Friday, January 14, 2011

Invincible Armor

It is impossible to exaggerate how pure a movie Invincible Armor is. The movie runs an hour and forty minutes and if you timed it with a stop watch I doubt you’d find five minutes of content that did not involve people fighting spectacularly over the top kung fu duels.

The story is in the basic “They Killed My Master. I Have Been Framed For His Murder. I Must Seek Revenge” template. But with the intriguing twist that the ultimate person behind the assassination turns out to be a master who has mastered the invincible armor technique, a technique that allows him to undergo a breathtaking amount of abuse. Also, thanks to the fact he has remained celibate he also has the power to retract his testicles up into his body (!). This comes in handier then you might think. But all in all I’m not sure that it’s a fair trade. Particularly given how things turn out for him. Would it be giving away too much dear reader if I reveal that the movie features a shot of two eggs being crushed in a single hand? And that after that shot the movie consists of little more then the old master rolling around on the ground in agonizing pain. I can only imagine that “I wish I had put those to better use!” is running through his mind as it happens.

You know what mere words don’t really do it justice…

Prior to that glorious sequence there’s a kick ass Kung Fu movie. It’s not going to win any points for story. But the efficency of it is really quite astounding. When I say the characters in this movie are fighting all the time, I mean that quite literally. They arrive at a tavern, fight, receive some exposition, fight, go to a duel, fight. It would be an exaggeration to say that any of these non fighting sequences run past two minutes.

But lets give the film some credit, fighting like anything else grows dull after being displayed incessantly for a hundred and forty minutes. To its credit though, Invincible Armor is suitably innovative that it never really does get boring. The choreography and camera work are inventive, as are the various techniques and weapons the filmmaker’s trot out to enliven each battle. And while the weapons and techniques (and occasional Wu Xia fifty foot leaps) are all suitably wild. They never become so distracting as to take away from the actor’s obvious skill at Martial Arts.

All in all Invincible Armor is one of those movies that’s tough to review, because it so manifestly is what it is and you already know if you want it or not. And if you didn’t when you saw that the movie was called Invincible Armor then you certainly did when you saw the above clip. No more honest review of the movie exists…

One more time.


David B. said...

I remember I rented this from Blockbuster ages ago when it was released on VHS as part of the Wu Tang Clan series of kung fu movies. I had to pause and rewind the tape the first time he goes for the balls and the eggs fly out of his hand. That was my introduction Hong Kong special effects.

le0pard13 said...

Yes, but is it quite as memorable as the legendary Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky in Kung Fu film-lore? Thanks, Bryce.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ David B: The Eggs are great, but to me the look on his face sells it.

@ le0pard13: Yes but very little is.