Throwdown – New Judo Film From Johnnie To!

throwdown.jpgI feel that I should preface this post by saying that I’ve never been much of a fan of Hong Kong’s Johnnie To. I should also say that I’m pretty much in the minority with my middling opinion of the man’s work as he’s got a legion of fans world wide and has racked up a fairly impressive assortment of film awards both in his native Hong Kong and around the world. So despite the fact that I keep feeling oddly let down by his films I keep on checking them out and it looks as though his latest flick – Throwdown – may be the one to make me a believer.

Shot like a modern film noir – there’s often more shadow than image on screen in the clips released thus far – and with a brilliant east meets west soundtrack Throwdown is the story of a champion judo fighter drawn out of retirement. Why am I excited? Well, first because the actual camera work looks fantastic. Second, because the last Hong Kong director to make jazz infused action flicks was the great John Woo back when he was in his prime and I’ve missed them. Third, because I can’t remember the last time Hong Kong produced a truly great martial arts film and this looks as though it’s got the chops to be one. And finally, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a judo based fight film before and a bit of variety is a good thing.

You can check out the official website here – there are a pair of trailers tucked away in there … it takes a bit of searching – or head straight to the mainland China trailer here. That one’s in Real Video format but is actually quite well coded and superior to the Hong Kong trailers, I think. Thanks to the folks at KFC for the links.

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