Flash Point is a fast-paced, action-packed cop drama. It sounds cliché but it could not be truer.
Director Wilson Yip first came to the Toronto International Film Festival with his hard-hitting SPL (a.k.a. Kill Zone). Teaming once again with Donnie Yen, Yip returns to the big screen with an in your face, non-stop round of fisticuffs. Yen coordinates the battle sequences and does his own stunts, producing seamless violence and break-neck sequences.
Yen chose to employ Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in all the scenes. As the name suggests, the performers use a variety of fighting techniques from different martial arts to defend against and takedown their opponents. This style of fighting is highly engaging and exhilarating to watch.
Detective Jun Ma (Yen) has been involved in 14 operations this year and averages injuring 2.8 people per operation. Currently, his attention is focused on three drug-dealing brothers: Archer (Lui Leung-Wai), Tony (Collin Chou) and Tiger (Yu Xing). Jun’s partner, Wilson (Louis Koo), has infiltrated the gang and gained their trust; but when they discover his secret, he is left crippled by a failed murder attempt. Regardless, the gang is too dangerous to be left on the street and it is up to Jun and Wilson to make the city safe again.
Yip admits it was not always easy communicating with Yen because he has his own plans for scenes and does not usually want to compromise his vision to match that of the director’s. Watching, though, everything flows so smoothly you could not imagine a better way of staging or filming the action.
The rapid-fire editing enhances the intensity but does not disorient viewers to the point of the action being indecipherable. On the contrary, it is impossible to take your eyes off the screen for fear of missing any of the impressive feats of the actors.
The awe of Flash Point is not the result of special effects or pyrotechnics; it is the agility and ability of its very talented stars. This is a welcome change.