Blu-ray Review: KUNG FU MONSTER

KUNG FU MONSTER (武林怪兽) was directed by Andrew Lau and stars martial arts icon Louis Koo, Zhou Dongyu, Haden Kuo, Bea Hayden, Bao Bei’er and Cheney Chen.

The story follows Ocean (Koo), an animal trainer in the Ming Dynasty, who releases a gentle, gremlin-like ball of fur he names Lucky into the world after he witnesses its mistreatment by Crane, an evil eunuch. This infuriates Crane, who immediately puts a huge bounty on both Ocean and Lucky’s heads. From all corners of China, bounty hunters with the most diverse backgrounds and masters of the martial arts sign up for the hunt. What they are unaware of though, is that Lucky is harmless — as long as he’s happy …

In the waning years of the Ming Dynasty, the Bruneian Empire wants to offer a rare creature to the nation as a gift and has tasked Ocean, a member of the Imperial Secret Police, to capture and tame the beast. Upon discovering the beast’s gentle and kind nature, Ocean works in secret to release the beast back to the wild, keeping it from being turned into a killing machine.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The Blu-ray disc also features some similar artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Kung Fu Monster ended up being another one of those asian movies that uses the same old formula that so many others have before it. The story about this mythical monster and the rag tag group of misfits that protect it was okay but here’s where everything else gets repetitive. There’s always the tough guy hero, there’s always the pretty girl, there’s always the goof sidekick(s), there’s always the typical evil villain, and last but not least, there’s lots of slapstick humor to go with it. Now, with that being said, this kind of works for Kung Fu Monster because it ended up being a visually stunning cheesefest that I really enjoyed. Maybe it got too cheesy at times, especially with the dialogue. Still, the characters (and monster) are interesting, there’s lots of action and the special effects are impressive. This action-packed Hong Kong wuxia fantasy is now available on Blu-ray.

Distributor: Well Go USA

Run Time: 104 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition 16×9 Widecreen

Blu-ray Audio: Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English and Chinese

Special Features: The extras include a making of featurette and trailers.

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