Immortal Fist: The Legend of Wing Chun (USA, 2017)

A teen learns of her destiny is this passion project from the husband-and-wife team of Lon and Elle Beyer.

Kaya Cohen is a sixteen-year-old foster child who is always getting yelled at by her foster mom, Claire. She also finds herself besieged by a gang of seven-year-old precocious kids led by Sasha. However, one fateful day, she finds herself followed and approached by a mysterious figure in Kabuki-like make up. However, a mysterious warrior named Tai Fong comes to her rescue. It is there where Kaya learns the truth about her destiny.

Kaya is the great-granddaughter of the legendary figure Wing Chun, and the last of her bloodline. To unlock her chi source, Tai Fong must cut her arm, but she refuses to let it happen. Tai Fong, an immortal warrior, is joined by three other immortals. They are Japh, Sari, and Goku. While Kaya attempts to show these warriors about modern times, they must help Kaya learn her destiny. At first Kaya refuses, but after meeting her great-grandmother, Kaya now must realize what’s in store when the demons have returned with one goal in mind: end the Wing Chun bloodline once and for all.

Martial arts couple Lon and Elle Beyer have come up with an interesting concept for a film. Take a kung fu legend and bring it to modern day times via a descendant. Sounds like a very fun concept for a martial arts film. Granted, it is clear the Beyers had something in mind when they made the film. However, they did leave out one small detail that would have made this more fun: a finale worth seeing. Perhaps because an idea was to leave it for a sequel? Who knows?

The only other issue of the film is the lead character of Kaya, played by Silvana Caminiti. She comes off as rather annoying for most of the film. It is reminiscent of Spy Kids where the kids come off as annoying only to eventually overcome their attitudes and become heroes. In the case of Kaya here, it sort of comes off as too little, too late as the final moments are a bit of a disappointment. However, a post-credit scene does make up and will make you cheer especially if you feel the same way I do about Kaya.

On the upside, the immortal warriors Tai Fong, Japh, Sari, and Goku are fun to watch. Tai Fong is played by Lon Beyer himself and with his experience in martial arts, it shows. He is quite proficient in many styles, especially here with the sword. As with Josh Fesler’s Japh, he is the overjoyed teen warrior who is the only one who really wants to befriend Kaya even as her protector. Tori Miller’s Sari is the tough female type who will not care and berates Japh when he attempts to tell Kaya about what she needs to do. William Benton’s Goku may be a precocious type, but he is wiser than he looks. As for Wing Chun herself, Elle Beyer makes the most of her screen time and it is mostly action, which looks fun for a film of this budget.

Immortal Fist: The Legend of Wing Chun looks more like it could serve as either a franchise beginning or even the pilot of a web series. It is somewhat fun at times, but with an annoying protagonist and disappointing final moment, it could have been better.

WFG RATING: C-

A Free Flow Academy Production. Director: Lon Beyer. Producers: Lon Beyer, Elle Beyer, and Michael Poole. Writer: Elle Beyer. Cinematography: Michael Poole. Editing: Lon Beyer, Elle Beyer, and Michael Poole.

Cast: Silvana Caminiti, Lon Beyer, Willian Benton, Tori Miller, Josh Fesler, Elle Beyer, Lilly Richard.

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