The Postman Fights Back
Director: Ronny Yu
Stars: Liang Cha Jen, Chow Yun-Fat, Cherie Chung, Eddy Ko Hung
Chow Yun-Fat may now be one of Asia's (and some would say the world's) biggest stars, but his road to movie stardom was a hard one. It may surprise many new Chow fans that his nickname early in his movie career was "box-office poison." The Postman Fights Back is typical of many Chow's early roles. While it is overall a good film, Chow looks and feels out of place and hurts the movie somewhat by his presence. The story casts Chow as a mysterious mercenary hired by Eddy Ko Hung to assist courier Liang Cha Jen deliver a package to a warlord. The film as a whole moves well (though it wastes time in a unresolved plot point about Liang contemplating the end of his career) and there are some good fight scenes, such as one where the heroes must take on a group of ninjas on a frozen lake. Director Ronny Yu's (The Bride with White Hair) sense of suspense shows throughout the movie as well, and adds a nice touch not present in other movies of the genre.
Besides Cherie Chung's (in her film debut) character, which amounts to pretty window dressing, the movie's weak point, sorry to say, is Chow. He doesn't look to be into the character and delivers his lines without any passion. It's hard to believe by looking at this role that this would be the actor who would revolutionize ideas of what an action actor should be just as few years later with his bravura performance in John Woo's A Better Tomorrow. Action-wise, Chow also falls flat. Though he sometimes uses a cool wrist crossbow, most of the time he fights using his scarf and looks just plain silly.
If you're going into this film expecting Chow to bust out some Crouching Tiger-style flying kung fu, you'll be disappointed. But if you just want to watch a good action movie, you could do a lot worse than this.
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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