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Review Flash Point a.k.a. Dou fo sin (2007): Easily one of the best movies Donnie Yen has ever made!

genre: martial arts, action, crime

Flash Point is a showcase of Donnie Yen's evolution as a martial artist and filmmaker. By now everyone who is a fan knows that this is the movie where Donnie Yen started to infuse MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) with his fighting style on screen. It makes sense since Yen has studied many different disciplines and seems logical that one day he would combine them. Next to his progression as a fighter it is noticeable that Donnie Yen also has become a better actor. Not that he ever was bad but he tells you a whole lot more with his expressions alone and in a movie like this that is gold.

Naturally a lot of credit should also go to director Wilson Yip who has been on a winning streak together with Donnie Yen since SPL: Kill Zone a.k.a. Sha po lang (2005). Their collaboration in the Ip Man movies have proven to be very fruitful and successful, and I hope they will keep on like this since they are on a roll. But back to Flash Point itself. Instead of giving you a lot of action every five minutes, the film has the audacity to make you wait for almost an whole hour for the real fighting to start. However, this is a good thing as it's all done to set up the action in the last half hour. Everything you need to know about the characters and their motivation is in this one hour, and it makes you care or dislike them so that you don't have to waste precious time in the action scenes. On top of that, this approach builds up the anticipation and tension of what is to come (even after having watched it multiple times). Let's just say that the wait is worth it. The fight scenes are immensely well choreographed and where every punch, kick and grapple means something. The battle between Colin Chou and Donnie Yen is amazing and epic which lasts quite a while, but even then it is one of those you never want to end. Yes, it's that good.

For a long time, Flash Point was hailed to be a prequel to S.P.L. Killzone (Sha po lang). Donnie Yen plays a character named Ma similar to character Ma Kwan in S.P.L. Even dressed the same. Plus, the film is set before S.P.L. pre-1997. (Pay attention to the mobile phones. I mean, they look ancient.) However, Yen denied this and some copyright issues popped up according to wikipedia. So Flash Point should be viewed as an original film which is not that hard to do since apart from Yen starring as hard-boiled but compassionate cop named Ma there is no connection to Killzone.

Flash Point is easily one of the best Donnie Yen has ever made. For the fan this is a must own, for non fans this is a must-watch. It will give you a good idea of what the man is capable of, and I am sure he will have much more in store for us.

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