Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 30th, 2012
BluRay released: December 4th, 2012
Approximate running time: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Mandarin, Dolby Digital Stereo Mandarin
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Wu Dang was directed by Patrick Leung, who’s other notable films include Born Wild and Blade of Kings. Key collaborators on Wu Dang include cinematographer Tony Cheung (Legend of the Drunken Master, White Vengeance) and composer Kin Law (Twins Mission, Dragon Blade).
The plot primarily revolves around a conman character, who uses his daughters participation in a martial arts tournament to help him steal seven priceless treasures. The narrative also tries to weave several subplot’s with mixed results. Most notably a rival thief and his henchmen, who are hell bent on procuring the treasures for themselves and the obligatory love story in thrown in for good measure.
From a premise stand point this film should have been so much better then what ended up onscreen. First off, there is little if any regard given to character development and back-story. This film is determined to flush any substance in favor of showcasing the spectacle. This film at its core is style of substance and then some. Also if you are looking for anything that remotely resembles reality, you should look elsewhere. Since there is not a single moment in the film that comes close to being rooted in reality.
Other areas in which this film is often lacking include its cheaply realized CGI that often calls attention to itself. And its inconsistent action set pieces which range from good to average, with the bulk of them falling into the latter category.
Performance wise, the cast are merely nothing more than pieces on a chess board. They serve their function and not much more. If any performance has any merit that would be Mini Yang (Painted Skin: The Resurrection) in the role of Tianxin, a young looking to acquire one of the seven treasures because it once belonged to her family. To accomplish her goal she teams up with the conman character, who is portrayed by Siu-Wong Fan (Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky). His character can best be summed up as a martial arts version of the Indiana Jones character.
Wu Dang comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look consistent good and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Mandarin. Though both audio mixes are in great shape. There is really no reason not to listen to the DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Mandarin. This audio mix offers up a dynamic audio experience that takes full advantage of not only the more action oriented moments, but also the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are fully exploited. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 33 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette (31 minutes 13 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Chinese with English subtitles). The bulk of this ‘Behind the Scenes’ featurette is made up on set footage, with some comments from those involved in the film interspersed throughout. Also included with this release are trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Wu Dang gets a first rate release from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.