Clash (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus twiddles his thumbs between the fights with this Vietnamese actioner
Trinh’s (Thanh Van Ngo) daughter has been kidnapped by a bad guy and now Trinh and Quan (Johnny Nguyen), with the help of their team must pull off a series of jobs—that mostly involve acting cool and controlled only for something to kick off and it all ending up being about fighting and shooting guns—to get her back.
Clash isn’t a whole lot deeper than that brief synopsis and really the only other element is Trinh and Quan’s blossoming relationship. Despite being one large story, this feels like a series of short stories focusing on each forced mission and honestly would probably have worked a bit better within a TV series because for one movie the straight forward plan a mission, do the mission formula got a bit repetitive (didn’t stop the A-Team movie though did it?).
That said, when the fight scenes do kick off, they kick off in pure martial arts awesomeness. Fists, feet and elbows fly in quick succession, the over layering of multiple fights are pretty damn impressive, and other than the fact most of the hits don’t look like they’re actually connecting most of the time (some of them were miles off) the kinetic nature of the battles are just the sort of stuff you want to see in the genre.
Unfortunately the fights don’t come along as much as I would have liked, and the melodramatic flashbacks of Quan’s struggles with the bad man who’s taken her kid stretched out a little too long here and there. Beyond the pacing and the movie's repetitive nature, Clash was still quite a bit of fun to just zone out with and enjoy. The two leads are charismatic enough to carry it for the most part, the story isn’t all that taxing, and even though the whole thing is a little too talky for an action flick the fight scenes are pumped with enough adrenaline to make it worth the wait most of the time.
The style of the movie is quite cold for the most part. There’s a bluey, grey-green tint to the entire affair and nothing looks all that natural. Texture and details in general are pretty good for a standard definition release and the entire transfer is sharp for the most part. There’s the odd flutter of colour in the super stylized scenes, but it’s a rare thing really. Overall Clash is good looking DVD despite its muted styling and while it’s not very varied, it's solid at what it does throughout.
The 5.1 track here is as straight forward as they come; dialogue in the front and the high octane score filling up the rears. Fake sounding punches and crunches are all cracking in the centre speaker and rarely do any of the elements blend. The nice level of bass adds to the suspense scenes, but I wouldn’t say it was astonishing or anything and generally the track does a good job at creating a mood even if it’s quite heavy handed at doing so.
Just a lonesome trailer (01:45) I’m afraid.
For a movie that looks as if it promises action, action, action, Clash doesn’t really deliver it at a swift enough pace to earn a glowing recommendation. Saying that, when the action is happening it's a blast to watch unfold and they throw in enough unexpected fists or elbows to raise a fair few “that was cool” outbursts.
The disc looks good, has a solid (if not a sort of underwhelming) audio track and offers up a simple trailer in the extras department so fans of ass-kicking might fancy a look, but people looking for a bit more oomph in their martial arts flicks might want to go elsewhere.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 21st February 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Vietnamese, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Vietnames
Easter Egg: No
Director: Le Thanh Son
Cast: Johnny Nguyen, Veronica Ngo,
Genre: Action and Drama
Length: 93 minutes
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