Fatal Combat has some well done fight scenes and Wu Jing’s talent is never in dispute but the story just didn’t engage me at all and really dragged at times.
Plot: A young man learns the fighting techniques of Sanda from a coach. The two become best friends as the young man prepares to enter an underground tournament, competing against some of the top fighters of the world.
Review: Wu Jing has proven himself quite the action star with SPL, Wolf Warrior and many more films; I recently checked out this lesser known film and I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really love it. The story failed to engage and dragged when it should have been exciting.
The fight scenes are well done with some interesting camera angles but they don’t really stick with you aside from one scene with Kong Ko (Wu Jing) taking on three opponents which was easily the stand out of the film. The problem was everything between the action scenes was really boring.
There’s a tedious side plot involving his girlfriend and a hooker as she tries to educate her into making her life more comfortable by attracting a man who wants her to stay with him so she can get out of the game. I really didn’t care less about that story and it just took away any excitement from the action scenes. the fact Kong’s girl was a total bitch didn’t help either but we are supposed to see her that way so we don’t feel sympathy for her later.
There was never any real sense of urgency to the story as it plodded along sticking in a few fights for good measure but there were a few moments which had me reaching for the Fast Forward button.
I also hated the ending which was frustratingly downbeat (like the rest of the film) and it made the rest of the story seem pointless.
I liked the friendship between Kong and Captain (Ronald Cheng) who was one of the more interesting characters but sadly nothing really happens and he just buggers off back home before the end.
Overall, Fatal Combat has some well done fight scenes and Wu Jing’s talent is never in dispute but the story just didn’t engage me at all and really dragged at times. If you’d removed the hooker redemption subplot it would have been a tighter film and probably been about 90 minutes long which would have been preferable.