No Way Out (2020)

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Having seen him as a member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team and soon to be seen in Mortal Kombat, Max Huang shows why he could be the next big thing in this short film.

Chen is a former criminal who upon his release has vowed to take down the drugs racket. Serving as an informant for the police, Chen goes undercover as Jason, a lowly criminal working for Goetz, the top drug lord in the city. Working with Goetz’s right-hand man Oz, the duo are tasked with killing Zhong. However, when Chen learns Zhong’s daughter has witnessed the brutality, Chen protects her and thus, risking his cover being blown. When he’s revealed to be a mole, Chen has no way out but to fight for his life.

In an age where fans are being treated to new action stars along with the old guard and new millennium talent, it’s time for the world to meet Chinese-German martial arts ace Max Huang. And if there is a film to introduce him to, this is it! Huang, who has appeared in bit roles in Jackie Chan films such as Chinese Zodiac and Dragon Blade to name a few, wrote, directed, choreographed, stars and in the closing credits, sings the theme song.

As the embittered Chen, Huang shows not only that he’s a great martial artist. He’s got the acting chops as well. As we see him struggle with losing his family, he knows what must go down. However, he does get into it with the detective in charge of his case and even thinking about quitting. And yet, while he must act as a criminal, the fact he has a daughter shows his moral side when he decides to let the daughter of victim Zhong go instead of following orders. As we see Chen with Goetz, played by the excellent Volkram Zschiesche of One Million K(l)icks and Urban Fighter Fame, we get more of that emotional range Huang can convey. As for Zschiesche, it is sad not to see him throw down in this film, but he does quite well as a mastermind.

Of course, the reason this will appeal to fans is the martial arts choreography. Huang even brought in some of his fellow JC Stunt Team members such as Vi-Dan Tran (who served as a DOP) and Temur Mamishashvili, who plays one of Goetz’s crew here, to help with the action. The action is exhilarating as we see Chen resort to using his kicking skills and only a car key as a weapon. He also engages in a throwdown with Oz, played by the excellent Eskindir Tesfay of Coweb fame. With a running time of nearly 18 minutes, this is a short and sweet action film gem.

No Way Out is the short film that should introduce audiences to Max Huang. This could serve as just a preview of what to expect when he appears as Kung Lao in 2021’s Mortal Kombat reboot.

WFG RATING: A

A Max Huang Stunt Team production. Director: Max Huang. Producers: Anna-Barbara Widjaja, Muhammet Aksoy, Kamay Kan, Alex Lind, and Pia To.  Writer: Muhammet Aksoy. Cinematography: Dave Ardito, Vi-Dan Tran, and Zhong To. Editing: Cui Jian.

Cast: Max Huang, Eskindir Tesfay, Volkram Zschiesche, Stephen Sch Mariella Fu, Zhong To, Temur Mamishashvili.

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