To Kill with Intrigue

Reviewed by Jack Sobjack

In Jackie Chan’s autobiography “I Am Jackie Chan,” he shares with us what a miserable time he and the crew had while shooting To Kill With Intrigue. It was filmed in Korea and the weather was very cold. So cold that the film equipment froze! I would say that’s pretty cold. And one of the first things I noticed when I watched it was how you could see the actors breath throughout most of it. But I really think it paid off though. The location and weather seemed to really help create the mood of this film even with an already bleak story.

This is by no means your usual Chan film and unfortunately it may have a very limited audience. People who discovered Chan ala “Rush Hour” or “Shanghai Noon” will almost certainly not like TKWI. Fans of Chan classics such as “Drunken Master 2” or “Police Story” don’t/won’t like it. Even fans of his “old school” films such as the original “Drunken Master” and “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow” probably won’t really like it. But you never know….
Jackie is Lord Siao Lei whose entire family is slaughtered by the Killer Bee Gang. The leader of this gang, Ding (Hsu Feng), spares Siao because…she loves him! I can’t think of a better way to show someone you care. Well, Ding starts to realize Siao may not be in love with her as he wanders aimlessly through the countryside shouting “Chin Chin” (Siao’s girlfriend). Meanwhile, a “good friend” of Siao is looking after Chin Chin. And this “good friend” not only convinces her that Siao is dead but that she should marry him. Knowing this, Ding trains Siao so he may have his revenge. But before letting him leave he must first defeat her. The kicker is what happens each time that he loses. You’ll just have to see that for yourself.
I was surprised to see Jackie play such a despondent character. He’s certainly had dramatic roles before (“Heart of Dragon,” “Crime Story” and “Dragon Fist”) but I have never seen him more reserved and melancholy than in this film. This review could in no way be complete without a word (or two) about Hsu Feng: Incredible, beautiful, mesmerizing, haunting, soft, lovely and strong. Oops, that was seven words.
Just check this one out. Director Lo Wei was very generous in giving the viewer plenty of close-ups of Hsu Feng. And the location was very beautiful. Some of the fight scenes were average at best but the ones between Jackie and Hsu were very entertaining. And if anyone knows the name of the actress who played Jackie’s girlfriend please let me know. Never let it be said Lo Wei doesn’t have great taste in women.

My rating for this film: 7.0