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King Of The Streets. The (2012) [Blu-Ray]
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Yue Feng (Yue Song) is a young thug with exceptional streetfighting abilities. He will stop at nothing to defeat all challengers - until, in an tragic accident, he kills a fellow competitor and is sent to prison.
Eight years later, Yue Feng emerges a changed man. He no longer fights, and is looking for a new life of peace and fulfillment.
But it's brutal on the streets, and redemption doesn't come easy. His brotherhood is destroyed, family members murdered, and a loved one humiliated - a deadly chain reaction that leaves him no choice but to unleash his power in the name of justice.
KING OF THE STREETS, China's first street-fighting movie, pits real-life martial artist Yue Song against more than 10 of the world's top contenders in MMA, Jiu-jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Sanda, and Muay Thai boxing.
Run Time: 88 mins
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As you can likely already foresee, "The King of the Streets" wants to wow you with action over everything else. The story is lacking in every sense of the word. It's extremely cliché and predictable; a reformed rebel trying to turn his life around is sucked by into the world he tried to leave behind. The film also repeatedly references Bruce Lee not only in name but in presentation as well as "The King of the Streets" makes it a point to constantly re-use and or re-imagine the Japanese school fighting scene from "The Chinese Connection."
You begin to question the logic Feng has, as well. Who in their right mind would confidently walk up to 85 guys with weapons and try to fight them all at once? "The King of the Streets" wastes little time making itself a victim of a martial art film stereotype as it has that one noteworthy scene where you see the silhouette of the main character training on the roof as the sun rises and has an even more intense training session during a montage later on. The film tries to portray Feng as the guy everyone underestimates; he just got out of prison so no one will hire him, he doesn't really have any friends, and when he does finally get hired by somebody his co-workers constantly talk down to him. But as soon as they get into trouble it's Feng to the rescue.
While it is impressive that Yue Song wears so many hats when it comes to "The King of the Streets," the fruits of his labor are mostly sour grapes at best. The writing is lousy ("Don't worry. Hope is right around the corner."), the action is mostly Yue Song taking people out with one kick over and over again, and the direction of the film stumbles over two left feet. Characters tend to just be dropped without a proper write-out like Feng's co-workers at the moving company or Feng's friend he first meets up with after getting out of prison.
The editing gets really bothersome though like just in the first five minutes alone. The action film has an infatuation with the slow-motion effect as it's used redundantly while Feng does meaningless things like walking next to a chain link fence or putting on his super awesome motorcycle jacket. The opening fight may have been halfway decent if it wasn't ruined by awkward slow-motion and editing. Another bizarre effect is where the last frame of a scene is frozen and transitioned to gray scale as you hear this loud "TUNG!" sound.
Yue Song is obviously a talented martial artist and looks to have tried his absolute best to make "The King of the Streets" work as a hard-hitting action film, but it really doesn't work on any level thanks to its shoddy writing, unimaginative direction, oafish editing, and the way it seems to live and breathe on slow-motion.
If you've never seen today's asian cinema, or think that all Chinese, Thai, and other asian films are just Kung Fu flicks with bad dubbing, then you are in for an amazing treat. These films look very real. No glorified and overly exaggerated the way american films do it.
This is better than Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers, or any of those other pansy-looking "flying in the air like fairies" -types of current asian entertainment.
Check out the film releases coming from Well Go Entertainment or Magnet. They seem to get most of the best of today's asian films.
After this film, I suggest you check out, Bangkok Revenge, and Red Cliff. For twentieth century war dramas, check out Warriors of the Rainbow, My Way, Tae Guk Gi: the Brotherhood of War, and Back to 1942.
You'll be hooked on asian films before you know it. Look into the trailers on the films I've mentioned above.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this movie is not bad by any means. It is shot well, looks great onscreen, and the acting is good, too. But the fight scenes are just sorta ‘blah’. They are ok for the most part, but the don’t bring anything new to the table.
THE KING OF THE STREETS has a great story and is all about a man on his quest for redemption after taking the life of another fighter eight years before. Personally, I think the death was justified, since his opponent pulled a knife and tried to stab him with it. But, I guess there wouldn’t have been a movie without it.
Yue Feng and his inner-dilemma as to whether or not defend the orphanage is the true gem of this film. Whereas the fight scenes are bit lackluster, the turmoil involved with his decision is what makes for good entertainment. Actor Yue Song gives an excellent performance in this role and makes the movie for me.
THE KING OF THE STREETS will probably not win any awards, but it’s worth checking out, especially if you are not looking for a traditional martial-arts film. But don’t go into this one looking for amazing fight scenes. They are decent but not enough to carry the whole film.