DVD Review: “Wu Dang”

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I know, most of you out there are looking forward to your Thanksgiving turkey and the shopping frenzy of Black Friday. But for those of you wanting a shot of sweet martial arts action to perk up your holiday and provide a little inspiration before taking on the Black Friday masses with “Wu Dang”, a copy of which Well Go Entertainment sent our way for review.

“Wu Dang” takes us back to the recent history of China, to the fall of the Emperors and the start of Republican China. Off in the Wu Dang Mountains, it is said, are seven great treasures waiting to be found, drawing men from all around the world to attempt to find them and take them for themselves. But with seven great treasures waiting, and men coming from all around the world to find them, it’s not surprising that these are very valuable. Sufficiently valuable, of course, that they’re very highly protected.

Now it’s up to Professor Tang to find the treasures and protect them before they can be taken by one of the many going forth to claim them, under the guise of a martial arts tournament taking place on Wu Dang Mountain.

I’ve often thought of the Chinese as one of the best when it comes to action movies–sure, the United States has put out more than its share of explosive blockbusters, but the Chinese can make an epic out of nearly anything–because they’ve got a little more subtlety going on than the forceful bombast of American action. Chinese action will often throw in a hefty dollop of humor to round out its proceedings, and “Wu Dang” will prove no exception, with elements of action, drama, thrillers and a little comedy for spice.

This is extremely rich cinematic fare, and action buffs should be very pleased with what they’re seeing here. Some may have issues with the pacing, or the extra dollop of drama tossed in here for variety, but for the most part, there will be plenty of high-kicking, high-flying high adventure and treasure hunting for all. It’s surprisingly fun–the writing could have stood a bit of shoring up in some places, but still–and there’s plenty of excitement to go around.

“Wu Dang” will pack a pretty powerful punch indeed, though not all will be happy with its results. Still though, for those who enjoy action movies, this one will serve well, and those who like Chinese action movies like I do will be very pleased indeed.

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