Stephen Fung

The Adventurers (2017)

theadventurers Hong-kong-icon

Andy Lau attempts at the biggest heist of his life in this loose adaptation of a John Woo classic from actor/musician turned director Stephen Fung.

Five years ago, master thief Zhang Dan attempted to steal one third of a prominent necklace known as Gaia. However, he found himself set up and put in prison. Having now been released, Zhang intends to find out who set him up while attempting to get the remaining pieces of Gaia so he can retire. Joining forces with his protege Chen Po and new team member Red Ye, Zhang finds himself trailed by French police officer Pierre, who was the very officer who put Zhang in jail five years ago.

When Zhang and his team successfully infiltrate a popular actress’ event and steals her necklace, which was up for auction for a charity, Zhang has one piece left to get. To accomplish this, Zhang must use Red as a pawn to infiltrate rich man Charlie Luo to get that final piece of Gaia. Meanwhile, Pierre finds himself an ally in Amber Li, an expert in curation who was once Zhang’s fiancee. While Pierre and Amber are hot on Zhang’s trail, complications will soon arise, threatening to end this final heist for the master thief.

You have got to hand it to Stephen Fung. The actor and musician turned director has churned out quite a filmography when it comes to his directing. From his directorial debut in 2004’s Enter the Phoenix to 2012’s kung fu-steampunk hybrid Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero, Fung’s brand of action has gained quite a following. His latest film, a loose adaptation of the John Woo classic Once a Thief, is a fun and wild action ride that keeps you wanting to root for our central character, master thief Zhang Dan.

And who better to play this thief than the Heavenly King Andy Lau? Lau is wonderful as the central character who thrives in doing his job but still feels conflicted. Having been released from prison in the film’s opening, Zhang feels he must get the job done as well as find out who was responsible for putting him in prison in the first place. The legendary Jean Reno serves as the “cat” to Lau’s “mouse” in the game as his Pierre is convinced that Zhang is not finished with business yet. However, despite his misgivings, there seems to be a line of respect between the two that goes back to the very day Zhang is arrested, resulting in that prison time.

Yo Yang serves up comic relief as Zhang’s protege Po, who when doing his scenes with Shu Qi (who married director Fung during the making of the film), attempts at wooing her with well, the expected results of rejection. Zhang Jingchu is perhaps the most conflicted character in Amber, the ex-fiancee of Zhang who wants to help Pierre perhaps for revenge, but yet still has a bit of a flame for her ex-lover. Eric Tsang makes the most of his role as Kong, Zhang’s mentor and handler, while Sha Yi gets the most of his role as Charlie, the owner of one of the Gaia pieces, with whom Shu Qi must use some flirtation with in order for the team to nab it.

The action sequences are quite fun. While they don’t really comprise of fistacuffs, they are still fun nonetheless. There are vehicle chase scenes that are up to par with the likes of The Transporter and Ronin amongst others. Shane Hurlbut’s cinematography is quite impressive when it comes to both action and the amazing aerial shots of the cities the film was set in, as Fung decided to use drone technology to capture these amazing views of the cities.

In conclusion, The Adventurers is a pretty fun heist flick. It is clear why Stephen Fung has truly made his mark on directing action films. Some great performances by Andy Lau and Jean Reno, blended some some stunning cinematography of the cities and some nice twists and turns in the film make this worth checking out.


Infinitus Motion Pictures present a Mannix Filming Co. Ltd. Production in association with Media Asia Films. Director: Stephen Fung. Producers: Stephen Fung, Andy Lau, Jiang Ping, Chen Jiande, Tomas Krejci, and Radomir Docekai. Writers: Stephen Fung, Lo Yiu-Fai, Steve Ha, Cheung Chi-Kwong, and Wong Hiu-Chong. Cinematography: Shane Hurlbut. Editing: Angie Lam and Joel Cox.

Cast: Andy Lau, Jean Reno, Shu Qi, Zhang Jingchu, Yo Yang, Eric Tsang, Sha Yi, You Tian-Yi, Karel Dobry.


Well Go USA Lands Fung’s “The Adventurers”


Stephen Fung‘s latest action adventure film will be landing in the U.S. thanks to the gang at Well Go USA.

