Junesploitation 2022: High Risk (1995)

June 4: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie— is 90s action! We’re excited to tackle a different genre every day, so check back and see what’s next.

Kit Li (Jet Li) is a Hong Kong Bomb Squad police officer who responds to the latest threat of The Doctor’s (Kelvin Wong in his final role) terrorist group. They’ve taken a school bus hostage and his wife and son are on board. He sends one of his team to diffuse it, but the complicated bomb explodes and everyone dies, including Kit’s family. He leaves the force behind and finds a new life as a stunt double for Frankie Lone (“God of Song” Jacky Cheung), a man who claims to do all his own stunts.

After Jacky’s latest movie wraps, Frankie’s father (Wu Ma) and his manager Charlie Tso (Charlie  Tso, who acted in Hong Kong softcore films and Police Story) invite Kit to the Hotel Grandeur for a jewelry show. The Doctor is on his way there and they cross paths as Jacky hears his voice, but no one will believe him. He and his gang destroy the hotel and his partner Fai-fai (Valerie Chow) uses her beauty to lead Jacky to a gang member named Kong (Billy Chow, Fist of Legend and the WKA world Welterweight champion from 1984 to 1986) who has dreamed of fighting the movie star. Jacky barely escapes with his life.

Meanwhile, a journalist named Helen (Chingmy Yau) out to expose Jacky’s secret discovers The Doctor’s identity. She and Kit fall in love over the course of this Die Hard scenario and if you don’t think that he won’t have to solve the same bomb that killed his family you haven’t been watching action movies.

How much does this movie make fun of Bruce Willis’ action epic? Its Hong Kong title was High Risk, Rat’s Bravery and Dragon’s Might which is very close to the name that Die Hard was released as in Hong Kong, Tiger’s Bravery and Dragon’s Might.

Director Wong Jing also made God of GamblersNaked Killer, the Street Fighter influenced Future Cops and City Hunter. That last movie is important as after it was released, star Jackie Chan not only disowned the film but also personally went after Wong in the press. Frankie Lone in this movie is supposedly Chan and the claim is that Jackie, like Jacky, is a drunken womanizer who doesn’t even do his own stuntwork. And while Jacky dresses like Bruce Lee, the fact that the Charlie Tso character is so similar to Jackie’s mentor Willie Chan hammers the point home.

The director of this film’s action, Corey Yuen Kwai, really pushed for this to outdo what American action was in the 90s. While Jet Li is, as always, astounding, the final hand-to-hand combat is between Jacky and Kong, as the star who has lived the high life for so long redeems himself.

Look for this movie as Meltdown on Tubi.

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