The Five Elements get an upgrade in this feature film sequel to the short film Wu Xia: A Martial Arts Tango.
It has been a few years since Neil Bowers passed his initiation and has joined the Five Elements clan, earning the nickname Cloud. However, since then, the Earth has been suffering from a lack of clean air, causing radiation sickness amongst citizens. There has been research done and a code has been discovered that will endure the return of clean air. The code has been embedded inside of a green stone and the Five Elements are believed to have the stone in hopes to deliver it to a medical research facility.
An assassin clan, known as the Four Eleven, also want the stone. Led by Lee and his wife Ms. Swan, The Four Eleven targets Cloud, who finds himself in a somewhat dire situation as he is blamed for the death of Water, who was involved in the research involving the clean air. When a new Water fighter arrives, she discovers something shocking about Cloud, but nevertheless, helps him as he is believed to be holding the code. It is an all-out war between the Five Elements and the Four Eleven in a chase for the code, which can save the world.
Back in 2016, director Johnny K. Wu introduced us to the short film Wu Xia: A Martial Arts Tango, the story of a man going through a series of fights against members of the Five Elements. However, it is revealed that the fights were a test of his initiation to join the martial arts clan. Now comes the sequel, which comes in a more feature-length format. And it is exciting to say that this sequel is definitely a step up from the short film as a whole, thanks to its sci-fi themed story, plot twists, and pretty good fight scenes.
Returning from the original film aside from director Wu are actors Benjamin Zgorecki, Matt Kane, Jerry Sur, and Keith Collins II. It is Zgorecki who once again gets star credit as the newly named Cloud, who finds himself a primary target with an assassin clan over a stone that is believed to have a code embedded in it to bring clean air back to Earth. Cloud is definitely an interesting figure as we get to learn more about him and his past, which plays a vital role in the film. Collins, as Earth, is also vital as he is aware of Cloud’s situation and attempts to help him at any cost. New actors involved include Crystle Paynther Collins as the new Water and Benjamin Garton, who resembles Johnny Yong Bosch, as Gold.
Keith Collins also served as the film’s fight choreographer with Zgorecki, Kane, David Spencer, and director Wu assisting. The fights here are a bit of a step above the original short film as we get to see Zgorecki go at it at various times. While the fights are not on par with the likes of a Scott Adkins or Hong Kong action film, they still hold their own as something you would see in perhaps an early 80’s to 90’s B-movie of its time. And that’s not a bad thing. There are some nice two-on-one or one vs. many fight scenes that drive the film along. The twist in the film’s finale is a bit of a shock and leads to a three on three fight that is a fitting end to the film.
Wu Xia 2: The Code is a nice upgrade from its original short film. Not only do we get a feature length film, but an interesting story with some nice and unexpected twists as well as some fight scenes that outdo the original.
WFG RATING: B
A Media Design Imaging film. Director: Johnny K. Wu. Producers: Jason L. Wang and Keith Collins II. Writers: Johnny K. Wu and Andras Zold. Cinematography: Jason L. Wang and Shawn Adams. Editing: Johnny K. Wu.
Cast: Benjamin Zgorecki, Crystle Paynther Collins, Keith Collins II, Benjamin Garton, Matt Kane, Jerry Sur, Y Chan, Lisa Wong, Wayne Wong, Leland Leger.
On August 16, at the Atlas Cinemas Lakeshore 7 in Euclid, Ohio, there will be a screening of the film at 7:30pm. If you are in the area, get a chance to check out the film.