The Adventurers, a loose remake of the classic John Woo film Once a Thief, stars Andy Lau as a thief who after a three-year imprisonment sets out on a major heist in Europe with a French detective, played by Jean Reno, hot on his trail.

Shu Qi, Eric Tsang, Tony Yang, and Zhang Jingchu co-star in the film which Fung and Lau serving as producers with a script by Fung, Cheung Chi-Kwong, Andy Lo and Steve Ha.

The film will get its Chinese release on August 11 and Well Go USA’s release is coming in the near future. In the meantime, check out their trailer for the film:

H/T: Film Combat Syndicate

Gen-Y Cops (2000)

genycops Hong-kong-icon

2000, Media Films/Regent Entertainment

Benny Chan
Thomas Chung
John Chong
Solon So
Benny Chan
Chan Kiu-Ying
Felix Chong
Bey Logan
Fletcher Poon
Cheung Ka-Fai

Stephen Fung (Match)
Sam Lee (Alien)
Edison Chen (Edison)
Paul Rudd (Ian Curtis)
Maggie Q (Jane Quigley)
Mark Hicks (Ross Tucker)
Richard Sun (Kurt)
Rachel Ngan (Oli)
Christy Chung (Inspector Cheung)
Vincent Kok (Dr. Lee)
Anthony Wong (Dr. Tang)
Eric Kot (Dr. Lai)
Cheung Tat-Ming (Lymon)

This sequel to Gen-X Cops may not have the tenacity of its predecessor, but it will be perhaps known today for the only Hong Kong appearance of Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd.

RS-1 is a robot created for the FBI to keep under protection for an upcoming world police exhibition in Hong Kong. On the day it is to be tested for the exhibition, a mysterious hacker has gotten into the robot’s internal system, causing chaos. Despite reservations from the credited creator of the robot, the government demands that RS-1 be taken to Hong Kong. In charge of protecting the robot are FBI agents Curtis, Quigley, and Tucker.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Gen-X Cops Match and Alien are sent to find undercover agent Edison, who is believed to be in trouble. However, after learning he had infiltrated a gang stealing Hong Kong’s police robot, the trio stop the gang and prepare for the exhibition. Edison also learns that his childhood friend Kurt is in town. Kurt is the designer of RS-1 but due to his brashness and youth, was fired from the company and now, plans to get RS-1 back at any cost. Using Edison as a pawn by drugging him, Edison steals the robot for Kurt, now making him a wanted man. Match and Alien must protect not only Edison when they learn the truth but the FBI when they want to nab the rookie cop as well in addition to stopping Kurt from doing the unimaginable to Hong Kong via RS-1.

While the original Gen-X Cops in 1999 was a breakthrough action film for some of the next generation talent in Hong Kong, this sequel was an attempt to bank a new star in the midst. Nicholas Tse, who played Jack in the original, opted not to return to the role alongside Stephen Fung and Sam Lee, who now play Match and Alien in a funny buddy action sort of way. Replacing Tse is Canadian-Chinese rapper and actor Edison Chen, who starts off promising, then is given to speak a certain way that just doesn’t seem to fit his character. However, he does bring a bit of redemption in the end. He may not be a Nicholas Tse, but he holds himself more or less.

The film’s interesting notoriety is that two of today’s major Hollywood stars appear in the film in major roles. First, there’s Paul Rudd, who sports curly blonde hair to play hard-headed FBI agent Ian Curtis. Curtis comes off to the Hong Kong police as arrogant and bias and he doesn’t care. He has a memorable scene with Match in which the two nearly come to blows in a hospital after an incident involving Edison. Rudd handles himself well in the action department with some doubling by Ron Smoorenburg, the Dutch-born superkicker of Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?, who also has a brief role in the film as a cage fighter in the first action scene with Match, Alien, and Edison.

The other Hollywood star today? Maggie Q, who plays fellow FBI agent Jane Quigley (a play on Q’s last name). Unlike her hotheaded colleague, she is more of a neutral party, even willing to listen to Edison after he admits he has been framed and holds her hostage. She is willing to take all routes even when Curtis thinks that the only reason why Edison couldn’t have done what he did was because he is “cute”. So there’s some clearance, there’s no romance between the two. Instead, Match has a bit of a steady girlfriend in police techie Oli while Alien is somewhat fixed up with a less attractive techie member.

