Black Mask 2: City Of Masks

"Weak"

Black Mask 2: City Of Masks Review


Add Black Mask 2: City of Masks to the big-and-always-getting-bigger pile of sequels that never should have been made. Murky, silly, and shoddy around the edges, only the most obsessed of wire-fu fans need take note.

It didn't have to be that way. With genius Hong Kong director Tsui Hark and equally brilliant fight choreographer Yuen Wo Ping (of Matrix fame) at the helm, you'd expect something watchable, but in this case, a lame story wrapped in rudimentary CGI effects goes nowhere, despite some high-flying fights that add a few pulses of excitement.

Andy On steps into Jet Li's very big shoes to take on the role of do-gooder superhero Black Mask (aka Kang). This time around, Black Mask is trying to find out how became a genetically altered freak of nature, but the bad guys don't want him to know, so they keep killing off the geneticists he consults for help.

This string of killings puts geneticist Dr. Marco Leung (Teresa Herrera) in danger, and she becomes the damsel in distress who Black Mask will have to save over and over again as the movie clunks along.

Save from whom? From number one assassin Thorn (Tyler Mane), who can actually grown thorns for arms, as well as a gang of professional wrestlers who have been gene-spliced with a menagerie of animals to make them more exciting in the ring. Traci Lords, of all people, shows up as "Chameleon," a being who can literally fade into the woodwork while administering her kicks and karate chops. It's all very Hulk-like. When the wrestlers get overexcited they morph into monsters, and it's up to Black Mask to fight them in the street, on the ceiling, in mid-air, or wherever else they may turn up. In the film's most over-the-top moment, a herd of stampeding elephants takes over the streets while Black Mask and crew fight atop their backs. Don't ask.

Unlike Jet Li, Andy On is an actor first and not a trained fighter. Nevertheless, he does a decent job in the fight scenes (he must have spent some long days with Yuen Wo Ping), though most of the fights are eventually subverted by unacceptably bad special effects that are really inexcusable, even for direct-to-video fare. It's hard to know what went so wrong here. Did the money just run out? Perhaps it's best just to forgive Hark and hope he moves on quickly from this major stumble.

Grit your teeth and bear it.



Black Mask 2: City Of Masks

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 9th January 2003

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 3.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Moloch, as Black Mask, as King

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.