SPL-Hong Kong Force

2005

Action / Crime / Thriller

57
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 80%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 80%
IMDb Rating 7 10 11,021

Synopsis


Downloaded times
May 28, 2020

Director

Cast

Donnie Yen as Commander Tung
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung as Uncle Luck
Simon Yam as Kwan Fu-Keung
Wu Jing as Lau Hey
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
851.32 MB
1280*720
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
93 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.71 GB
1920×1080
Chinese 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
93 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ipkevin 9 / 10 / 10

Donnie Yen wasn't lying..

.. when he called SPL the pinnacle of his martial arts choreography. It rocks. HARD. Not only are the fights are brutal, fast, and complex, but Donnie may have achieved the impossible: He made Brazillian ju-jitsu look exciting on film. Donnie's character repeatedly goes for takedowns, armbars, chokes, and all the moves that you might see in a UFC or Pride match (with Sammo countering attacks exactly how the big fighters do it in a real bout), while seamlessly combining them with the incredibly fast, complex punching and kicking exchanges you'd expect in a Hong Kong flick. Did I mention that the fights are bone-crunchingly brutal? There is a real nastiness to the punchups that should yield a great reaction from enthusiastic audiences. And then there is the spectacular Wu Jing vs Donnie Yen fight. It starts off very, very fast and complex, then at a certain point, the tempo changes and you suddenly realize that it's because they're just making it up ON THE SPOT and the damn thing becomes even more impressive. The long, unbroken takes should please fight purists, too. The film itself also holds up. Director Wilson Yip really shows off his passion and skill in this film. It's an intense crime drama that doesn't have to pander to any teeny boppers, so he is free to finally let loose. The story is solid and Yip takes the opportunity to devise some great sequences. There's a scene that cuts between Donnie looking at photos of the policemen he's about to lead and footage of the same cops intensely doing their business that is pure cinema.. a scene that could have been plain on paper, but is made exciting purely through the director's vision - the way it's cut and scored and staged. In other words, there is a lot of obvious effort put into the drama. It isn't just some thrown together filler btwn fight scenes. This is a real film. Oh, and one comment about the audio: It's amazing. The music is superb and the sound effects are everything you could hope for in a kung fu film (ie, they accentuate every move and hit as you'd want them to). I hope the DVD has a great DD5.1 track and that you have the system to play it 'cause it'll make a big difference. Complaints? I have only one: The fights should have been a little longer, but that's okay because they burn twice as bright as most.

Reviewed by hkauteur 10 / 10 / 10

Resets the standard for modern day martial arts films

When I found the film was having its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, I made it first priority to go see it. I saw it with a friend at an Industry screening in rush line. Donnie versus Sammo, can it get any better than that? The story of the film, to make it simple, Simon Yam is the retiring determined bad-good cop, Donnie is the new good-good cop replacing him and Sammo is the mob boss. The film takes place during father's day and every character in the film is either a son or a father. Everyone is dealing with some form of father and son relationship; Sammo's character is expecting a child, Simon Yam has an adopted daughter of whose real parents were killed by men sent from Sammo, Donnie's character defies his father's wishes to become a policeman and so forth. The theme serves to add a emotional element that connects all the characters in the film. None of the characters are extreme good or extreme evil, everybody is shades of grey on different levels. There seems to be a very heavy Infernal Affairs influence here coupled with the bleak colours and dark settings. However, the film does not take itself as seriously as the IA trilogy. There are many moments of humor and it works well to break the tension of the film in the beginning to middle. The humor leaves at the middle to the finale at the end when things start to get serious; which helps engage the audience and assures them the film does not take itself any more seriously but to engage you for the duration of the movie to entertain you. The film is shot very stylishly. Combined with the duration of the film (the film clocks in to about 97 minutes), I can imagine the meanest western critic would say this film is pretentious, trading too much style for not enough storytelling in such a short time. (Yes I already see that coming, aren't I pretty?) I would d say that would be the wrong way to look at it, because he would be forgetting the fact that this a modern day kung fu film, which has always been a very hard genre to do. In the modern day setting, it basically means you're more grounded and limited by the realms of reality, which means no obvious wirework and more realistic choreography, which you need expert talent to pull off. When you're in ancient times, you can get away with stuff, not in modern day. The story lines for modern day martial arts films have not been very impressive either in the past. It's it's own ballgame in my opinion. Only recent one I can think of is Danny the Dog/Unleashed, an old example being Jackie Chan's Police Story series (and I don't count the unevenly New Police Story). And now, the thing you've been waiting for,.... the action! Donnie Yen commented that this was the pinnacle of his career with SPL. When you see the film, you can see what he's talking about. You know that thing when you hear reading about kung fu movies sometimes when Bruce Lee moves too fast for the camera and they ask him to slow down so people can see what's going on? I don't think much of that was going on here in SPL. The fights were lightning fast and brutal. Every move was checkmate and everyone's going for the throat. The fights are not many, but they are cruelly intense. The fight with Wu Jing and Donnie Yen in the alleyway was spectacular, I think they were rolling camera and just going at it full speed. I guess it seemed natural to do a weapon fight (baton vs. a short Japanese knife) because Wu Jing has a more graceful swift strength as to Donnie's hard and solid's. The finale with Sammo and Donnie was my favorite. Sammo is a fifty-year old two hundred pound fat man and he moves like he never aged at all. He keeps up every second with Donnie. No one had to slow anything down for him, nor nothing was undercranked or wired. Wrestling seemed to be a very natural choice for this fight, given the circumstances; Donnie and Sammo are hard, solid strength types and it added a new visual element compared to Donnie's In The Line of Duty and Tiger Cage days. This fight was so intense it made me forget what the plot of the story was about, I forgot why Donnie was fighting Sammo plotwise and just purely experienced the cinematics of the fight. You'll see what I mean when you see the film. Yes, SPL succeeds in what it does. With more martial arts films coming out internationally (such as Ong Bak), as Donnie has been quoted as saying repetitively, Hong Kong has deteriorated in its quality of kung fu film, despite the fact that Hong Kong choreography has now become international. SPL sets the standard again and reminds the world that we still have a few things up our sleeves and that this is the Hong Kong brand of action choreography. So yes, martial arts fans, you'll definitely dig it. It's on your must-see list for sure.

