The Mars Villa

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (71 votes, average: 3.72 out of 5)
Posted On: May 6, 2009
Posted In: All Movies, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Shaolin Kung Fu
Comments: One Response

The Mars Villa, also known as Wu Tang Magic Kick, is an old-school Kung Fu Movie that offers a great showcase for both the acting and high kicking fighting talents of the legendary Mr. John Liu.

While the basic plot is a simple one of bad guys getting revenge on a hero who killed their family member, it has more interesting twists and turns than usual. The hero, Mar is captured at the film’s midway point and tortured. His beautiful wife is abducted and told her husband will be killed if she doesn’t marry the handsome young villain (son of the crime boss killed in self-defense early in the film by Mar). She finally gives in and Mar, driven mad by the torture, is released.

Eventually, the hero’s sole surviving comrade (played by Chan Chia Kai), now in hiding, rescues Mar from the streets and nurses him back to health in time for a final all-out showdown.

The cinematography is excellent and benefits from picturesque Taiwan locations including a sprawling temple with a giant golden Buddha. John Liu is as good here as ever. Tang Bao Yun plays his suffering wife and the two have some moving, dramatic scenes together. Chan Chia Kai as the loyal sidekick is an effective fighter in his own right and (future HK film director) Tung Wei plays the handsome villain. (Tung and Chan co-choreographed the film’s fight scenes.) Perennial kung fu villain Phillip Ko plays both the crime boss and his vengeful brother and has quite an intense battle with Liu and Chan at the end in which Mar demonstrates his revered “Wu Tang Magic Kick” technique.

Let me know if the soundtrack sounds familiar, Mr. Bond. Thomas DiSanto