TL;DR – A charming story with interesting characters, let down a bit by some technical issues.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Over the last couple of years, I have discovered that I really enjoy a good sports film. There are the great highs, and deep lows, as great talent is on display. Today we are looking for a film out of Hong Kong about the world of MMA and the struggle to be the best, based on the life of Dixin Xiong.
So to set the scene, we open with Bunny (Yiu-Sing Lam) as he rushed from work to an underground fight ring. He is asked by his friend to throw the match, but that is not something he can do. Upsetting a bookie, Bunny has to lie low so he goes back home, where he left on not great terms. As he walks in his brother Jack (Edward Ma) is give a press conference as he is about to fight Jason Chan (Jason Li) whose arm Jack broke last time they fought. There is a lot of tension because even though their adoptive father Eric (Eric Kot) and his sister Simo (Qiu Yuen) are happy to see Bunny, Jason is not.
begin with, this is a movie that tonally is kind of all over the place, jumping
from farcical to deadly serious in a breakneck speed. It actually makes it
really hard at the start of the film to work out what is going on when you don’t
quite know what is going on. Add to this is the slightly melodramatic
presentation at times made me wonder if it was ever going to come together. However,
even though it started off on the wrong foot, soon it started to fall into
place and we start to see some characters trying to strive in a place that is
not making it easy. They don’t have all the resources as some of the fancy
gyms, so they have to work two jobs and the train in the evenings. Here we get
the underdog facing off against the guy with all the money and it is here were the
story and the characters begin to shine. All the cast is really good being game
for everything that is thrown at them and while it is a story hits most of the
beets that you would expect it still works.
One thing you can see is that this is a film that is working on a very tight budget. On the whole, they make everything work, which you can see in the fight scenes. While they don’t have the flow of some other films, they work because they cut only after a move has happened. This is a step about the multiple cuts a second style we have seen in a lot of western action scenes. However, one area where it does not work as well is the musical score. I don’t have a lot of experience with Hong Kong cinema, so I am not sure if this is just a cultural issue that I am missing. But the music in this film just did not work, to the point that it actually became really distracting. There were times when I think the film would have been better without a score in places, and I am usually all about the music.
In the end, do we recommend We Are Legends? If you like sports films or MMA then I think you would enjoy this. If you are not, then unless you are really into Hong Kong cinema I am not sure this would work for you.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of We Are Legends
Directed by – Daniel Chan Yee Heng
Written by – Tony Leung Hung Wah
Music by – Joyce Chung Chor Kiu
Cinematography by – Wade Muller
Edited by – Daniel Chan Yee Heng
Production/Distribution Companies – Bravos Pictures, Times Multimedia Innovation, Wide Billion Development
Starring – Lisa Cheng, Edward Ma, Eric Kot, Winkie Lai, Yiu-Sing Lam, Tin Chi Law, Jason Li, Yat-Long Li, Chi-Wai Man, Wiyona Yeung & Qiu Yuen
Rating – Australia: M; Canada: PG; Germany: 12; New Zealand: M; United Kingdom: 12A; United States: PG-13