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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Comedy > Fantasy > Fireball + Wushu (Lionsgate DVDs)

Fireball + Wushu (Lionsgate DVDs)

Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: C/A     Films: A/A-



Tai a.k.a. 'Tan' just got out from jail and finds his brother in the hospital in a coma.  Vowing for revenge on those who were responsible he join the underground team playing Fireball, an ultraviolent illegal basketball game.  There are only two rules to win, either one side scores a point or the last man standing wins.  It is a no holds bar game which only the vicious can survive.
This film is definitely not for the faint of heart, the story of Fireball is about underground blood sport, told through man who wants vengeance.  Hosted and run by drug lords they profit off the illegal gambling, luring others in with prize money.  As Tan investigates into his brother's incident he joins a group of lowlife misfits playing Fireball, as he plays he learns they each have their own personal reasons for playing Fireball too.  However other teams, unlike them are in it for the blood will do anything to win, including sending them to the morgue.
This was one bloody movie (literally), based on Muay Thai fighting the story is rather simple.  A man on a warpath takes down anyone who gets in the way between him and the one responsible for his brother.  The 'games' or fights were excellently choreographed including in locations like underground courts with plenty of rain and violence like dismemberment.  Extras include behind the scenes making of Fireball and trailer gallery.


Welcome to the world of Wushu, the world martial arts.  When five kids meet in the Wushu school what started out as rivalry became a fast friendship.  Ten years later they are still together, competing in practice, dating or the national martial arts competition, but soon they have to decide what they want to do with their lives and their futures.  But when a former rouge Wushu master returns to town in a kidnapping ring, their skills are put to the test to save the kidnapped children.

Presented by Jackie Chan, this is the first film that he has presented in which he was not in the film.  Wushu is not just about Kung Fu or beating up the villain, but a school for the practice of the bodily arts in discipline and control.  A new generation take stage, but whether on stage or in the streets they rise any challenges life brings, even if their paths differ they are brought together by the times they shared and friendship that was forged.
Get ready for the next generation of Martial Arts!  Even though this was fictional story, the setting, the places, the people, are all real, and just like Jackie Chan they can all do their own stunts.  It shows the story behind current school specializing in the training of martial arts in Asia.  Children are trained from young age along side their schooling, and even if they do not end up as martial arts masters, the students are not only limited to acting, some go into theater or dance arts, others might future Wushu teachers, or even become police or body guards for hire.  It is fun and insightful film piece showing how new young martial artists starts out and can grow to became a movie stars like Jet Li, Jackie Chan or Bruce Li.  If you like Kung fu or martial arts this film is for you, at times you could almost feel as if Jackie Chan was writing some the script himself.  Extras include original Mandarin dialog, behind the scenes filming and making with Wushu, interviews with director and actors, and Jackie Chan premiere with Wushu in Cannes.



-   Ricky Chiang


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