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Review Black Mask a.k.a Hak hap (1996): Easily one of Jet Li's worst!

genre: martial arts, action, science fiction







Tsui chik is a supersoldier who has to fight his old comrades in arms because they are evil. Then there are some subplots that will mostly annoy you to death.

Sure the main plot of a former assassin with a conscience who is trying to do good whenever and wherever he can normally would have been appreciated. In this it just plays into the superhero tropes I myself get tired of. Don't get me wrong I love superhero shows and films. However I really get tired of the element where a hero can't come into action because of his alias or somehow lost his powers. If you think about it. it's also weird how Jet Li's character is the only one who is aware that their old ways were wrong and evil. If you would judge the film on it's cast you would be surprised how many good actors are in it. All of them deserve better. Sole blame for the big mess is director Daniel Lee Yan-Gong. The same guy responsible for What Price Survival which also was one big disaster. The only decent one he has directed is Dragon Squad. Although that one is heavily flawed as well. And I have yet to find a decent copy to do a proper review of.

Other than that Black Mask is basically mostly action. I wished I could say that it's the good kind though. Just as the plot the action is messy and all over the place. Plenty of gunplay and hand to hand combat. But filmed and choreographed in a way that I didn't find it enjoyable that much. Maybe the final sequence redeems the film somewhat. But to the extent that I can recommend this? No.

Overall Black Mask is easily one of Jet Li's worst. It easily could have been better had Tsui Hark himself decided to direct. But I almost can't believe that Yuen Woo-Ping was involved as an action director. Still it could very well be that director Daniel Lee butchered the action scenes by sheer incompetence. 




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