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Paradox (2017) - directed by Wilson Yip; action by Sammo Hung

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Watched it yesterday. The story/acting was good (this is probably the best I've seen Louis Koo in to date) but I cannot exactly say the same for the action sadly. It's not that it was done badly but there was too much close-ups. This affects Louis Koo the most but also the more action-experienced performers in the movie even though they weren't exposed to it as much. It took away my enjoyment quite a bit. Otherwise, this movie was lovely, much better than SPL 2.

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I agree with DiP wholeheartedly. The film is very enjoyable, with some solid performances. It’s just a shame the action suffers from some poor camera work and shoddy editing. It’s definitely not terrible but it’s not amazing either. It’s weird since Wilson Yip and Sammo really knew how to stage fights in the “Ip Man” films. What went wrong here?

Also, Louis Koo shouldn’t really be doing action at all. He’s so wooden. I think his fight scenes are easily the worst.

All in all though, a really solid film. Enjoyable in every way.

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Good movie. I will agree with pretty much everything @DiP and @Drunken Monk had to say. Louis Koo is a good actor but no Martial Artist. Above all his fight scenes are weirdly cut (to hide his stunt double?) and don't flatter his performance at all. Also Tony Jaa was underused once again, although he did have one of the better fights in the movie. I wish they didn't implement some of those akward wire stunts, just doesn't fit the overall tone of the movie IMHO. For me the real star here is Wu Yue, thought his performance was great! Overall one of the better action movies out of HK this year.

Edited by laagi
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While similar themed SPL2 was more of an action movie touching some very serious subject (and doing it much better than a horrible Skin Trade), Paradox(SPL3) continued using the same organ trafficking problem but did it in much more darker and brutal way. The movie looks like a criminal drama with some action bits to attract more moviegoers.

There are three action sequences in the movie basically. A chase though the streets of Pattaya, the apartment building fight and grand finale. The fighters are Wu Yue, Chris Collins and Tony Jaa. The latest had the worst fights out of the three. The guy who wowed the world with his almost superhuman abilities in Ong Bak and who became famous by performing unreal moves without any wires, had almost all of his moves wire-assisted. It was almost like watching a puppet or Jet Lee in his OUATIC franchise. Just really painful to watch. Not only that, his character looked completely out of the place in this modern day drama with weird hints of some mysticism bullshit that never was explained or developed. Just a total waste of an extremely talented MA performer.

Louis Koo was very good as an actor and handle his fights pretty confident. They were shot a bit too close, but it didn't ruin them for me. His final battle was a pure joy to watch. The same should be said about Wu Yue.

The choreo was good with some neat original moves that I haven't seen before ( and I've seen A LOT!). Mostly hand work. Im not a fan of weapons fights, but i kinda enjoyed them in here, especially Chris Collins vs. Wu Yue

Overall the movie is brutal, dark and depressing. I don't think it's a movie for a repeated viewing, but the action is better than average, the acting, direction, etc. are solid. Very good effort from everybody involved

 

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13 minutes ago, KCN9NE said:

Does this movie have a release date for blue ray? 

Hong Kong Blu Ray is out now. I don’t know if there’s a US or UK release around the corner.

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I got through watching this one myself a few nights ago. Agree that Wu Yue is the highlight in terms of action, I'd been hoping to see him get a proper action showcase since watching him in 'From Vegas to Macau 2', & this movie delivered it. I gave it the full review treatment here -

http://cityonfire.com/paradox-2017-review-spl-iii-wilson-yip-louis-koo-wu-yue-tony-jaa/

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3 hours ago, One Armed Boxer said:

I got through watching this one myself a few nights ago.

I'll get through reading this over the weekend.

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Sammo just won the best action design at the HK film awards for his choreography in Paradox. I couldn’t decide if I thought it should win or The Brink, but either one is deserving 

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0416-00282-001b1.jpg

Louis Koo won the Best Actor award for Paradox at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards

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Sammo and his award!

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Has Sammo lost a bit of weight? I'm not saying he looks slender, but he looks smaller than he has in recent years in that photo. Maybe it's lens/light trickery.

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Holy shit, Tony Jaa, how I've missed you and that's the guy from Johnny TO's Drug war!!! This trailer was better than that Iko Uwais and Mark mark and the funky bunch trailer by a mile!!! Where can I sign up? 

