Martial artist and filmmaker Yue Song unleashes this film with the cliché of a man trying to change his life but is forced back to action when his quest for a new life is threatened.
Yue plays Yue Feng, a former legend known as the “Street Fighter” who has been released from prison after serving an eight-year sentence for killing a former enemy. Upon his release, he learns that life after prison is not as easy as it seems. After helping a young woman, Xiao Yi (Li Yu Fei), who was accosted by robbers, Feng gets a job as a transport company when he finds himself nearly framed by two of his co-workers when they deliver computers at a local orphanage. However, Xiao Yi, who volunteers at the orphanage, gets his name clear.
For helping out Yi and vice versa, Feng eventually volunteers at the orphanage. It is here where he learns that a gang led by Li Shao (Yang Jun Ping) wants the property as it is located where Li wants to build a resort. Despite having the pull, the orphanage’s owner, Mr. Zhou (Wang Zaihe), refuses to sell. When Li and his men threaten violence, Feng finally begins to fight again. He soon learns that one of the gang members is his childhood friend A-Hai (Hou Xu), who had remained loyal to his old friend despite having some jealously over Feng’s skills. When Feng is challenged to fight to keep the orphanage, he must take on the entire gang, including his longtime friend. What will happen and will Feng be able to start life anew once this new mission is complete?
Yue Song, a martial artist from China, seems to pull off a “jack of all trades” with this film. Starting out with some viral videos of his skills, this film marks his feature film debut. Not only does he star in the film, he choreographed the film’s action, edited, served as production coordinator, produced, written the screenplay, and co-directed with Zhong Lei. For his film debut, Yue performs well as a man who is just trying to change his life after a prison sentence. While for the most part, things look to be good, the cliché of having to back to action soon kicks in and does so in a major way.
The supporting cast is quite interesting. Li Yu Fei proves to be the opposite of the “damsel in distress”, even getting in on some action at times as Yi, who eventually becomes a love interest of sorts, for Feng. The issue is that Yang Jun Ping’s Li Shao has the clichéd evil look and his gang members for the most part, have this sort of punk look that just screams “I’m evil and I know it”. This is especially noticeable in the form of Li’s two main henchmen, Wu Shen Bao’s Biao Zi and Fu Hai’s Wang Bo.
As mentioned, Yue Song is the film’s martial arts director and the fight scenes for the most part, look quite good. Yue does like to use a lot of Bruce Lee-like kicks when facing multiple opponents and at times, it seems too repetitive. However, what is interesting here is that the kicking is not the only aspect to Yue’s choreography. Yue incorporates mixed martial arts in some of the choreography, which enhances the action. There is even a nice little swordfight during the climactic bout between Feng and Li’s entire gang in an abandoned building. This climactic bout not only features this swordfight, but shows Feng using everything he can get his hands on and in addition, when an opponent uses an object, Feng deflects and uses the object himself or kicks through anything to get the knockout.
In conclusion, KING OF THE STREETS is a pretty decent film debut for Yue Song. He gives a pretty good performance and choreographs the action pretty well, even if repetitive at times. Definitely worth a rental.
King of the Streets (2012) • Yue Song