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    Thursday, May 07, 2009

    A Critical Review of: Kinta

    After procrastinating for so long, finally Knowolf decided to buy the local "action" flick Kinta (Original, mind you) to help kill time during the holidays. He was quite excited to watch it, seeing how Malaysia's northen neighbour has made great action movies (most probably attributable to the training the Red and Yellow shirts get from protesting). AN so with RM 15 gone in trade for this DVD, he happily ripped open the plastic, placed it in the DVD player of his Asus, and then spent 1 and a half hour watching the movie.

    And the judgment?


    The movie had a few great fight scenes, especially the one with Mark Cheng (aka very well known Hong Kong 3rd Grade movie actor). The actors did quite well during the fight scenes, making it look really like a street fight with kung fu elements and every hit did seem very real. The bad guy did look really like a thug (with an ugly face like that, who wouldn't?)

    HOWEVER...that is the only thing Knowolf enjoyed in the movie. Yes, although the core of every martial arts movie is the fights, this movie is plagued by what Knowolf calls the "Malaysian Chinese Movie Syndrome"

    Symptoms of MCMS
    1. All over the place script
    2. Movie did not fall properly into its category
    3. Using a lot of artsy fartsy movie making skills.
    4. Certain funny things that you do not know whether it is good or bad in the movie.

    The script was all over the place without focus. Knowolf didn't know that he was watching a flashback when it happened. Knowolf did not know who was the real bad guy.

    Here is WHY

    Half the movie is a flashback of what each character went through in the movie. 4 bloody charactes. Each with their own story and agendas. How the hell you would want to fit all of them into movie? It is only 1 and a half hours! The movie did not elaborate each character properly, neither did it give each of them a proper ending (Robin Ho died, so that doesn't count). BUT EVEN ROBIN HO WASN'T KILLED properly!!

    Every Kung Fu movie follows roughly the sequence here:

    Hero introduced.
    Bad guys showed.
    Hero meets trouble.
    Hero trains.
    Conflict resolved.

    Each character was introduced properly with their characteristics and all, and also with their style of fighting. HOWEVER, their style of fighting did not show that prominently in the action scenes.

    And then the baddies were shown. There were two guys, and Knowolf didn't know who is the baddest of em'all. One guy hated the other guys guts, and the main fighting lackey is in love with the princess of the movie. THAT IS ALL IS TOLD. NO RESOLUTION to whether the bad guys died or even LOST in that movie. NOTHING is said about the lackey's love for the princess or did he rape the princess's best friend while being drunk. NO RESOLUTION OR CLOSURE AT ALL.

    Then the training part comes. In all martial art flicks, the main character would train and his improvement will be shown in terms of higher agility, better skills, etc. In Kinta, they were shown training, BUT it seems that there is no bloody improvement. The Malays in the movie were skilled pendekars, yet the Heroes only learnt how to use the blowpipe and only used it once. NO FLASHBACK of how their training helped....and in the end, as said before, the movie didn't end with any one dead or whether the baddies lost.

    There should be a lot of fight scenes in a martial art film right? Knowolf was impressed with the first two fight scenes (especially when ninjas with parangs appeared, where Knowolf was reminded about how Malaysians kill each other) . HOWEVER, to save cost, these scenes were repeated as a flashback. WTF. Knowolf do not need to see the fight scenes again, he can rewind it anytime. SHOW SOMETHING NEW!!!

    Movie Not Falling Into Its Category and Being Artsy Fartsy
    Knowolf thinks that this is more like a artsy movie like Lust,Caution or directed by some guy who wants to be Ang Lee. There were the infamous "behind an object shot" and "black and white shot".
    WTF is happening?
    Why is there a table blocking the shot? All these artsy skills was used, and yet Knowolf did not know what the skills used are saying. Is this really a literal scene of "undertable dealings?" And now Knowolf thinks that this is not a martial arts film, it is more of an artistic movie with martial arts in it.

    Funny Elements
    The intro scene had great CG animation. It fitted the movie perfectly. HOWEVER, the "motivation music" (like Rocky's Eye of the Tiger, or the infamous Wong Fei Hung theme) is a hip hop item. WTF, they had hip hop back in 1881? This made the movie feel like the video game Def Jam Vendetta, where American Blacks fought each other with loud hip hop at the back. Didn't know if this was good or not...

    Secondly, the blood. Look

    Damn fake, but then it served its purpose in showing violence, and yet it is friendly with the kids...

    It was an overall average movie with great fight scenes. However, the makers need to focus their plot more. DO RESEARCH ON HOW PAST MARTIAL ARTS FLICKS ARE DONE!!! Refer to Ong Bak 2!!! With the type of ending that would sending to counseling for unfinished business and lack of closure, make Kinta 2 please. We would really want to know if Patrick Teoh is gonna die...

    PS: Knowolf think this post is too long.
    PSS: Knowolf can critique this movie because he is a connoisseur of martial arts flick
    PSSS: Knowolf would like to play a part in Kinta 2.


    farah said...

    omg so funny! i had a good laugh reading your overly long review which i'm sure might have taken longer than the actual running time of the movie (includes getting screenshots). haha! btw the blood looks like giant caterpillars. COOL!!!

    Knowolf said...

    Hahaha. It was quite a disappointment man. I was expecting something bad la, but this is totally on its own level.