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House of Fury (HK 2005)

Director : Stephen Fung
Cast : Anthony Wong, Stephen Fung, Michael Wong, Gillian Chung, Daniel Wu, Charlene Choi and Wu Ma.

Synopsis
Yue Siu Bo is a former secret agent turned chiropractor who thought he left his past behind. However, his past catches up to him as a rogue agent demands to know the whereabouts of an agent. This agent captures Yue Siu Bo and its up to his kids to find this agent and save their dad.

Review
by Edward Tang

I’ve literally seen about 1000 Anthony Wong films in the last few months and this guy doesn’t seem to stop. I’m sure he doesn’t give a shit about scripts anymore, because lets face it, he’s a f*ckin’ actor! He’s been in so many classic films, it’s hard not to like the guy just a little bit. Since I’m a fan, I’ll usually see whatever he’s got to offer and of course I had to check out House of Fury.
This is the second film directed by Stephen Fung, the first being the entertaining Enter the Phoenix. Fung’s films so far are fun and have good action, so I’m not complaining about his career so far. House of Fury’s action is done by the action God, Mr. Yuen Wo Ping and he delivers for the most part. The action is fun and the actors aren’t annoying, what a surprise! The Twins and Daniel Wu aren’t annoying? You got it, if anything they improve the film from the evil hands of Michael Wong. Now, I’ve heard alot about how this guy sucks and it’s horribly true, he is the worst villain I’ve seen in a while. Oh you cut between English and Chinese, and your a bald-cripple? He is easily the one of the worst parts of this film, along with the generic music, copy-and-pasted story and some horrible dialog in the vein of “The dolphins will snack on you.” But the action is enough to save this film from being a total waste of time.

The story begins with Yue Siu Bo (Anthony Wong) is an annoying father to Natalie (Gillian Chung) and Nicky (Stephen Fung) who tells a bunch of stories about him being a secret agent that none of them believe. Of course, he really secret agent and when wheelchair bound Rocco (Michael Wong) comes looking for an agent who has hidden under the name Uncle Chiu (Wu Ma), he questions the man who hid him, Yue Siu Bo. He doesn’t give up the name, so Rocco captures him and tortures him for the information. Nicky and Natalie learn that their father is actually what he says to be and when they learn that their special charms actually hold disks with the information about the missing agent, they agree to trade Uncle Chiu for their father. They meet at the final stage, they kick the shit out of the guards and save their father! There you go, I just described the story that sounds vaguely familiar to me. I wouldn’t doubt if there’s a bit of something from Spy Kids and The Incredibles. There’s even a scene which showcases Nicky looking at pictures of his father standing next to a bunch of high power officials, which looks like what happened when Ben Stiller saw the same type of photos in Meet the Parents. The story was explained in about two minutes, and we got the idea.

Fung tries to handle all the pegs with comedy, action and drama. The drama fails on all accounts, the sappy scenes just get annoying after awhile. I think the comedy works well in some places and is just annoying in others. Of course the action is probably the key element that makes this film better than an average pile of driftwood. But along with the gimmicky plot, we added a really crappy villain with a really crappy purpose. Everything about the story was what a regular action films always seems to encompass, little to understand and maybe a little bit of a surprise. Then some of the crap just was idiotic, the kids knowing how to kick a bunch of ass for apparently no reason. Hmm, you say your dad isn’t an agent yet he teaches you to take on five people at once? Then the badly built romances and some sappy crap like Anthony Wong talking to his dead wife. More or less, these little points tried to give the characters an added dimension but mostly fell apart.

It’s a fun action film, remember. It doesn’t stray far away from that and that’s a good thing. Fung knows how to direct action films that don’t have lasting power, they aren’t flicks that you’d remember if you were thinking of good action films. It’s a film that is good popcorn fun, one that you watch once and probably never again unless you catch it on TV. That being said, you can’t go wrong if you want some good action to hire Mr. Yuen Wo Ping. His work shows, the confrontations between brother and sister gets an added layer as they throw out in fisticuffs over the remote control. It’s entertaining for the most part and only got better as Anthony Wong did his little Bruce Lee impression with a gutted skeleton (no worries, a fake). The fights weren’t over wired but it got a little tedious at points. But I’m not going to go bashing the action, because they had enough of it and it was a good selection of different stuff. Yuen’s work was good for the most part, but I only wish somebody would have kicked that little kid in the head or something.

Anthony Wong is good in his role, and is funny in a few lines. That being said, he’s obviously been better and more entertaining countless times. But whatever, he does his job well. Stephen Fung, Gillian Chung, Daniel Wu and Charlene Choi are good in this film. Not screaming or overacting, giving just enough to be funny and entertaining in their roles. The same can’t be said for Michael Wong who is just an asshole in every degree. I question the casting process, get a crappy actor to ham it up and to only produce groans from his forced lines and horrible presence on screen? The only dialog he should ever say is “Welcome to Wall-Mart!” but he probably couldn’t sell that either. The performances were good besides the man just mentioned and they do what they need to.

Stephen Fung’s second flick is a good night of entertainment but I wouldn’t buy it because in repeated viewings, it’d offer nothing. For ONE view, it’s got a full recommendation if you like the action genre. Other than action, I don’t know what else it could offer the casual viewer, you know what you’re going to get if you check out this bad boy and you should have a decent time with a slightly above-average film.

Rating
Plot : 2/5
Acting : 3/5
Entertainment : 3/5
Overall : 3/5

Notable Scenes
-The Bruce Lee homage and the numerous fight scenes.

Buy this movie at YesAsia – House of Fury

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