Within 3 days, Hong Kong’s Entertainment world has been rocked by the deaths of three people in what they’re calling “The Smiling Murders.” On the case are Angela (Michelle Chen) and her bumbling detective duo: Wang Bu Er (Wen Zhang) and Huang Fei Hong (Jet Li). Together, the trio fails upward as they follow the many leads and directions that the case takes them. It’s not until they find the connection in the murders is female star Liu Jin Shui (Liu Shishi) has been involved with them romantically. As the police wait for a bigger break in the case, more people are dying in the same way.
“Badges of Fury” is directed by first-timer by Tsz Ming Wong. The best way I can describe this movie is that it’s a little goofy. It reminds me of comedy movies along the lines of “Airplane!” or “The Naked Gun” with the exaggeration and overacting. That being said, the plot isn’t to be taken too seriously. There are moments with “cartoony” sound effects meshed in when someone is running away or when someone hits their head on something. It’s not as if this style of comedy hasn’t been tried before but in this movie, it doesn’t seem to work often. However, the fighting and choreography is well done to mix in some action to the cop comedy.
Like the rest of the movie, some of the action is a little over the top but it turns out to be the only time goofy is successful.
Jet Li as Huang Fei Hong – the seasoned inspector
Wen Zhang as Wang Bu Er – the young, dumb detective
Collin Chou as Chen Hu – the wanted criminal
Michelle Chen as Angela – Huang and Wang’s superior
Liu Shishi as Liu Jin Shui – the female film star
Ada Liu as Dai Yiyi – Liu’s older sister
The Blu-ray transfer is in a clean 1080p AVC that looks excellent. The coloring looks so beautiful and it shows a lot of care went into the quality of the Blu-ray. The colors have an incredibly brilliant look but they are never over processed. Part of how this is achieved is how the movie has a darker undertone that in turn pulls the colors out. The skin tones are warm and natural, which has been a trend from WellGo Entertainment. The blacks are inky and flawless so there are never any imperfections to be found. The clarity is top notch and so well done.
The audio is mixed in the original Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 but there’s also a matching English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 for those who don’t like subtitles. The mix is very bassy in the music and quick when someone is taking a hit during the fight scenes. Also the highs and mids are clear during the dialogue as well as the other sound effects. Some of the issues that I found are that all of the speakers are being used but the rear not utilized to create the sound field. Most of the dialogue and effects are in the front and center channels with the rear being used for some music/effects. The rear channels are unnaturally used for a little music and inserting some of the goofy sound effects I mentioned earlier. Overall, the mix has about as many “pros” as it does “cons.”
The bonus features on the disc are a little light but there are more than usually seen in a WellGo release. The basics of a “Making of” and “Behind the Scenes” are on the disc but they don’t go too in depth.
-Making of – This featurette covers all of the cast and how they put together the biggest fight scene in the movie.
-Behind the Scenes – This featurette also shows some on set footage but it’s not really clear why it was separate from the “Making Of” featurette.
-Trailer – This is the trailer for the movie.
-Previews – These are previews of some of the upcoming releases from WellGo Entertainment.
Wrath of Vajra
On The Job
Single Blu-ray disc
Slipcover is included
1080p MPEG-4 AVC
Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Mandarin Stereo 2.0
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English DTS 2.0
Like I said earlier, Badges of Fury is a screwy comedy that never really finds its footing as to the genre it wants to be. It jumps from a slapstick comedy to a Kung fu movie and it has a touch of a buddy cop movie. The jokes feel forced and completely effects the pace of the movie the video looks great but the audio is one of the strangest mixes I’ve ever heard. As per usual, I say decide for yourself but the release was not the strongest.
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