On the whole, the film is solidly action packed. With long and inventive action sequences, action director Nicky Li creates action that is reminiscent of classic American Westerns but infused with his brand of high octane HK experience.
Darkly funny and shot extremely well, Wind Blast (Ky Tham Vo Song) has a lot to offer for action fans. Where the film suffers is the inclusion of way too many characters and not enough time to develop them fully. This is odd because some undeveloped characters actually have long scenes. But as the viewer you get limited investment into exactly ‘who’ these guys are. In general, the film is absolutely worth your time. Told in a genuinely mainland Chinese style, it features good solid gunplay and the finale is quite memorable.
One time prospective boxer but now two-bit crook and killer Zhang (Xia Yu) high tails into the remote lands of the Gobi desert with pregnant girlfriend and evidence of the mob boss who hired him to carry out the kill. Detective Leopard (Duan Yihong) and his motley crew of cops head off in pursuit of Zhang. As do a pair of assassins (Francis Ng and Yu Nan) sent by the mob boss who hired Zhang. And to kill him and retrieve the evidence. All out war pretty much erupts as the opposing groups face off against one another in one of the harshest landscapes on earth.
Wonderfully shot and often breathlessly staged Gao Qun-Shu’s film delivers full throttle action by dropping a group of characters into a remote location and setting them off against one another. With western undertones abound. Wind Blast is like one epic dual between the cops and assassins as they all attempt to keep hold of Zhang and return him to civilisation. The setting is as much a character as the any of the trigger-happy humans. And thanks to some glorious wide screen cinematography.
Action is the name of the game. And if you miss the action extravagance of the 1980s then ‘Wind Blast’ has got it covered. From some awesome car stunt work, to gunplay, to (a little bit) of martial arts. ‘Wind Blast’ delivers some kick ass action. From the explosion heavy finale, to an incredible chase scene featuring a duel between a jeep and a massive truck the action is slick, full on and refreshingly sustained.
No quickly edited scenes of CGI nonsense over before they begin. But thought out and lengthy action scenes that raise the tension as much as the spectacle and feature the whole cast being put through their paces. However, the best scene is a nighttime attack on the hero’s camp. Which uses the dark, the open space. A torch and a nifty gun that shoots metal arrows to create a scene that is tense. Breathless and kicks off a whole host of relentless action.
‘Wind Blast’ is a fun and well made film. But it will no doubt irk those who always wax lyrical about lack of plot this . Admittedly the narrative is somewhat slim as it is just about setting off a group characters against one another in a novel setting and letting chaos reign but this serves an action movie (phim hanh dong hinh su) like ‘Wind Blast’ well. And the cast certainly throw themselves into the action with aplomb. Xia Yu and Duan Yihong make for convincing heroes with Francis Ng also memorable as a world-weary assassin.
Likewise Yu Nan makes for one hot assassin. Full of menace and there is a whole host of supporting characters to root for as the danger and action escalate. It’s a little disappointing there isn’t more martial arts feature. As it would have been nice to see Wu Jing (Ngo Kinh) cut loose more of his kung fu moves. And the ending is tied up a little neatly and abruptly but on the whole Gao Qun-Shu has crafted a visually dynamic film: A modern day western with some stellar action scenes. And a distinctive setting memorably rendered on screen to create a unique action film.