14 August 2015 | BA_Harrison
Die Hard in a hotel.
Prolific producer/director/actor Wong Jing is the Hong Kong equivalent of Michael Bay, a film-maker who churns out insipid popcorn fodder for the masses. High Risk AKA Meltdown is Jing's blatant clone of Die Hard, a movie full of explosions, gunfire, death and destruction, with some dumb slapstick comedy for good measure, but totally devoid of originality, completely lacking in artistic merit, and a tragic waste of star Jet Li's incredible fighting abilities.
Li plays Kit, a fearless bomb disposal expert who quits the business after his wife is blown to smithereens by a terrorist organisation led by the evil Dr. David Wang (Kelvin Wong, who, thanks to the atrocious dubbing, is more Tim Curry than Alan Rickman). Two years later, Kit is working as bodyguard and secret stunt double for drunken, womanising martial arts movie star Frankie Lone (Jacky Cheung, mercilessly lampooning Jackie Chan) when The Doctor and his henchmen take over the new hotel where Frankie is attending an exhibition of priceless jewels.
While the terrorists try to break the security code for the exhibits, Kit, aided by police detective Chow Kam (Chung-Hsien Yang), tries to rescue the hostages, whose numbers include sexy news reporter Helen (the lovely Chingmy Yau), Chow Kam's feisty girlfriend Joyce (Charlie Yeung), and Frankie's father (Ma Wu)—as well as the cowardly kung fu star himself, who spends most of the film hiding from the villains.
While Meltdown certainly delivers its fair share of chaotic action, including a car and a helicopter crashing into the hotel to cause untold damage, endless shootouts and numerous explosions, the whole thing soon becoming tiresome thanks to the total absence of originality and the excruciatingly bad comedy. Fans of Jet Li will also be disappointed by the lack of martial arts action from the star, the film's only notable fight scene occurring between Frankie and Wang's head henchman Kong, played by Billy Chow, who sports the mother of all mullets!
4.5 out of 10, generously rounded up to 5 for the excessive violence (there are countless squibs, a guy has his hand cut off by a machete, Dr. Wang's sexy squeeze Fai Fai gets her head shot off, and one extra is cut in half by the helicopter's rotor blade).