Within the motion film “Fistful of Vengeance” there are two sorts of scenes — coordinated combat scenes, or confounding exposition.
The film is a sequel to the tv collection “Wu Assassins,” and the protagonists of that present additionally seem right here. Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) is a chef in San Francisco who’s the fashionable heir of an historic, magical preventing custom, and his buddies are Lu Xin Lee (Lewis Tan) and Tommy Wah (Lawrence Kao). The follow-up movie finds the chums in search of solutions after the mysterious homicide of Jenny, Tommy’s sister. Their solely clue is a talisman discovered together with her physique.
Their seek for solutions leads the group to Thailand, the place they meet the billionaire developer William Pan (Jason Tobin). Pan explains that Jennie’s loss of life was a small occasion in a bigger plot run by his twin sister, Ku An Qi (Rhatha Phongam), the pinnacle of the Bangkok underworld, who hopes to unite ying and yang talismans. Kai desires to place an finish to this scheme on his personal, however his buddies insist on preventing by his aspect as he pursues the criminals.
The film’s attraction is easy — there are quite a few scenes of well-choreographed fight, with every solid member dwelling as much as the instance set by Uwais, a martial artist. However the director, Roel Reiné, confounds the motion by counting on perplexing lore to clarify his characters’ motivations, origins and talents. Watered down variations of Taoist ideas — extra intellectually than culturally insulting — are supposed to clarify how Kai or his antagonists wield their powers. In consequence, there’s little room within the dialogue to get to know the characters as folks, relatively than as autos for his or her mystical talents.
With out tactical, philosophical or emotional grounding, the battle scenes don’t land with any cinematic drive. Knives slash, weapons hearth, fists meet flesh. However each motion feels insubstantial. At its greatest and worst, the film mimics the expertise of watching a stranger play with off-brand motion figures.
Fistful of Vengeance
Rated TV-MA. Operating time: 1 hour 34 minutes. Watch on Netflix.