Reviewed by Coolestmovies 10 / 10 / 10

A lean, dark bastard of a movie, SPL a stunning return to Hong Kong noir

Set to retire due to a terminal brain tumor, detective Simon Yam knows there's only one way for him and his loyal squad to deal with triad kingpin Sammo Hung and his troops: force on force. But no matter how hard they press - and they press HARD - Sammo presses back harder, and usually after he walks free when it becomes apparent Simon and his boys have violated every police procedure and human right imaginable in an effort to secure an apprehension. When a mentally deficient A/V geek arrives at the station with a video showing Sammo teeing off on the head of Simon's undercover operative and one of his henchman finalizing the deal with a bullet to the head, Simon and his crew first beat the henchman to within an inch of his life, sending him flying off a high-rise rooftop, and then hatch a plan to edit the tape and make Sammo appear to be the killer. Of course, there's always a backup tape, and the vicious crime kingpin again walks free, this time with a master plan to wipe out Simon's unit for good. Into this raging carnival of payback is transferred Simon's replacement Donnie, a not-quite- by-the-book hot shot whose initial protestations to the group's dark pragmatism and exclusionary procedures are rescinded after he helplessly watches one of them get slit up a treat by Sammo's snickering, psychotic blade-for-hire Jacky Wu Jing (who's hardly the "newcomer" he's being touted as by both the opening credits and the internet gossip cycle). That these two will later settle up accounts in a ferocious bout of hand-to-hand combat in the alley leading to Sammo's club is a foregone conclusion: that the fight is one of the most beautifully constructed, relentlessly exhilarating setpieces of martial arts choreography in the history of Hong Kong cinema, one that practically INVENTS new ways of kicking ass, comes as a breath of minty freshness in this era of assembly line romances and computer-assisted Jackie Chan in silly helmets. The sequence is rivaled in short order when Donnie finally takes on the Big Man himself, virtually trashing Sammo's opulent nightclub in the process just moments after Simon's abortive last attempt to kill his archenemy buys him a series of gaping stab wounds and a Great Big Knife through his hand. But the film isn't just about combat, phenomenal though it is; it's about consequences, and the dark decisions of the soul that, in Hong Kong movies at least, routinely resulted in cataclysm in film after film of the golden era of the 80's and 90's. The kind of movie that used to be worthy of the title Heroic Bloodshed, and a textbook exercise in escalating nihilism. No one escapes fate in SPL, not that they try very hard: combatants on both sides of the battle have tunnel vision and live only to see the other side pushing up the daisies, their own deaths often appearing as surprising to them as they are to us. SPL feels like the movie its director, Wilson Yip, wanted to make in the mid-1990's, back when folks like Danny Lee knew the value of a hammer and a phone book in extracting confessions, so it doesn't surprise that the film is set in 1997 (a fact seemingly lost on the majority of the audience at the Toronto Film Festival where this debuted): how else to justify the "shoot-first-f***-the-questions" cocaine bust flashbacked as newly arrived Donnie quietly acquaints himself with the vacant desks of his new charges, or the sight of weary veteran Liu Kai-chi slapping around a mental retardate and trashing the poor boy's pad? Not that the film is all bleakness. With the exception of Jacky's smirky, nutjob assassin, all the primary leads are given small vignettes that show they're firing on more than one cylinder: Simon becomes godfather to a little girl whose parents, witnesses to Sammo's dirty dealings, were killed by Jacky. Liu Kai-chi discovers the fate of his estranged father just moments before fate points his way; Donnie secretly plays video games with a mentally challenged ex-thief he clocked a little too hard; and Sammo interrupts several tense moments AND his climactic Donnie-brook to take calls from his wife, who after several failed pregnancies has finally given him a child, albeit one who will figure prominently in one of the most brutal twist endings of all time. There's more authentic characterization on display here than in any five Hong Kong action thrillers of the past few years (barring the gorgeously grim procedural of Johnny To) - not for nothing is the film set on Father's Day - a fact not lost on the likes of Yip and Yen, who must have known respective talents such as theirs, coupled with an Asian cinephile's dream cast, could only result in something truly memorable. With little argument, this is Yip's most refined, tightly-wound effort to date, a lean, dark, unsparing bastard of a movie that melds the satiny luster of 2002, with which it shares art director Jeff Mak, with the sinewy, stripped-down plotting of BIO-ZOMBIE (minus the comedy, of course). Easily one of the best, if not THE best Hong Kong picture of 2005 so far, and I doubt the rest of the year will produce anything its equal.

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