King of the Streets, China’s first street-fighting movie, pits real-life martial artist Yue Song against more than 10 of the world’s top contenders in MMA, Jiu-jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Sanda, and Muay Thai boxing. Yue Feng (Yue Song) is a young thug with exceptional streetfighting abilities. He will stop at nothing to defeat all challengers – until, in an tragic accident, he kills a fellow competitor and is sent to prison. Eight years later, Yue Feng emerges a changed man. He no longer fights, and is looking for a new life of peace and fulfillment. But it’s brutal on the streets, and redemption doesn’t come easy. His brotherhood is destroyed, family members murdered, and a loved one humiliated – a deadly chain reaction that leaves him no choice but to unleash his power in the name of justice.
King of the Streets takes a well-known story and doesn’t do much to deviate from it. That’s not to say it’s a bad story; there are varying levels of depth and emotion at play here, more than I expected, in fact. This is about a changed man who struggles with his past, quickly learning that the world around him hasn’t changed one bit. It’s a mechanic that works well with redemption stories, and it holds the narrative together well for this one. That being said, the film ends on a really strange note that sours the whole experience. It leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and there was still plenty of screen time left to fill in the blanks. The characters are your typical types here, but the real star is Yue Feng. There is a direct change in attitude with him, and his tranquil appearance can quickly become something deadly. The love story feels forced, and more of the thugs could have had more character, which was a missed opportuinty. The cast may have been too big for a film of this scope, but Yue Feng’s evolution as a person is an interesting one to watch.
If you’re looking for a fight, you’ve come to the right place. Yue Song is clearly a skilled fighter, though I wish it was shown more clearly. The occasional blur effects with quick editing and speed ramping will be off-putting to some, but there are some solid hits hidden behind all of that. The final fight is pretty impressive, and there are over 10 big fighters ranging from MMA to Jeet Kune Do and Jiu-Jitsu. I can’t wait to see how Yue Song showcases his talents the next time around. King of the Streets isn’t going to be blowing anyone’s minds. Well, besides the ending, but that’s for a different reason entirely. Even with these strikes against it, I enjoyed the film for what it was. Yue Song might have a ways to go to prove himself in the industry, but it’s a solid first step that all martial arts fans should check out.
This is a low budget film but doesn’t affect the way it looks as the picture quality looks pretty good, probably due to editing. Overall the film is a decent watch with an OK story line. The King of The Streets feels like a project film with playing with the camera and effects that switch up in the film (by effects I’m not talking about explosions and blood flying, but by the way the scene looks like using gradients and different aperture settings). All in all, it was a decent watch.