SPL: Sha po lang (2005)
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"Kill Zone", the terrible English title of an Donnie Yen-Sammo Hung heroic bloodshed tragedy actually called "SPL: Sha Po Lang". It's a title that has to do with Chinese astrology and the stars lining up with devastating effect. Hard to translate, but Kill Zone? Really? Anyway, being a Hong Kong crime/action picture, it looks gorgeous. Its understated acting made me think of Infernal Affairs, except with some kickass martial arts action in the third act.
Great movie, though two things bugged me:
1) When Wai and I believe Chun (the long-haired cop) are stabbed to death by Wong Po's white henchman, it's revealed shortly before Wai's death that they took Po's money in order to establish a nest egg of sorts for the little girl. I suppose the difference is irrelevant, as Po's money was requestioned regardless; but how could Po and his men possibly know that they planned to use the cash for personal gain? In the film, it was stated quite clearly that the reason for the killings was for just that reason.
2) Ma Kwun's death. After giving Po one hell of a beating, he finishes the onslaught by throwing him through a large arrangement of glass and top shelf liquor. After pouring himself a glass of gin, Po suddenly gets up, and, in what I suppose was his death rattle, pushes Kwun straight through the bar, and then through a window some several dozen floors up. If we consider the previous altercation, the circular bar (where the fight finishes) is at least twenty feet from the nearest wall. We even see this when Po is sat devastated on the couch shortly thereafter. That could've only been made more ridiculous if he were somehow pushed across the street and into the opposing high-rise.
These aren't criticisms per se, as they didn't really detract from the film; just things I noticed, and was wondering if anyone else did.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #81 in 100 Classic Martial Arts Films
This movie ranks #84 in LoveHKFilm.com's The Best Hong Kong Films Ever