While the film does suffer without Tse, thankfully, Stephen Fung and Sam Lee are able to take their own reigns and provide some of the film’s memorable comic relief, a play of what they achieved in the original. From their opening scene, it’s clear these two have not changed much and that’s a good thing. Even Alien’s attempt to speak English is quite a hoot at times and is meant to be that way. Match boasts about having a requisitioned Ferrari and come in comic odds at times with their new commander Chung, played with at-times air-headed panache by Christy Chung.

Nicky Li once again handles the action of the film and while Fung and Lee handle their own as does Rudd, Edison Chen, who is a newcomer here, is at times either doubled or forced to use wirework for some of his action scenes. The wirework stuff come off as if it could be better, but there are times when Fung and Lee are forced to resort to the same kind of wirework that makes the action a bit pale in comparison with the original. The finale is quite a hoot, with Rudd no longer being hotheaded but resorting back to his trademark comic wit in an unexpected manner.

In the end, Gen-Y Cops may suffer from Nicholas Tse missing and replacement Edison Chen playing a mixed bag along with some mixed bag action overall. However, Stephen Fung, Sam Lee, and Paul Rudd seem to save the film from total annihilation.

A little disclaimer for those who would want to see the film: Avoid SyFy Channel’s cut of the film, re-titled Metal Mayhem as it cuts quite a lot for the film leaving many plot holes. The Universal DVD of the film seems to have the more complete version seen in Hong Kong…and for the record, Jackie Chan had no involvement on this film as he did with the original.



Gen-X Cops (1999)

genxcops Hong-kong-icon

1999, Media Asia Films

Benny Chan
John Chong
Solon So
Benny Chan
Benny Chan
Peter Tsi
Koan Hui
Anna Lee
Arthur Wong
Fletcher Poon
Azrael Cheung
Cheung Ka-Fai

Nicholas Tse (Jack)
Stephen Fung (Match)
Sam Lee (Alien)
Grace Ip (Y2K)
Daniel Wu (Daniel)
Eric Tsang (Inspector Chan)
Francis Ng (“Mad Dog” Lok)
Toru Nakamura (Akatora)
Terence Yin (Tooth)
Jaymee Ong (Haze)
Moses Chan (Inspector To)
Gordon Lam (Dinosaur)

Highlighting a new generation of Hong Kong actors, this action-packed film was executive produced by none other than Jackie Chan.

When Dinosaur, a top-ranking Hong Kong gang lord must hide out in the Philippines, he entrusts his younger brother Daniel to take over. Daniel, who has arrived from Canada, has other plans in mind. En route to his escape, Dinosaur is stopped by the Japanese gangster Akatora and in a bold move, Daniel shoots his brother in the head in retaliation for the constant abuse from him. Akatora promises Daniel major funding to help him transport a recently stolen cargo of rocket fuel.

The Hong Kong Police Department have learned of Dinosaur’s death and are tracking down the mysterious Akatora. With rival inspectors To and Chan assigned to the case but in different missions, To slacks off but acts like a big shot to Chan, who comes up with an idea. In searching for cops who may have the look to infiltrate Daniel, Chan meets three recruits who have just been expelled from the academy. After some careful convincing and a major dare, Chan recruits Jack, Match, and Alien, along with Y2K, the sister of the cop who busted Dinosaur before his death, and together, they become the Gen-X Cops. However, their methods to solve the case don’t bode well with To and his men. And what does Akatora really have planned in all the chaos?

In a 1990 interview seen in the documentary The Best of the Martial Arts Films, Jackie Chan had once stated that he is looking for some “new blood” and this film may be a result of that search. Serving as executive producer, he collaborated with Who Am I? director Benny Chan to craft a new film that would mesh the trademark action of Hong Kong and bring in Hollywood-style visual effects with one thing in mind: to introduce a new generation of local actors to the mainstream of the Jade Screens.

