KID FURY (Short Film Preview)
Directed by: Jino Kang
Starring; Jino Kang, Timothy Mah, Nick Mak, Patrick Lee, Jason Nguyen, Ashlie Jow, Dave Iiyama
A young teen, only known as Kid Fury, has a backpack stolen from himby a member of Master Huang's gang of martial arts students. Tracking them down to a dojo somewhere in San Francisco, The Kid must face off against the students...before taking on the master himself. Not only will he be pushed to his limits to survive, but there are some dramatic revelations to be told...
Kid Fury is intended to be the first of an on-going saga of short films, and based on this first outing I'm very invested in seeing what happens next.
The plot itself is a genre stalwart - ever since Fist of Fury, we've seen countless martial arts stars enter a stranger's dojo and be challenged by multiple experts, from Jackie Chan (Supercop), to Jet Li (Fist of Legend, Kiss of the Dragon) to Scott Adkins (Ninja 2). However there is plenty of individual style and skill on hand both in front and behind the camera to make sure Kid Fury is it's own thing.
The first thing that strikes you about this film is the cinematography and camera-work. It opens with some lovely airborne establishing shots before settling on Jino Kang's Master Huang, sitting on a park bench and reflecting on events. The film then enters flash-back mode, and the bulk of the film is shot in black and white. This certainly gives the film a very classy look, and also helps pay off a sly Pulp Fiction reference.
This central part of the film is a series of fights between Kid Fury and Huang's young apprentices. Although these actors are inexperienced but bring a lot of technique to their scenes and really do themselves proud. Any issues of "air" (the distance between fist/foot and target when trying to convince the audience they are connecting) are mostly masked thanks to some good editing choices.
There are also different martial arts styles on display between the different students: some come flying in with fancy spin-kick combos, while the toughest uses some BJJ style grappling and throw-downs. This of course leads to the big showdown between Huang and the Kid. Jino Kang throws some excellent kick combos in this section, showing off skill and style. Meanwhile, young Timothy Mah is believable enough as someone able to hold his own against him - so much so that Huang has to turn the duel into a swordfight.
Kid Fury is more than just a showcase for some young martial artists. There is a dramatic story unfolding, although we have only heard the bare bones of that story. Jino Kang has already shown, with Fist to Fist and Weapon of Choice, that he is able to develop unique characters and dramatic situations while still delivering kick-ass action. As such, I imagine, having made this calling card of a film, that the drama side will become deeper with further episodes.
Jino Kang makes for a great larger-than-life bad guy, and Timothy Mah definitely has a future as a screen fighter. The fights are well done, the film looks great and there is just enough dramatic narrative to make me want to see what happens next.
8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)