham fisted special effects opuses that Chan has recently called 'films.' OK. Sans CONNECTED. That one was a goodie. Though I do believe they hold a place in HK cinema. Chan seems to suit his films as HK equivalents to the US 'Summer Blockbuster', a type of film that I am not too fond of and usually wait a year or two to rent for free at my local library. Without bad HK films like CITY UNDER SIEGE, what would a good HK film be?
I shouldn't turd on all of Chan's work. As it happens, I really enjoy most of his efforts, especially his early stuff. My Facebook comment was kind of a knee jerk reaction as I go limp when I see CGI and whacked out wire work. Chans films via the 90's used some wire work when wire work was welcome. It was expected in a film and though sometimes obvious, exposed wires and all, seemed believable. You would think that 20 years later, with the heavy hand of CGI looming large, that wire work would appear more believable? After 20 years of computer generated innovation, I surely thought so. Not in CITY UNDER SIEGE. The visible wires may be erased by technology but the unnatural flow of fight scenes and actors being flung through the air looks damn foolish. And this is only one of many embarrassments occupying CITY UNDER SIEGE. To list other shortcomings would be careless and spoiler laden. I'm choosing to fashion this post as a kindly word of warning.


So, briefly, as the story goes, a traveling circus troupe come across an underground bunker in Malaysia where the Japanese Army used to run malicious experiments on their captives. The troupe releases a toxin that turns them into mutants. Well, all but our comely hero, Aaron Kwok Fu-sing. Instead of turning Mr. Kwok into a hideous freak, the chemicals turn him into a Super Human! And then it's on like Donkey Kong! It's the handsome Super Human vs. The Mutants, with more than a few nods to X-Men and a little Shu Qi thrown in (My lovely madame, Shu Qi, the only reason I threw this crapper on). It's a special effects laden shit storm of bombast. And as negative as I am in recounting this film, as I mentioned above, I still find a touch of merit in what I believe it is trying to do, updating a story and type of film that would have worked and been commercially lauded 20 years earlier. It fails miserably, but the ridiculous plot of CITY UNDER SIEGE is the kind of story I fell in love with when turning to HK cinema. It's ridiculous! A circus troupe turning into mutants with super strength who Kung Fu fight each other?! Circa late 80's/early 90's, CITY UNDER SIEGE sounds like a Wong Jing spectacle? No? Something akin to MAGIC CRYSTAL or one of the Wisely adventures, maybe? OK. I'm done here with this post. It's boring me. No T&A. I forayed into the mainstream this past week and gave some recent films their due, enjoying most of what I saw. I hope to post my posters and brief blurbs about those films by years end. But for now, it's back to the boobies. Hooray!

4 comments:

  1. You make me want to see this now. Does Shu Qi get to do any fighting?

    I liked Invisible Target for some reason. And Divergence. Remember laughing at Connected. I think I gave my DVD away. Just too over the top. If it had been campier, I might have liked that sort of thing.

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  2. Good lord, it sounds like a nightmare. Thanks for the warning!

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  3. Glenn, it's a turd. Connected was rather good in a summer blockbuster kinda way. this is just kind or embarrasing. I didn't care too much for Invisible Target. I just can't get into the majority of the CGI films from HK. They look 100x worse than the obvious wire-fu from 20 years ago. This just shouldn't be. These films are regressing. And, Shu qi doesn't do any fighting but Jiang Jingchu does some.

    Achillesgirl, you are most certainly welcome. This is a shitter =)

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