Kung Fu Killer (Blu-ray Review)

Kung Fu KillerA vicious killer stalks the streets of Hong Kong, methodically executing top martial arts competitors. Xia (Donnie Yen), a convicted killer and kung fu expert, offers to help police find the killer and put him behind bars in return for his own freedom. The killer eludes them again and again, taunting the cops – and Xia, his new target – to discover his next moves. Xia refuses to play his lethal game…until the killer threatens the woman he loves most. 


Kung Fu Killer


Kung Fu Killer aka Kung Fu Jungle everywhere else is Donnie Yen’s latest martial arts film. Kung Fu Killer is the story of a serial killer stalking the streets of Hong Kong eliminating martial arts experts throughout the city. Hahou Mo (Yen) is a convicted killer and martial arts expert himself who is locked away in prison. When he offers his services to the police in exchange for his own freedom – the cops pretty much take him up on the offer but do put up some resistance and keep him under a microscope.

As for motives on the killings – that’s where it gets paper-thin. The killer has lost his wife to cancer and he wants to prove to the world, or at least Hong Kong, that he is the best of the best. Mind you, the killer (Baoqiang Fong) is not your typical “warrior.” He has handicaps of his own like an atrophied leg in which he has to wear a platform shoe on one foot to keep him balanced and is also scarred. That’s pretty much where the subterfuge ends; because once Fong is unleashed he will lay waste to everything and anyone that gets in his way. This will eventually lead to the final fight between Hahou and Fung (Fong).

I love Donnie Yen to death but it has been a bit rocky the last couple of years. Special ID and Iceman were to be epics of grand scale but were complete letdowns in the end.  Watching the trailer for Kung Fu Killer looked to be the remedy needed for the Donnie Yen drought we were experiencing and I am happy to say that it delivers on the martial arts action in spades. Not only is Yen in fine form but Baoqiang Fong as the expert serial killer is a freakin’ revelation. Dude was the off the hook and gave everyone he faced a run for their money. Apparently Shaolin trained him in real life, so he knows his stuff.

The plot, however, is a bit thin in terms of drama and what not, as these film usually are. It’s no big deal, because the film plays like a video game of sorts. Fung basically goes through boss after boss until Hahou fights him in the end. Granted, you’re not really here for dense plots and all that, so it’s fine. Another cool thing about the film is that many action heroes of the past including action directors from the past make appearances in the film, as well. I didn’t recognize most of them but for those versed in Asian cinema – it shouldn’t be difficult to spot them throughout the film.

Here’s hoping that Yen’s momentum continues. He’s got a sequel to Iceman coming out and will be in the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There’s a teaser trailer for Ip Man 3 that also stars Mike Tyson, so here’s hoping that will come through with flying colors upon release. For now, Kung Fu Killer will have to hold you until the next Donnie Yen feature hits theaters.


Kung Fu Killer


Encoding: AVC/MPEG-4

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: Kung Fu Killer looks really good on Blu-ray. Sharpness levels are pristine and contrast only gets slightly boosted in parts but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. There are no lens flares to speak of, so breathe easy.

Depth: The film takes place mostly at nights, so you will feel like you’re out in the dark most of the time. It really sucks you into the slickness of this dangerous world.

Black Levels: As mentioned before, Kung Fu Killer takes place at night, and I did not notice any crush or compression artifacts. Black levels remain deep, inky, and cool.

Color Reproduction: The color palette is relatively muted but there are more than enough scenes that feature colorful sets and/or props. Pixilation and banding were not an issue during those scenes.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are natural and no one looked unnatural unless they were dead.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean, clear, and noise & artifact free.


Kung Fu Killer


Audio Format(s): Cantonese DTS-HD MA 5.1, English (Dubbed) DTS-HD MA 5.1, Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0, English (Dubbed) Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Crank this one up to 11, because the hits are relentless and you will feel and hear bones and muscles crack, crunch, and break in all their lossless glory! This DTS-HD MA 5.1 pulls no, err, punches to say the least. Wait until you hear and feel the kicks.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer enhances the various scenes of action and violence. The film isn’t just a martial arts extravaganza it’s also filled with several vehicle chases. The low-end bass rocks those scenes, too.

Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels enhance the main events going on in the front. Depending on the fight or situation you will hear bamboo chutes, swords, and bullets whizz by your heads at any given moment. Duck for cover if you must – the soundtrack is extremely dynamic in the back.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue levels are sharp as the devil himself.


Kung Fu Killer


The special features consist of one featurette divided into mini-featurettes focusing on the film’s production. Each segment runs under 3 minutes and there are only a handful of them totaling less than 15 minutes.

  • Making Of 
  • Trailers 

Kung Fu Killer


 I am happy to report that Donnie Yen has returned to form! No, the film isn’t without its flaws but some of the action scenes are pretty phenomenal. The Blu-ray features great video and stellar audio. The special features are minimal but you’re really only here for the fights, right? Kung Fu Killer is recommended!



Kung Fu Killer will be available on Blu-ray & DVD July 21, 2015!










Kung Fu Killer


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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