However, despite its title, Fatal Move is severely lacking in compelling action scenes. You have the tired car chases, and it seems that there was little effort in trying to milk what Wu Jing and Sammo Hung could do. They’re martial arts exponents, but get to handle guns most of the time, and this does not exploit the skills they are trained with, which you can probably employ anyone to take over their place. Most of the fighting sequences were courtesy of Wu Jing, who’s especially mean with his lopsided blue-dyed hairdo and an extremely sharp sword, but given no competent exponent character-wise to spar with him, it all boiled down to a one-sided affair. Seriously I’m a fan of his and I think it’s about high time he takes over the starring role mantle for Chinese action movie stars, instead of getting bogged down playing side show villains.
What gets compensated for the uninspiring action sequences, was blood and gore done in CGI. I’m placing my bets that Herman Yau, as director of photography here, would have added some of his own pointers in this aspect, and the camera does linger on in some of the more violent and gory aspects, such as pumping continuous lead into a body, and various forms of decapitations involving limbs and fingers, right down to a castration. The much touted fight between Sammo Hung and Wu Jing was the main draw for me I have to admit, but if you were to put SPL and this side by side, Wu Jing vs Donnie Yen had a lot more intensity and slick moves compared to Wu Jing vs Sammo Hung.
But alas despite the M18 rating here, the movie was still subjected to multiple edits (originally rated R21 uncut, but no thanks of course to money-making distributors), and most of the gory bits couldn’t escape the censor’s scissors. What made it unforgivable, was that the much awaited duel too became victim, and for that, with the insipid storyline and relatively generic action, I would have to recommend that this be skipped at the cinemas, and rent the DVD if you’re really interested.
AKA: Duo Shuai
Directed: Dennis Law
Cast: Samo Hung, Simon Yam, Tien Niu, Jacky wu, Danny Lee
Runtime: 100 mins
Country: Hong Kong
Subtitles: English hardcoded (custom sub)