Having just made their film debuts between a year and two years prior to this film, the trio of Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, and Sam Lee all went from relative newcomers who gained some critical acclaim for their first major roles to mainstream action stars with this film. Tse is the “no regrets” leader of the group Jack, with Fung being the ladies’ man Match while Lee provides some of the film’s comic relief as third member Alien. Add Grace Ip, who plays the technician Y2K and the always fun to watch Eric Tsang as their team leader and you have a sure fire heroic team who rely on both their sharp wits combined with their Gen-X style of doing things.

After his debut performances in the critically acclaimed Bishonen and appearing with Tse and Lee in Young and Dangerous: The Prequel, Daniel Wu breaks through in his role of low level Hong Kong gangster Daniel, who has always wanted respect but never got it. To earn it himself, he does the unthinkable and makes the gangster his own yet at the same time, still serves as a puppet to the real villain of the film, Akatora, played with a sense of mysteriousness from Japanese actor Toru Nakamura. Francis Ng once again brings the level of craziness he is best known for in the role of Dinosaur’s most trusted ally, “Mad Dog” Lok, who seeks to find Dinosaur’s killer and has a memorable scene when confronted by Akatora himself.

Jackie Chan would unleash the action in the form of bringing his stunt team (at the time) leader Nicky Li to choreograph the film’s stunts and action scenes. He even loaned out members Ken Low and Brad Allan to play small roles with Allan even training Tse in some of the martial arts moves necessary for the action. Kudos goes especially to Tse, Fung, and Lee, who perform most of their own dangerous stunts in the film. A Hollywood-based stunt team assisted with some of the aerial stunts of the film but the piece de resistance is the visual effects team who blew up the White House in the 1996 sci-fi hit Independence Day were brought in to blow up one of Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks and its ranks as one of the best things about the film. Finally, look out for a cameo by a certain Mr. Chan as well.

A sequel, Gen-Y Cops, was made a year later and is perhaps known today for the appearances of current Hollywood stars Maggie Q and in his only Hong Kong film to date, Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd, as FBI agents who are first rivals then allies to the hero cops. Tse was replaced by newcomer Edison Chen with Fung and Lee returning to their roles. Wu and Fung would eventually join forces as executive producers with Wu as the star of the hit AMC series Into the Badlands with Fung as one of the action directors.

Gen-X Cops is a fun action-packed wild ride that showcases the talents of the millennium generation of Hong Kong stars. When Jackie Chan said he was looking for new blood, he found it first with this group.




Ding and Fung to bring more “Better Tomorrows”?


In what can be considered the strangest of remake and sequel news, it looks like two Hong Kong directors are planning remakes of the 1986 classic John Woo film A Better Tomorrow, which made the breakthrough role for Chow Yun-Fat. A Hindi-language remake, Aatish: Feel the Fire, was released in 1994 and a Korean remake from Song Hae-Sung was released in 2010.

Now, it is looking like the film is getting not one but two remakes. Or could it be a remake and actually…a sequel?! The first rumored remake is looking to be directed by Stephen Fung, who is currently developing his latest directing effort, The Adventurers and is scheduled for work on season 2 of the AMC series Into the Badlands as action unit director soon.

The most recent rumor comes in the form of the teaser poster above, which is indicating that the second remake may possibly be a sequel as it sports the title A Better Tomorrow 4. The director, Ding Sheng, has worked with Jackie Chan on Little Big SoldierPolice Story 2013 (aka Police Story: Lockdown), and the upcoming Railroad Tigers as well as Andy Lau on the biopic Saving Mr. Wu.

Who will be making the first of the two films and will it be able to carry the same tone and depth of the 1986 original? We shall soon see…

H/T: Screen Anarchy, Ryan Ra Facebook (Poster)


Stephen Fung’s action film “Adventurers” shoots in May


Stephen Fung is one of Hong Kong’s top talents, beginning his career as a musician in the late 1990’s, then as an actor, then a director with surprisingly good films such as Enter the Phoenix and House of Fury. Recently, Fung worked as the director of the action unit behind AMC’s hit series Into the Badlands, which has recently been renewed for a season two.

However, while fans wait for the return of that series, Fung is heading back behind the cameras for the first time in four years in May with his newest film, The Adventurers. The project is one of thirteen new films behind Flagship Entertainment, a new company formed by TVB, Warner Brothers, and China Media Capital. While plot details only reveal an overseas treasure hunt, the only actor officially cast is William Shaofeng Feng, who will play the lead role.

