Enter the Phoenix (2004)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-10
Summary: Great Production Value + Great Cast = Great Movie
An excellent, big budget and huge stardom movie with a lot to offer and several action sequences to make you watch this movie over and over again. The film starts of with an introduction of two rival triad organisations, ‘Hung’ (Yuen Biao) being the leader of one faction and the other faction, being lead by the ‘Fai’ (Chan Wai-Man, whom you might recognise from his earlier work, in movies such as ‘Project A: Part II’ and ‘Unmatchable Match’). Hung has a life-threatening illness and therefore sends out the 8th Master (played by ‘Law Kar-Ying’, from other credited movies like ‘God of Cookery’ and ‘Feel 100%’) and his son (Chapman To Man-Chat) to find his gay son ‘Daniel Wu’ and bring him back from Thailand to take his rightful place in the Triad Society. Now once they reach Thailand the 8th Master and his son mistakenly assume Daniel Wu’s best friend and roommate ‘Sam’ (played by ‘Eason Chan’ from ‘Visible Secret 1 and 2’) is actually the son of Hung, and hence offer him Big Brother status. Soon after they find out that Hung has passed away and so Sam must come with them back to China to take his rightful place as the master of the Triad society. Daniel Wu also comes with Eason Chan to make sure that he doesn’t get into any trouble.

In Hong Kong things get trickier. There was some bad-blood history between ‘Hung’ and his triad rival brother ‘Fai’. A long time ago both of them were at each others necks, over one of Fai’s old friends, whom had been mistakenly shot and killed by one of Hung’s Men, in a brawl. The man whom was shot was actually ‘Chow’s Father’ (Chow, played by great ‘Stephen Fung’), who has now become Fai’s Right Hand Man, and has sworn revenge on Hung and his family. This tension and history result in long-overdue climax and one of the best short fight scenes choreographed in any HK Movie. Fai also has a feisty daughter ‘Julie’ (played by ‘Karen Mok Man-Wai’, from her earlier roles in ‘So Close’ and ‘Good Bye Mr. Cool’), whom has a love development with both ‘Eason Chan’ and ‘Daniel Wu’, not realising that one of them is gay.

This movie has several fight scenes, very well choreographed by ‘Ma YukSing’ (whom you might recognise has previously action-choreographed ‘Bichunmoo’ (Korean Movie) and ‘Fist Power’), and the comedy is well-placed and not certainly not over-the-top. This is among the best HK movie to premier in the year 2004 and with so many special guest appearances, including ‘Sam Lee’, ‘Nicholas Tse’ and ‘Sammi Cheng’, this movie is well worth the time and entertainment value it was developed for.

Overall Stephen Fung has done an excellent job of producing this movie, and if his producing-style remains steady, HK Cinema will have a very bright future ahead of it-self. For fans of Daniel Wu, Eason Chan and Stephen Fung, you will be very pleased by their dedicated performances and the amount of screen-time they get, although Yuen Biao only comes in this movie for about 10 minutes in the beginning, which is a bit of a downer. Also the Movie only clocks in at about 87 Minutes, but progresses at a fast pace to keep the viewer engaged.

Overall Rating: 8.6/10
Reviewer Score: 9