Badges of Fury (2013) – By Duane L. Martin

Wang Bu Er (Wen Zhang) is a young, impulsive cop. To temper his impulsiveness, Angela, his sergeant who he has this schoolyard type of a love hate relationship with, partners him up with a grizzled old cop named Huang Fei Hong (Jet Li). Initially they’re tasked with breaking up a deal that’s going down at a Scottish themed party, but when Bu Er recognizes a missing crime boss that shows up at the party, the whole mission goes up in flames when he abandons his real target in favor of trying to capture the crime boss, who ultimately gets away after a thrilling fight in a stairwell with Huang.

Both they and the sargeant get in trouble for blowing the whole operation, but they’re given a chance to redeem themselves when they’re put on the smile murders case – so dubbed because all of the victims have died just randomly, out of the blue with smiles on their faces.

Their first suspect in the murders is Liu Jinshui (Shishi Liu), an actress who was formerly engaged to all of the dead men, but did she do it, or is there something more nefarious at foot? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

I want Well Go USA to release more action comedies like this one. The serious crime films and the historical dramas are fine and all, but movies like this one are the ones that are genuinely entertaining and fun to watch.

What works in this one the most is the chemistry between Bu Er and his sergeant. They have this "I have a crush on you but you aggravate the hell out of me" relationship that’s playful and fun. Jet Li’s character unfortunately spends a lot of time feeling more like a third wheel than anything else, but it’s a fun character as well.

As enjoyable as the characters and events in the film are however, there are certain aspects of the story that are lacking. For example, the whole opening sequence really has nothing to do with the rest of the film other than to introduce the three main police characters. Once that part’s over, they switch to a completely different crime and the bad guys from the opening sequence are never mentioned again.

The action is sequences are really well done, but there’s a considerable amount of wire work and fakery in the fight scenes. I guess I’m more old school, because I like my martial arts sequences to be more realistic. Still, it’s not all that way and there is some great action. It’s not just the fights that are the source of the action either. There’s a fabulous chase scene where Bu Er is trying to catch up with Liu Jinshui as she heads to the airport in a cab, only he’s on a bicycle and has to maneuver his way through traffic, down stairs, through the luggage compartment of a bus and all manner of other obstacles in his attempt to catch her.

Basically, this is one of those movies where you leave your sense of realism at the door. There’s a lot of nonsense here, but it’s fun nonsense and the characters are a big part of what make it so fun. There’s even some self aware humor thrown in in one particular scene that will probably seem really awkward to those who don’t get it.

Even though the story may be a bit off here and there, the great characters and fun action of this film really make it fun to watch. Make sure you check this one out. It’s definitely worth your time.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Well Go USA website here, or if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the blu-ray or DVD from Amazon or from any of the other usual outlets.