Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 17th, 2014
BluRay released: January 7th, 2014
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Though comedy and action have long gone hand in hand in Hong Kong and now Chinese cinema, the way in which they co-mingle in Badges of Fury is anything remotely successful. If one was inclined to track down comedy / action hybrids that are actually work , then you should check out films like Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle, Jackie Chan’s 1980’s and early 1990’s output or my personal favorite from this hybrid genre, Return to the 36th Chamber.
The plot or what semblance of a plot there is merely a loosely constructed back brace for what is obviously this film’s Modus Operandi, its ill fated attempt at humor. In fact the humor in this film can be best described as something one would expect from a Looney Toons cartoon.
It is not hard to pin point why this film fails in so many ways and a lot of that blame should firmly be placed on the shoulders of its director Wong Tsz Ming. His lacks of interest or inability to create characters or sustain plot drive moments are just a few of this first time filmmakers short comings. Other areas where this film often comes up short are it’s painfully obviously use of CGI and it’s lackluster fight scenes. With the latter being an especially bitter pill since this film does have Jet Li in its cast after all.
This is not a film that one would should judge by its performances since the entire cast all do their very best to embrace the insanity that unfolds onscreen. If there was any redeeming asset that this film has that would be Jet Li’s performance almost retired detective who subdued approach to each case provides this film with some of its rare moments of actual humor.
Overall Badges of Fury is nothing more than a endless series of punch lines that ultimately lack payoff.
Badges of Fury comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source materials used for this transfer looks very good as colors look appropriately vibrant, details look crisp throughout and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All of the audio mixes include with this release sound, clean, clear, balanced and robust when they need too. With that being said the obvious stronger tracks are the native Mandarin language tracks which don’t have that all to familiar canned feel that far too many English dubbed audio tracks do. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to read and follow.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 39 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen), a ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment (13 minutes 55 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles) and four ‘Making of’ segments; ‘The Guys’, ‘The Girls’, ‘Wen Zhang Action Scene’ and ‘Funny Stuff’(26 minutes 13 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in Mandarin with English subtitles). The extras are fairly standard as each participant talks about their involvement I the project and what it was like to work with the cast & crew. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Badges of Fury gets a strong audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.