Image Entertainment // 1994 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // August 24th, 2006
Fighting is a great way to make friends!
The plot of Bloody Brothers is serpentine, but here goes my stab at distilling it down to a single sentence: Hong comes to Shanghai to seek out his fortune, and ends up in a battle with three rival gangs all spiraling around a glamorous singer in a nightclub. Really if I ventured to tell you more I wouldn't be sure I was getting everything right, and I would ruin a lot of the double crosses and plot twists that serve as the narrative of the movie. But you didn't come here for the story -- or at least you shouldn't have. This Chinese export is similar to a Jackie Chan Hong Kong action flick in every way, shape, and form. You come for the action and the great looks at high class Chinese club life -- which mysteriously looks like '40s America with an Occidental twist, even though it supposedly takes place in the 1920s. It's not as good as a John Woo film, but it entertains readily. Fans of Chop Suey cinema will eat it up like take-out food from their favorite Chinese place.
Director To Hoi Sang helms this Mandarin action piece, and he does so with attention to little else than keeping the action and humor going at a breakneck pace. He seems as fond of gun fights as he does duking it out with fists, and there is a nice variety of ways to pummel people on display. Bloody Brothers is an enjoyable entry in the martial arts action genre, even if it is not ultimately memorable .
The DVD from Image Entertainment is surprisingly minimal. We get no extra features save for a T-shirt included with some packages. It's a white cotton affair with the movie's logo on the front. The transfer is lackluster as well. Scratches, grain, and dirt all appear on the print that looks like it was being run by my elementary school projectionist from the library. Sound is a muddy mono which blurs the Chinese and sound effects together in to hot and sour soup. It's a DVD that looks and sounds suspiciously like VHS.
Bloody Brothers makes for a fun night of Kung Fu fighting if nothing else. It has a childish glee about it's story and violence that makes it palatable. It's a high kicking romp that is worth seeking out for fans of the martial arts genre. Too bad the DVD doesn't do much other than simply give the film to you. Still, you can at least wear the T-shirt with pride.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.66:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (Chinese)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 1994
MPAA Rating: Not Rated