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Black Mask (Widescreen)

Jet Li , Ching Wan Lau , Daniel Lee    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Take the art direction and set design from The Crow and Batman. Add a male-bonding element reminiscent of The Killer or Hard-Boiled. Stir in a plot line about some top-secret near-invincible bionic-man superwarriors taking over the drug trade in Hong Kong, with only one man who can stop them. Season with a high body count, lots of explosions and running gun battles, and spectacular hand-to-hand fight sequences. Top off with a soupçon of cheesy comic relief and a generous helping of atrocious dubbing. Bake for too long, then remove from oven and allow to cool until thoroughly stale. The result: Black Mask. Sure, it's a preposterous recipe (bet you didn't know that LED readouts will show up on an X-ray), but it's stylishly prepared and presented, with high-octane editing, wild camera angles, and a neo-Goth feel all around. Of course it's all about the remarkable Jet Li, the fight scenes, and the postindustrial art direction. Those who come expecting a high-concept, intelligent thriller will be left with indigestion, but Hong Kong action fans who live and die for insane stunts and head-spinning martial arts scenes will have their appetites sated by this dish. It's very interesting to see the influence that John Woo's hand continues to have on American and HK action thrillers, years after his seminal films with Chow Yun-fat. It'll be even more interesting to see how films like Black Mask hold up in the future. Just don't take it too seriously and this movie works just fine. Oh, and the title? It comes from when Jet Li switches from his mild-mannered librarian persona to butt-kicking superhero, complete with mask and hat à la The Green Hornet's Cato. --Jerry Renshaw

Product Description

Black Mask

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Easily forgotten June 6 2004
It didn't take me long to forget this film. Once again it stars Jet in a strange role.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Competent action/punch-up May 31 2004
The plot is one that's showing signs of wear: There was a secret government experiment to create the super-soldier. The plan was shut down and the super-soldiers were to be put down like the rats at the end of a medical experiment. The super-soldiers escape and --
-- and there's a lot of running around, a lot of good stunts and choreographed fighting, good guys, bad guys, and civilian bystanders. You know, the usual.
Still, it's well done (as long as you ignore the cheesy Kato mask). If you like the karate/action genre, it's passable entertainment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars jet li shines May 24 2004
This is such a great jet li movie. And i would recommand this movie to martial art fans.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Martial Arts Excellence & Not much else May 7 2004
By J
Typical Hong Kong shoot-em-up. Great martial arts thanks to Jet Li & Wo Ping. Americanized with poor dubbing and a lame soundtrack. Terrible acting, no plot, poorly filmed gunfights and inane, cliched dialogue. Far too many excellent HK and american action flicks out there to justify any great demand for this movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li. Awesomeness. End Review. April 9 2004
One of the best movies in the whole wide world.
Not many extra features or anything, but the quality and sound is great.
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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Sometimes I wonder why American studios even try to make action-packed martial arts thrillers; they just cannot compete with the great films churned out by Hong Kong studios. Black Mask is an underappreciated, high octane, exhilarating motion picture. How could it not be, as it combines the untouchable martial arts skills of Jet Li, the directorial genius the great Tsui Hark, the fight choreography of the renowned Yuen Woo Ping, the comparatively high Hong Kong budget of ten million dollars, and virtually nonstop action? Granted, the film was given an audio makeover on its way to America, but the dubbing is very well done and the hip-hop soundtrack keeps your blood pumping even when no one is fighting. This is not to say I would have preferred to see the film in its original format, with subtitles, but Black Mask delivers more bang for the buck than anything coming out of American studios. Originally released in 1996 as Hak Hap, this movie made the jump to America three years later, just after Jet Li had made his American debut in Lethal Weapon IV. The film does have a comic-book superhero feel to it, thanks largely to the Kato-like black mask the hero wears, but the storyline is actually quite impressive and easy to follow (although the master plan of the baddies seems a little out-there) . Some reviewers don't seem to care for Black Mask, but I thought it was terrific.
Jet Li plays Michael, a former member of an elite, genetically enhanced fighting group known as the 701 Squad; after helping his fellow soldiers escape, he wants nothing more to do with killing. Now adopting the name Simon, he is a mild-mannered librarian perfectly content with his new life. Then the killings start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars well its better than the sequel March 14 2004
By X
Yes this movie is better than the sequel which was black mask 2 city of masks. And jet li does a decent job in the movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars must see!!! Dec 1 2003
this is the one of the best muvis i ever wached. this is a must see!!
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