The Black Sheep Affair (1998)

Posted in Reviews by - August 31, 2015
The Black Sheep Affair (1998)

Pseudo political thriller that references both the Tiananmen Square protests and the Tokyo gas attacks of 1995, this disjointed escapade skims over any serious social commentary in favour of smoke and guns. Tony Ching’s wire fu choreography is used in the context of a contemporary setting with very little cohesion despite some fine work from the movie’s star, Vincent Zhao, who is every bit as capable as Jet Li but about as charming as wet cement. He plays a bulletproof Special Forces operative who is sent to Lavernia (Russia) to help out at the Chinese embassy when a crazy Japanese baddie with a messiah complex (played by a suitably suave Andrew Lin) starts setting off bombs in pursuit of his own tyrannical crusade. There are racial tensions between the corrupt Lavernian generals and the naive, impressionable Chinese which escalates into all-out warfare, meanwhile Shu Qi spends her time in a pointless, sentimental daze as part of a tacked-on love story. But the fighting is exciting: Lin is particularly nasty in a prison shower, and Vincent Zhao plays the straight-laced action hero without too much concern.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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