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Four, The


Runtime
118 minutes
Type
Color
Genres
action, crime, fantasy

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This entry created 25 November 2012. Last revised on 28 September 2019.

425 hits since 28 Sep 2019
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Four, The

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star (7.00)

Original Title: Si da ming bu

This DVD was in the discount bin at Big Lots – $5 USD – and a family member picked it up. Already has 2 sequels, it appears!

The movie starts out with a confusing scene involving too many characters, too many factions, but keep watching and it will begin to make sense.

This is a Chinese superhero-meets-kung-fu (wuxia) movie set in pre-gun China. In the capital city, someone is flooding the city with counterfeit currency, and two rival constabularies (police forces) are trying to solve the problem.

Department Six, led by the Sheriff King, is the conventional police force. They have troops with shields that make clanging noises when moved. There are also constables who are masters of kung fu.

The Divine Constabulary is a secret police force authorized directly by the king. It consists of one older man and four younger people, all of whom are kung fu masters.

In this movie, a kung fu master who has qi power can do supernatural things, such as fly into the air or hurl darts mentally.

The person behind the counterfeiting is a merchant who may also be some kind of devil; as it says on the back of the DVD, his ultimate goal is to create an army of undead so he can seize power.

One more twist is a female assassin who is the newest Department Six constable. She also seems to be working for the bad guy, but if so, why is she delaying her assignment to kill the Sheriff King?

The Divine Constabulary also has some QiPunk (?) devices, basically gears and cogs powered by qi power.

This movie was a lot of fun to watch, and the plot is just an excuse for a series of fast-paced battles, a love triangle, and a lot of wondering about who are the real bad guys. The actors are great fun to watch. Lots of wire work, spidercam (cam on wire).

On the downside, nearly everyone in this movie has the same basic superhero power (kung fu master), so you would think this would make the movie boring. But it didn't bother me.

Bad language? Not in the English subtitles. Sex? Just a creepy zombie kiss, and some police women who like to 'hob tub' after work (a little toplessness).

I recommend this one as a fun movie, don't take it too seriously.