Wait a sec? This movie is already out? Where the hell have I been? I can see this now? HOLY FUCK!!!

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7 minutes ago, OpiumKungFuCracker said:

Wait a sec? This movie is already out? Where the hell have I been? I can see this now? HOLY FUCK!!!

It must be popular since it's already temporarily out of stock on Amazon.

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11 minutes ago, Drunken Monk said:

It must be popular since it's already temporarily out of stock on Amazon.

Also sold out at the 2 Best Buy store that I most frequent.

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On 8/5/2017 at 3:40 PM, ShaOW!linDude said:

I'm waffling about this one myself. I had high hopes for it, and this trailer looks to showcase more action than the previous ones. However, for me, I'm seeing a lot of wire-assisted stuff, and while if it's good, I don't mind it too much; what I saw looks like it could go either way. Thus, I already feel tainted with a tinge of disappointment. I fear this will have a decent plot and acting, good all around action, and sub-par choreography. Don't think I'll be running out to nab this right off the bat.

Well, I have to eat crow from what I said back in August. This finally got a Stateside release and I did in fact nab this yesterday. 

I liked it better than I thought I would. That's probably due to the fact that it's a really dark story. Much darker than I had expected. I liked Louis Koo and Wu Yue in this. Yue was especially impressive in his fight scenes. It's obvious that Koo is often doubled. As far as Tony Jaa goes, I liked his character, but have to agree he is underused. Wish he had been around more.

Action-wise...I'm okay with it. I liked it but there were just no Wow! moments. I agree that some moments were poorly edited or showcased. Still there were some really good bits to enjoy. The action seems to climax twice, at the midway point and the finale. I liked that and neither was skimpy since the film is very drama driven. I'm also glad that the bulk of wirework was for assisted falls or impacts though there were a few wire-assisted moves thrown in. For me the best fight was Jaa vs Chris Collins. And I have to say that as formidable as Collins' character appeared to be, he didn't come across as a very good fighter. Dude had some parkour skills though.

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On 5/19/2018 at 5:42 PM, ShaOW!linDude said:

Yue was especially impressive in his fight scenes.

Great to read your thoughts on this one @ShaOW!linDude!  If you liked Wue in this, you should also check him out in 'The Brink', the final fight is a 3 vs 1 pitting him and Shawn Yue versus Max Zhang.

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10 hours ago, OpiumKungFuCracker said:

 Wait this isn't a Tony Jaa vehicle? It was the only reason I wanted to see it, Jaa going ham. Only 3 fight scenes? This is SPL3 but more drama? 

Sorry. I was a bit disappointed about that, too. Regardless, there's some good action throughout. Don't know if you want to drop any money on it, but if it hits a streaming service, you ought to at least give it a watch. Think you'd still like it.

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On 5/19/2018 at 4:42 PM, ShaOW!linDude said:

Well, I have to eat crow from what I said back in August. This finally got a Stateside release and I did in fact nab this yesterday. 

I liked it better than I thought I would. That's probably due to the fact that it's a really dark story. Much darker than I had expected. I liked Louis Koo and Wu Yue in this. Yue was especially impressive in his fight scenes. It's obvious that Koo is often doubled. As far as Tony Jaa goes, I liked his character, but have to agree he is underused. Wish he had been around more.

Action-wise...I'm okay with it. I liked it but there were just no Wow! moments. I agree that some moments were poorly edited or showcased. Still there were some really good bits to enjoy. The action seems to climax twice, at the midway point and the finale. I liked that and neither was skimpy since the film is very drama driven. I'm also glad that the bulk of wirework was for assisted falls or impacts though there were a few wire-assisted moves thrown in. For me the best fight was Jaa vs Chris Collins. And I have to say that as formidable as Collins' character appeared to be, he didn't come across as a very good fighter. Dude had some parkour skills though.

Annoying how  Hong kong action films struggle to stop using wires, even in modern day films.  SPL 2  was also ruined by  really over doing wirework .  In Hong Kong they've learnt a style of choreography and can't seem to stop themselves from doing it .  Not in a rush to see this. Sticking  with Scott Adkins, most of his films  are more enjoyable than hong kong ones. Tony Jaa is wasting his time in hong kong if they keep doing wirefu.  .Triple threat should be alot better .  

Edited by robbie

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