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King of the Streets

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  •  
    Mark Tolch
    Senior Member

  • King of the Streets, The



    Released By:
    Well Go USA
    Released On: 08/06/2013
    Director: Yue Song, Zhong Lei
    Cast: Yue Song, Li Yufei, Kang En, Yang Jianping
    Year: 2013

    Purchase From Amazon

    The Film:

    You know what they say...If it ain't broke....

    Well Go USA's recent offering The King of The Streets adheres to a pretty strict action formula that will appeal to a lot of folks who aren't picking apart story lines for lacking in substance, or those who are put off by a focus on and abundance of violence in their films. Basically, if you want to watch 90 minutes of people getting beaten bloody in a variety of ways, you will probably like this film. If you're more of a character/intricate plot-driven kind of person, you may want to look elsewhere.

    The King of the Streets takes us back almost 10 years from the present day as we find Yue Feng (martial arts superstar and all-around badass Yue Song) in a tough situation; squaring off by himself against a couple of dozen pipe-wielding Chinese gang members who aren't looking to resolve their issues through the art of conversation. Living up to his not-too-original nickname of "The Street Fighter", Yue kicks the bloody hell out of every single one of them, killing the leader in the process, which lands him eight years in prison.

    Coming out as a more relaxed, but still tougher than leather ex-con, Yue faces the same problems that just about every ex-con in every action film about ex-cons faces, and that's the difficulty in going straight and convincing people on the outside world that they've changed their ways. Initially unable to find legitimate work because of his criminal background, Yue remains true to his convictions when he turns down an employment offer from old friend and gangleader A-Hoi, instead opting to move furniture for a small company. Despite the fact that his father has disowned him and his bosses treat him like scum, Yue seems content to live the simple life and smile to himself when he hears those around him whisper of the legendary Street Fighter.

    Since the movie would hardly be entertaining if Yue continued to live peacefully, a woman in peril is thrown into the mix, who leads Yue to a local orphanage that she works at. As he falls for her honest and hard-working charms, he becomes aware that not all is right at the orphanage; the insidious Mr. Lee needs the land that the orphanage is on for an extremely wealthy business venture, but he plans to use his army of thugs instead of currency to obtain it. As the threats against the orphanage grow to the point where the innocent children are being threatened, Yue has to bring his Street Fighter persona out of retirement and realize that excessive force is only unnecessary violence if used for evil. Or something.

    The King of the the Streets is certainly not breaking any ground. The formula is a common one; man commits violent act that's not entirely his fault, goes to jail and comes out reformed, tries to live the straight life, but must again engage in violence to protect himself and/or those he loves. From John Rambo to John Wisdom, we've definitely seen this before. The plot here is fairly flimsy, with little details forgotten about, and a fair number of holes and obvious alternatives that are ignored. That being said, it's not a bad storyline, and the characters are not poorly written, they're at least adequate for the material.

    Where King of the Streets excels is in the violent fight scenes, usually featuring seriously uneven odds, taking up a large chunk of the 88-minute running time. Here, the team of Yue Song and Zhong Lei keep things interesting, with well thought-out choreography and a pretty amazing showcase of different martial arts styles that involve a number of different objects used as vicious weapon. What is lacking in character depth and plot complexity is made up for with so much ass-kicking, action film fans are pretty much guaranteed to overlook any other flaws.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. What you see is what you get. I went into King of the Streets expecting to be entertained by boots to the head and bone snapping...I was not disappointed.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The King of the Streets comes to blu-ray from Well Go USA in a nice 1.78:1 transfer that looks crisp and detailed throughout. Some scenes have that strange sepia kind of look that has become pretty common in Asian action films, but the colours are strong and there are no noticeable flaws to speak of.

    The Mandarin 5.1 HD soundtrack makes good use of the surrounds and subwoofer, and is evenly balanced with dialogue remaining clear, and English subtitles are easy to read and (I'm assuming) accurate. No hisses, pops, or other weird distortions are found on the track.

    Unfortunately, the only extras included are a trailer for the film and some previews for other Well Go USA titles.

    The Final Word:

    It may have already been mentioned in here, but...if you're looking for a decent action flick with some well-executed fight scenes and a coherent enough plot to balance them, you've come to the right place.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















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