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"Kung Fu Killer": When Cops Let a Murderer Go 

Wednesday, Apr 22 2015
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Teddy Chan's Kung Fu Killer — originally titled Kung Fu Jungle, and probably renamed so literal-minded American audiences won't be confused by the lack of a jungle — is an occasionally meta, agreeably violent action movie. Hahou Mo (Donnie Yen) is a martial arts master in modern-day China who turns himself in to the police after accidentally killing a rival. Three years later, when a killer is targeting other masters, Mo convinces Detective Luk Yuen-Sum (Charlie Yeung) that he can help her find the killer if she lets him out of jail. She reluctantly does so, and as Mo begins to hunt the killer (Wang Baoqiang), he himself becomes hunted by the distrustful police. Director Chan doesn't skimp on the hand-to-hand, foot-to-face, and occasional sword-to-shoulder action (during which Michelle Bai gets to show off her own baller sword-fighting moves), without overdoing the physics-defying stunts. Many Hong Kong action legends make cameos (and, in a nice touch, the closing credits are dedicated to them). As recent imports go, Kung Fu Killer has neither the lyricism of Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster or the batshit-craziness of Law Wing-Cheong's Iceman (which also starred Donnie Yen), but it does offer plenty of kung fu and/or killing, which is all you can really ask for.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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