When it comes to martial-arts movies, there’s not much that hasn’t been done. As a result, some of the fight scenes in newer movies come across as bland and, in some cases, even cliche. This is not to say that these movies are not worth watching; on the contrary, some have excellent drama to fill in the gaps. Such is the case with THE KING OF THE STREETS. While its fight scenes are mediocre, the drama that surrounds them is definitely worth the watch.
If you are not familiar with THE KING OF THE STREETS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Well Go USA:
Yue Feng (Yue Song) is a young thug with exceptional streetfighting abilities. He will stop at nothing to defeat all challengers – until, in an tragic accident, he kills a fellow competitor and is sent to prison. Eight years later, Yue Feng emerges a changed man. He no longer fights and is looking for a new life of peace and fulfillment. But it’s brutal on the streets, and redemption doesn’t come easy. His brotherhood is destroyed, family members murdered, and a loved one humiliated – a deadly chain reaction that leaves him no choice but to unleash his power in the name of justice. KING OF THE STREETS, China’s first street-fighting movie, pits real-life martial artist Yue Song against more than 10 of the world’s top contenders in MMA, Jiu-jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Sanda, and Muay Thai boxing.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this movie is not bad by any means. It is shot well, looks great onscreen, and the acting is good, too. But the fight scenes are just sorta ‘blah’. They are ok for the most part, but the don’t bring anything new to the table.
THE KING OF THE STREETS has a great story and is all about a man on his quest for redemption after taking the life of another fighter eight years before. Personally, I think the death was justified, since his opponent pulled a knife and tried to stab him with it. But, I guess there wouldn’t have been a movie without it.
Yue Feng and his inner-dilemma as to whether or not defend the orphanage is the true gem of this film. Whereas the fight scenes are bit lackluster, the turmoil involved with his decision is what makes for good entertainment. Actor Yue Song gives an excellent performance in this role and makes the movie for me.
THE KING OF THE STREETS will probably not win any awards, but it’s worth checking out, especially if you are not looking for a traditional martial-arts film. But don’t go into this one looking for amazing fight scenes. They are decent but not enough to carry the whole film.