A futuristic research compound develops a new police tool called the Power Glove. Supposedly, it gives the wearer incredible powers by letting him tap into the 'unused 80%' of his mental potential. It turns out that the glove also enables the wearer to take over the minds of others, and one unbalanced police volunteer tries to use this to stage a coup. In the end, one of the three test cops is killed, another survives to stay on the force, and the rogue cop makes his escape. 20 years later, the dead officer's son gives away his identity by using his father's personal martial arts technique in a fighting competition, thus drawing the attention of both the remaining good and evil supercops. The kids and the old guys must then start getting ready for a multi-generational final battle of good vs. evil.
Directed by: Wai-Keung Lau
, Corey Yuen
. Starring: Leehom Wang
, Stephen Fung
, Gigi Leung
, Kristy Yang
, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
, Biao Yuen
, Kar Lok Chin
, Roy Cheung
, Cecilia Yip
, Ekin Cheng
, Ka Ho Yu
, Ron Smoorenburg
, Brian Banowetz
. Music by: Ken Chan
, Kwong Wing Chan
Watching today, almost 20 years after its release, Andrew Lau's Avenging Fist looks kind-of dated in its CGI and childish approach to what was - an unofficial film adaptation of the popular fight game, Tekken. From its opening scene, showing the handsome Lee Hom Wang and Chin Kar Lok flying through a Bladerunner-esque city before annoying crowds of people in its neon-lit streets like 12 year old's - you get the impression that this is going to be one of those Hong Kong films that just tries to hard and ignores the real talent of its stars, opting to saturate the screen with so much visual effects, it spoils your viewing pleasure!
Wang plays Nova, Yuen Biao's son who is trying to get his hand's on the Power Glove. He likes to take part in a fighting tournament where most of the fighters have some kind of superhero like ability. One such fighter is a very miscast Stephen Fung, who looks like he would break if the wind picked-up. He just looks so out-of-place...
Andrew Lau was completely the wrong choice for this project. While Wong Jing couldn't get the official rights from Namco to make it Tekken, he does his own thing much like with the super-fun Future Cops which rips off Streetfighter 2. I think if Wong had taken the reigns here himself, bringing the same amount of nonsensical comedy to Avenging Fist, it wouldn't have been such a mess and a much better film. Lau takes it down many roads, most of which are too heavy in drama or soppy romance, with the comedy falling flat when it comes about, such as a silly disco-dance-fight-off, or its childish adult stars who only got cast because they look pretty. There should have been so much more to love here!
Even fight director, Corey Yuen Kwai's choreography is pretty lame for the most of the time, offering overly-glorified wire-work (much like that in Romeo Must Die), blended with CGI that detracts from what's on offer. I was so excited when I first heard about this as it had the big-screen return of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao together for the first time in years - and while they are the highlight of the film (with the fantastic Biao actually being the most interesting character of the whole thing), its just not enough to make Avenging Fist as good as it should be.
Roy Cheung plays Combat 21, leader of an underground movement known as the Red Dragons who also want the Power Glove. He has kidnapped and controlled Biao as a mask wearing killer, who he sends after his own family, where he soon bumps into fat detective, Sammo Hung (who turns out to be Ekin Cheng in his younger-days-flashback), but instead of a long-awaited kung-fu showdown, Biao throws a bomb and escapes. Hung had just come off his success of Martial Law in the the States, but the following 5 years of his career would deliver a host of failures that many thought was the end of the legends finest work. Biao wasn't doing too well either in this period, and its more the pity that this film couldn't have been any better in helping put such amazing stars forward again to the new, younger generation who this was clearly aimed at...
They say it was one and a half years in the making, but I'm guessing a week of that was spent on the action. Over-stylised, over-talky, overly-romantic - Avenging Fist is a massive failure at bringing Tekken to life for the right reasons, and hits below the belt in the action department which is unfortunate. The last 20 minutes is the best of the film, including where Biao gets to show some decent moves!
Overall: All but for the legends, the rest of the cast are dreadful. Avenging Fist is worth the watch once, but only to see what-could-have-been...
Review by Movie-Misfit from the Internet Movie Database.