In the 80´s American B cinema, there was a tendency to turn true martial arts champions into movie stars, an operation that sometimes worked out well, but which in most cases ended in disaster, many times due to the lack of budget, and the incompetence of untalented action directors and others, the majority, because being a good fighter in the Ring, does not automatically make you a good screen fighter.
This modest Chinese production of 2017, tries to emulate this same formula, putting two fighters as protagonists in a perfect vehicle for them to showcase their skills. The truth is that if this film had been made in America in the 80s, it is likely that today it would be appreciated by fans and even considered by some as a cult classic of this type of movies, because although that lacks of a good villain, and needed more footage to better develop the story, It has some stunning action scenes, brilliantly filmed and with a great diversity of movements, reminiscent of the golden age of Hong Kong cinema.
The story brings nothing new and has been seeing countless of times in hundreds of martial arts films before. Two brothers, who are fighters, becomes victims of a ruthless martial arts promoter, who forces them to take a dive, in order to earn money from betting. And as honorable martial artist that they are, they refuse to do it, paying the consequences. In between, both brothers have their own tragic love story, where the performers show that their talent is fighting, but not acting.
Almost all the action takes place in the same scenario, a MMA gym with a big ring, in which the director placed some folks around cheering, to give the viewer the feeling that there are big amounts of betting money in the fights. The sounds of a big crowd cheering, added in the post-production makes everything look so shabby, however, the fights were so well shoot, that makes you forget such a goofy detail.
The film really deserved to have lasted at least 90 minutes instead of 60 to have been able to better develop the story and needed a more epic ending, but in terms of martial arts action it is an excellent entertainment, that would please the less demanding fandom.
The film is avalailable in Chinese platform Iqiyi with english subtitles