Plot: What’s it about?
Kung Wei (Jet Li) might be a loving father and husband, but he is also a high level agent who is known for his skills on many fronts. His wife is very sick and heading toward the end and his young son (Xie Miao) looks up to him and trains hard to be like his father. Kung Wei is required by his work to be away more than a little and it bothers him to leave his family behind, even if they understand why does. His next mission will be his toughest yet as he must infiltrate a triad crime ring, which means he must be arrested in public and won’t have time to explain much to his family. As such when he is arrested in front of his home it leaves his son confused but confident his father is not a criminal. Once in prison, a fabricated escape occurs with Kung Wei and a member of the crime circle which ensures him trust within the group. As he works undercover, a female police officer (Anita Mui) is trying to discover information about him by befriended his son. Through her conversations with him she begins to believe his story about his dad being an undercover agent, but her boss (also her ex-lover) isn’t buying a word of it. The stakes increase by the minute as Kung Wei attempts to complete his mission, remain undetected as an agent, and make sure his son stays out of harm’s way.
If you’re like me and love the martial arts movies of Jet Li, this movie is one you’ll have to add to your collection. I happen to love the characters and storyline found within this movie and am especially fond of some of the comedic sequences, which are downright hilarious. This might be an action driven movie at heart but it has much more than that to offer, to be sure. This is one of the more emotional performances by Li and I think he handles it all well, while making sure to kick some butt here and there in the process. The fight sequences are very entertaining and worthwhile, but a couple them seem a little far fetched. This doesn’t bother me though since I watch these movies to be entertained anyway. There is also plenty of non martial arts action, such as gun battles and chases which makes sure the film always feel fresh and never stalls. This is a solid disc in terms of audio and video quality but lacks much in the supplemental area, so it is hard to recommend a purchase unless you’ve seen and love the movie. I recommend this release to all fans of martial arts movies and Jet Li in specific and if you’re looking to add this movie to your collection, this is the version you want.
This martial arts extravaganza was directed by Yuen Kwai, who has directed a wealth of worthwhile action and crime films during his career. He has made many films with Jet Li, so it is no surprise this one turned out so well. The visuals are very good and create a solid and believable world for the characters and events present. Of course the martial arts battles are amazing although a couple of them seem a little silly, but all the scenes look good. Kwai has also made sure that this is much more than a simple action movie by giving his characters depth and having them interact on more than a superficial basis. If you like this movie I recommend other Yuen Kwai films such as Bodyguard From Beijing, High Risk, Fong Sai-Yuk 1 & 2, and Casino Raiders. The lead in this film is martial arts superstar Jet Li (Once Upon A Time In China), who mixes his fighting skills with his acting skills quite well in this movie. While this isn’t his best movie it is a terrific one and is loaded with some impressive sequences. The supporting cast is also excellent and includes Xie Miao (God of Gamblers 2), Anita Mui (Rumble In The Bronx, The Heroic Trio), and Damien Lau (The First Option, Best of the Best).
Video: How does it look?
My Father Is A Hero is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. This transfer is solid overall but has some problems which keep the score down, such as print wear, lack of anamorphic enhancement, and some minor compression artifacts. The movie still looks above average and the problems are seldom distracting if at all. The colors seem natural and error free and flesh tones look picture perfect as well. While the contrast is light as times, I found no serious troubles with it throughout the movie.
Audio: How does it sound?
This release contains a terrific Dolby Digital 5.1 track which puts you right in the middle of all the action. Whether the action is a shoot out or a martial arts battle, the surrounds will be alive with pulse pounding effects. Even when the action has died down the sound is still top notch however, as the music and dialogue sound crystal clear in this mix. I don’t speak either of the included languages, but I could tell the words were crisp and audible at all times. Spoken languages include Cantonese and Mandarin while subtitles include Chinese and English.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes the film’s theatrical trailer, which is always welcome.