Iron Monkey 2 (1996)
It seems they tried to take Iron Monkey into the modern age. With guns, with a UFO-like blade with attached camera, with blood and violence and an ending in flames... again. But now without the original Iron Monkey.
It doesn't work.
Donnie Yen might still be there, but he's not the same person he used to be. The charm's gone. The plot's messy. It feels like they bit off more than they could chew - maybe fetched some inspiration from Jackie Chan's Miracles - a movie that seemed akin to American Mafia culture of the thirties with the classy gangster setting, but they fell short.
There's religion too now. And music. All foreign items and influences that come across either half-assed or just not suitable the traditional setting. It's neither that nor what it used to be, and they even sped up fighting sequences more! The ferocious pace of martial art movie classics just feels misplaced in their new world.
This could've been a good spin-off at least - the fighting choreography really is good sometimes, but alas, overall it's a mess.
It feels rushed and inconsequential. Without the strength, the focus or the finality, of the former.
rated 2.5/5: almost not bad