Bleeding Steel (2017)

Posted in Reviews by - January 18, 2020
Bleeding Steel (2017)

Baffling sci-fi action film which follows a trend for globe-trotting, produced-by-committee adventure yarns starring Jackie Chan. These films brim with colour and motion, but contain very little context, character or consequence (similar examples include the empty spectacle¬†Chinese Zodiac, ludicrous Indian co-production Kung Fu Yoga, and cross-continental head-scratcher Skiptrace). Chan is always affable in these purely commercial exercises, even if his 60-plus years of experience and talent is often wasted. This one sees Chan play a Hong Kong cop who buddies up with two Taiwanese music stars (Show Lo and Nana Ouyang) to protect his estranged daughter from a team of stormtrooper-like futuristic meanies who want her blood, for some reason. Genetically enhanced villain Andrew (Callan Mulvey) is the result of scientific experiment gone bad; a regenerating super-villain with an army of Daft Punk lookalikes with laser-guns and a mean-ass underling in a Star Wars cape known only as the Woman in Black (Tess Haubrich). They live on a giant spaceship, the existence of which is never fully explained. There is also no explanation as to why the film is set partly in Sydney, Australia, other than the marketing coup of being able to film a fight scene on top of the Sydney Opera House. In fact, the whole premise of the film was probably based around this one set-piece; so it is unfortunate that, when it arrives, it’s a muddled sequence, and far from the exciting event we might have expected. There is also a strange tonal shift between the bloody violence (we see throats being cut, hearts ripped out with bare hands, and even an arm gets chopped off) and some rather silly slapstick routines. Sometimes, the serious and the stupid happen simultaneously, like when Chan’s daughter is subjected to a racially motivated attack at school, which ends in a kung fu food fight; or when she is almost the victim of a gang rape, before being rescued by Show Lo who uses his belt as a pair of nunchakus, causing his trousers to fall down.

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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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