9 November 2015 | quincytheodore
Wild City is unapologetically brash and lifelike, but also a crude gangster flick.
Chinese action movies tend to use fluent choreography or fluid martial arts theme, just like many of Donnie Yen's works. Wild City is the opposite of that nature, it opts for an audacious style, which feels realistic to a degree and a bolder choice for action. While this may result in more authentic look, it also loses the usual poise which makes the movie too frantic at times.
Yun is a woman with shady past, as she's been involved with corrupt ex-boyfriend and gangster. As luck would have it, two brothers, T-Man and Sui Chong find her when she's intoxicated. The Good Samaritan deed doesn't go unrewarded since the gangsters chasing her eventually collide with their lives.
The plot opens with more realism, or at least the gritty version of it. There are plenty of red district muse or night life scenes to set this up. Leading actors, including the antagonist perform in brash tone, talking in slang or behaving condescendingly. This is not the smooth precise showcase, but more of a dive in dark side of typical noir movie. Granted, it doesn't become depressingly gritty, though it deals with sufficient veritable theme that it feels all too brazen.
This approach also fits, partially, with the action. Choreography in use is far from usual sophisticated fights, let alone wuxia wiring, this is more of blade and bat swinging seen at riot news. It can be awkward at times, both the fight and plot as it progresses. Some scenes feel forced and superfluous, especially when it recycles its mafia movie cliché towards the end. The sense of authenticity isn't consistent enough to last the entire movie.
Wild City is a different taste of crime drama, it certainly delivers the wild promise of the title, although it can be rudimentary and unrefined sometimes.