Fung’s last feature directorial effort behind the cameras was the 2012 two-part saga Tai Chi Zero and Tai Chi Hero, which combined period martial arts and steampunk. Fung was scheduled to have directed the reboot Kickboxer: Vengeance but left just before production began in 2014 with John Stockwell taking over.

The Adventurers is due for release either in late 2016 or early 2017 from Flagship Entertainment.

H/T: HKSAR Film Top 10 Box Office


REVIEW: The Avenging Fist (2001)



2001, Sil-Metropole Organisation/StarEast/B.O.B. and Partners Ltd.

Andrew Lau
Corey Yuen
Wong Jing
Andrew Lau
Jessinta Liu
Thirteen Chan
Lai Yiu-Fai
Danny Pang

Wang Leehom (Nova)
Stephen Fung (Iron Surfer)
Gigi Leung (Erika)
Kristy Yeung (Belle)
Yuen Biao (Thunder)
Sammo Hung (Dark)
Roy Cheung (Combat 21)
Cecilia Yip (Wing)
Chin Kar-Lok (Jazz)
Ekin Cheng (Young Dark)

Originally conceived as a film adaptation of the video game Tekken, the film ultimately becomes a sci-fi film whose flaws overshadow its positive elements.

Twenty years ago, the government began an experiment with a device called the Power Glove. The Power Glove is to tap inside the power of its bearer. Three notable volunteers for this experiment were police officer Dark and his two best friends Thunder and Combat 21. However, the experiment was a failure due to various side effects. For Dark, he gained weight and learns how long he will have left in the world. Combat 21 goes on the brink of insanity, blaming the government for the failure of the Power Glove. He had kidnapped Thunder and made him his lethal enforcer for his eventual quest for revenge.

Nova is a young adapt fighter who after breaking his vow by fighting the current champion Iron Surfer, become friends with him when Nova’s sister Belle becomes romantically involved with the fighter, who also works as a bar owner. Nova’s dream is to get the Power Glove so he can excel in his powers taught to him by his mother Wing. However, what Nova soon learns is that he and his family are being hunted down by Combat 21 because Nova is none other than Thunder’s son, thus enabling him with the DNA that can tap into the power of the Power Glove.

Wong Jing, why could you have just ask Namco for the rights to make this film Tekken? Not that it helped. Having succeeded with making the Street Fighter II satire Future Cops in 1993, Wong Jing figured lightning could strike twice. However, the prolific producer made the mistake of not asking for Namco for permission to use the name Tekken upon making the film. Instead, he had Thirteen Chan re-write the script into a sci-fi film which involved a so-called “Power Glove”, which taps into a forbidden zone that can cause death if not used properly or have devastating side effects. However, the film has more flaws despite the team of Andrew Lau and Corey Yuen directing. Luckily, a year later both would find redemption, Lau with Infernal Affairs and Yuen with The Transporter.

American-born Chinese actor/musician Wang Leehom appears as Nova in his second film. Wang makes the most of what he has to work with as well as Stephen Fung, whose character Iron Surfer is truly based on the Tekken character of Hwaorang minus all the kicking combinations. Kristy Yeung and Gigi Leung do not offer much substance aside from just playing typical love interests to Fung and Wang respectively. While Yuen Biao does get some action on his side, Sammo Hung is terribly wasted as Dark. Roy Cheung looks like he is having fun in his role of Combat 21, who looks more like M. Bison from Street Fighter than a character out of Tekken.

Sadly, the action is a mixed bag. Some of the fights are marred by some pretty bad computer effects, such as Iron Surfer’s first fight against a Bryan Fury-like opponent played by Dutch wunderkind Ron Smoorenburg, thus wasting the Dutchman’s talents. The crashing of Nova’s birthday by Thunder and members of Combat 21’s army is not a bad fight but not exactly one to write home about. Even the finale, pitting Nova and Iron Surfer against Combat 21, is quite a disappointment due to its use of computer effects and unimpressive use of wirework here. This is one film that would have been better.

