25 September 2023

Bleeding Steel

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Leo Zhang, Roadshow Entertainment.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Show Lo, Na-Na Ouyang, Callan Mulvey.

Following closely on the heels of The Foreigner, Chan again plays another role as a concerned father, Lin Dong.

Dong (Chan, Rush Hour, The Spy Next Door) is a hardened agent, assigned to protect Dr James (Kim Gyngell), a leading global scientist whose biogenetic breakthroughs have led the creation of superhuman soldiers. His life is now in danger because of his greatest work – a revolutionary bio-chemical heart.

Dong has his own crisis as his only daughter Xixi (Ouyang) is dying and he must choose between staying at her bedside or saving Dr James, who specialises in ‘bioroid’ soldiers on the run from one of the hybrid mercenaries.

Andre (Mulvey) is one of his experiment’s gone wrong — a sort of Frankenstein’s monster, mutated because of radiation exposure.

Once Dong puts his professional obligations ahead of his personal life, that’s the start of life-changing momentum. However, Chan looks increasingly fatigued and comes across gloomy in dramatic mode. At 63, he plays the role of a father, but he doesn’t appear to be as comfortable as he usually is in his role.

Chinese writer-director Leo Zhang competently shot the film in Sydney and you can easily recognise the small roles played by Australian actors. The film features all the Chan-related bracing fights, polished effects and ludicrous slapstick. Snappy beat, smooth production and boisterous score by composer Peng Fei are coupled well with the film’s corny computer nerd impersonation.

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