• Iron Protector



    Released by: Well Go USA
    Released on: September 5th, 2017.
    Director: Yue Song
    Cast: Collin Chou, Wai-Man Chan, Yue Song,
    Li Yufei
    Year: 2016
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Written and directed by Yue Song, who also plays the lead role, 2016’s Iron Protector tells the story of Wu-Lin (played by Song). When we first meet him, he’s meditating but when a gang of bad guys show up to attack him one by one, he makes short work of them, saves a random stranger named Jia-Shan Li and declines the cash reward he’s offered for his services. Jia-Shan Li, it turns out, is incredibly wealthy.

    And then there’s the cigar chomping Jiang Li (Xing Yu), a man who trained under the same sifu was Wu-Lin. Although on the surface that appear to be close friends, the fact of the matter is that one a different level they don’t exactly get along so well. Why? Because their teacher chose Wu-Lin over Jiang to receive some special next level training and to wear a pair of iron boots that make his kicking abilities just that much more dangerous. At any rate, Jiang offers Wu-Lin a job working as the bodyguard for a beautiful young woman named Fei Fei (Li Yufei), the daughter of the man Wu-Lin saved in the opening sequence.

    Maybe not so surprisingly, this sets into motion a plot where Jiang shows his true colors by working alongside some local criminals to kidnap Fei Fei and hold her for ransom. Wu-Lin, having fallen for his charge, is forced to fight his way past the criminal hordes and save the foxy lady and to set things right with Jiang once and for all.

    This one isn’t deep, not at all, but it does offer some genuinely impressive scenes of martial arts mayhem and ass kicking action. Yue Song may not pay as much attention to the storytelling aspect as he needed to but to his credit he keeps things moving at a breakneck pace. And those fight scenes? Impressive. There was some wire work involved in getting this done but Yue Song and most of the other players do appear to have all done their own stunt work here, which helps adds to the authenticity of the brawls that pepper the film. When those blows land, they really do look like they hurt! The fight choreography is impressive enough to carry the film.

    Which is a good thing. The acting here is so-so. Yue Song isn’t bad as the leading man, but he’s a better fighter than he is an actor. Regardless, he’s fun to watch and he’s got enough charisma to make his work entertaining. Li Yufei makes for a fine damsel in distress while Xing Yu steals a few scenes as Jiang, particularly once his rivalry with Wu-lin manifests in the later part of the picture.

    Production values are decent. The camerawork is erratic and all over the place, this is probably the weakest part of the film as it pulls us away from the fight scenes at times, but when it’s not zipping around and shaking all over it manages to capture some nice locations. The film also benefits from a solid score, some nice sound effects work and good use of color.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Iron Protector arrives on a 25GB Blu-ray disc framed at 2.35.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p high definition and for the most part it transfers well to the format. The colors look really good, they’re bright and bold but not oversaturated, and if the black levels aren’t reference quality they’re definitely solid. Some very minor compression artifacts are noticeable in the darker scenes, which are mildly annoying, but otherwise things look good. We get nice detail and texture evident throughout and as the movie was shot digitally there are obviously no issues with any print damage.

    Audio chores are handled by a Mandarin language DTS-HD 5.1 track that sounds quite good. There are some scenes where it’s quite front heavy but most of the time there’s a whole lot of rear channel action from both the score and the effects work. The clarity is solid and the levels are properly balanced throughout. There’s a lot of depth to the music and the sound effects and the track is free of any hiss or distortion. An optional Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track is also included as are removable English subtitles.

    The main extras are three short featurettes. The Chase is a two minute piece that showcases what went into staging the film’s impressive chase sequence. The Final Battle spends three minutes showing off the fight choreography and stunt work required for the finale. Training, Stunts And Fighting Highlights is another three minute piece that is more of a general look at the preparation done and fight choreography involved in putting a few of the other fight scenes that take place during the movie together.

    Aside from that we get a trailer for the feature, trailers for a few other Well Go USA properties, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Iron Protector is fun. It’s not deep and it’s more than a little spastic at times, but yeah, it entertains and fans of martial arts films that don’t require the storytelling to be as solid as the action set pieces should get a kick out of this. Well Go USA’s Blu-ray release is light on extras but it does look and sound very nice. Recommended.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!



















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