The Avenging Fist is a disappointing attempt to merge sci-fi with martial arts action. Despite the cast’s attempts to make this watchable, the action and lack of use for Gigi Leung and Kristy Yang, makes this film a sad dud.


Well Go USA Home Entertainment will be releasing this film on DVD on October 13, 2015. Extras include the trailers for this film, Enter the Dangerous Mind, The Zero Theorem, and Tai Chi Zero.



Seven Hong Kong Action Films Coming to DVD on October 6

On October 6, fans will be treated when a total of seven Hong Kong action films will be released on DVD by Well Go USA Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Home Entertainment. First up, Well Go USA will be releasing two films.


The Raid (not the awesome Indonesian martial arts action film) was released in 1991 and directed by the legendary Tsui Hark. The film stars Jacky Cheung, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, and in one of his final film performances, legendary Hong Kong comic actor Dean Shek.

“The time is 1930s. China is in a state of turmoil and flurry. The dethroned Emperor Pu-Yi establishes the Puppet State of Manchukuo in Manchuria and is in cooperation with the Japanese in the test for a poisonous gas. The revolutionary army headed by Lieutenant Mong is designated to crush this vicious plot. During his mission, he comes across witty and valiant veteran Uncle Choy and his friends, who volunteer to help. Mong keeps a view that Uncle Choy is too old to join them. How can Uncle Choy prove himself? Can Mong and Uncle Choy succeed in their mission?”


The Avenging Fist, released in 2001, was meant to have been an adaptation of the video game Tekken. However, when it was revealed that producer Wong Jing did not get Namco’s permission, he changed the names of the characters but some of the characteristics are still there. The film was co-directed by Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Corey Yuen (The Transporter) and stars Leehom Wang, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Stephen Fung, Kristy Yeung, and Roy Cheung.

“Scientists’ experiments on the Power Glove are on the verge of success. Power glove is designed to activate the hidden potential in human’s brain to empower the force of human beings. Special agent Dark, Thunder and War 21 are the only survivors in that experiment. Ambitious War 21 gets evil. He captures Thunder with a power glove and disappears… He has become Dark’s fugitive for 20 years. Two decades later, War 21 comes back with brainwashed Thunder and his underground troop aiming to rule the world. Dark is failed to eliminate them but he realizes Thunder has a son who also has the DNA, which enables him to use the power glove to challenge War 21, eventually…”


Anchor Bay Home Entertainment will be unleashing the Dragon Dynasty 5-Pack, which will consist of four films starring Jet Li and one film starring Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle)

Born to Defense (1988) is the only film Jet Li has directed and revolves around a former World War II fighter who takes on a band of abusive Marines after he returns home and finds they are taking way too much advantage of their surroundings. The film co-stars Bloodsport‘s Paulo Tocha and the late Kurt Roland Pettersson as the villains of the film.

The Defender, originally called The Bodyguard from Beijing (1994) is a HK remake of the film The Bodyguard minus the singing music. It features a nicely shot finale between Li and Collin Chou (The Forbidden Kingdom).

The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk (1993) is the first of a two-film saga where Li plays another folk hero, Fong Sai Yuk, who studied martial arts from his mother and gets himself involved in a conspiracy plot. The film co-stars Li’s replacement in the Once Upon a Time in China series, Vincent Zhao, as the main villain.

Once Upon a Time in China and America (1996) was Li’s official return to the series, returning as legendary martial arts icon Wong Fei-Hung. While in America visiting an old friend, he suffers from amnesia and is taken in by a friendly Native American tribe. Meanwhile, bandits and slave drivers are set to cause some trouble. Directed by Sammo Hung, the film co-stars Rosamund Kwan, Xiong Xin-Xin, and Jeff Wolfe.

From Beijing with Love (1994) is Stephen Chow’s take on the famous James Bond story. For those who are familiar with Chow’s mo lei tau style, expect his usual goofy antics in this Lee Lik-Chi directed film that co-stars Anita Yuen and Law Kar-Ying as the “Q” of the film.

All seven of these Hong Kong films will be in stores on October 6 on DVD. The Raid and The Avenging Fist will be released by Well Go USA and the Dragon Dynasty 5-Pack will be released by Anchor Bay.