Wednesday 30 Jul
 photo BO-Button1_zps13524083.jpg


OKG Newsletter

Home · Articles · DVDs · Action · The Four

The Four

For martial-arts action, it mostly adds up.

Rod Lott April 11th, 2013

One easy way to review The Four would be to call it a kung-fu X-Men. Hell, director Gordon Chan (The King of Fighters) already has a pair of sequels planned. The big difference, of course, is that this Chinese/Hong Kong film is a period piece set nearly a thousand years ago. Therefore, it’s not interested in adamantium blades, but counterfeit coins.


It takes a good half-hour before we begin to comprehend who's who and who’s aligned with whom. Even then, the story — based on a presumably popular novel — is plotted with spying and more than one alliance switcheroo. Everyone seems concerned about locating a stolen coin cast, yet the object is almost a MacGuffin; The Four exists to wow viewers with its heroes’ special-effects-assisted skills and powers.

For example, the wheelchair-bound woman known as Emotionless (Liu Yi Fei, The Forbidden Kingdom) possesses a psychic ability to read minds; Iron Hands (Collin Chou, also from The Forbidden Kingdom) yields what gamers might call a “power punch”; and Life Snatcher (Ronald Cheng, Fatal Contact) is an underworld debt collector who can leap tall buildings in a single bound — but hey, in these wirework epics, who can't?

And those are just the good guys! The story’s evil overlord can burn and/or freeze his enemies with a single touch. I only wish he had the power to shorten the screenplay; as with so many Asian efforts, The Four is too long by a good quarter. By the time a zombie army is thrown needlessly onto an already overstuffed comic-book canvas, the demand on the audience reaches a breaking point.

Before then, the film is nice and fluffy — an agreeable mix of the supernatural and earthly ass-kicking.   —Rod Lott

Hey! Read This:
Fatal Contact DVD review   
The Forbidden Kingdom DVD review    
The King of Fighters Blu-ray review       
X-Men: First Class Blu-ray review   

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5