Wind Blast (2010) – By Duane L. Martin

When Zhang Ning’s (Yu Xia) wife (or girlfriend…I wasn’t really clear on that) Sun Jing opened up a shop and was swindled out of a great sum of money, Zhang Ning turned to various illegal activities to get money for her to make things right again, including illegal boxing. Eventually, an opportunity came along to make a great sum of money by performing a hit. Zhang performed the hit, as he was hired to do, but he broke protocol by taking a cellphone camera picture of the guy who hired him. Now he and Jing are on the run in the desert, being pursued by a highly experienced hit man named Mai Gao )Francis Ng, and his protoge Anuo (Nan Yu). They’re hunting down Zhang to get the picture back, after which, they’ll kill him. To add to Zhang’s troubles, four specially trained cops are also on his trail. They want to arrest him for the hit, and to get the photo from him so they can bust the guy who hired him to do it. It becomes a game of back and forth for Zhang and Jing, as they first end up in the custody of the cops, then the assassins, then the cops again, with the assassins going balls out to get them back. Will anyone survive this deadly cat and mouse game? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Ok let’s get this straight right off the bat. This is a full on action film. What happens when you have a full on action film? The story, and sometimes the character development tends to suffer a bit, and this film is no exception.

Part of the problem is that the back story isn’t given right up front. You see the hit right at the beginning, but with no frame of reference for what you’re seeing. in fact, throughout the first half hour or so of the almost two hour run time of the film, you’re really just kind of waiting to figure out exactly what’s going on, why it’s happening, and who everyone is. Even once all that’s out of the way, throughout much of the film, there’s just a general lack of character development. I don’t mean to say there isn’t any at all, because there is, but what there is comes slowly, and at times feels forced. Hell, I had a hard time even getting everyone’s names. One of the cops who was older than the others and was a sharpshooter, always wore a hat. In my notes I took while watching the film, I referred to him almost entirely as "Hat Cop". The others had code names like Leopard (the head of the team and an all around badass), Yak (super strong and dressed like a sherpa) and Shepherd (kind of a daredevil who became a cop after his brother, who was a cop, was killed). There are other side characters in the film, who even after watching it, I still have no idea of why they were even in it or what their role was supposed to be.

Now, that said, what this film lacks in story and character development, it more than makes up for in the action sequences. I mean my god, the action in this film makes you feel exhausted from just watching it. I’m not going to lengthen out this review to some ridiculous level by talking about all the great action sequences in this film though. You just need to see it to understand. There are massive explosions, great stunt driving, sharp shooting, chases on horseback, fighting, torture, and just about anything else you can think of. Action is the center piece of this film, and let me just say, the action is simply incredible. Not only incredible, but also very, very intense. In fact, it contains one of the most intense action sequences I’ve seen in quite some time. I won’t spoil it by telling you about it here, but it’s the part where the assassins are trying to get Zhang out of the camp in the middle of the night. Crazy and intense is too tame of a description for that sequence. It’s really that good.

That said, as great as this film is, there are a few minor issues here and there. Little things that didn’t make much sense, or a scene cut here and there that leave you feel like you missed something in between, the back story of some of the characters came out feeling kind of forced and awkward, and characters that seem like they should be important to the story that really aren’t all that important and have very little to do with anything other than to serve as filler characters. Don’t even get me started on the stampede of small horses that ran into the old police building…and then ran upstairs as well. I’m still trying to figure that one out. As detrimental as this would be to most films however, in this particular film, it really didn’t matter. The action really carries this film. The characters, at least the good guys, are likeable and you’ll find yourself really pulling for them. Even the assassin Mai Gao has some ethics and really isn’t the type of a person you expect him to be.

Anyone who’s a fan of Asian action films will really enjoy Wind Blast. Just don’t stress too much about the story and enjoy the film for what it is and you’ll have an absolute blast.

The quality of the blu-ray in both visuals and sound is excellent, as expected, and the blu-ray used for this review includes a "making of" featurette, a behind the scenes featurette and the original trailer for the film as special features.

If you’re a fan of great action films, you’ll definitely want this one in your collection. There’s so much great action in this film, it would take a review the length of a book to describe it all. Despite any problems this film may have, as mentioned above, I personally had a great time watching it, and I think you will too.

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