City of Darkness

 

1998 (Cameo)

Yen’s appearances in this low-budget Taiwanese actioner are all too brief. He fights in fine form and his acting’s loose and natural. Yen plays a seasoned cop reluctant to return to the fray, but as a big brother figure, he comes to the assist of his friend Pen, a troubled cop still on the force. Much of the plot involves a power-hungry, vicious, and greedy villain named Duan Mu who wants possession of a legendary treasure and will do anything to get it; Duan Mu has a crooked cop, Pen’s superior, in his pocket to assist. Two misfits and a brother and sister discover they not only share the pieces of a jade necklace, but a father, and their necklace is the key to the treasure.

There’s an exciting grocery store shoot out in which Yen shows what he can do. Later, when he takes on a bandana-wearing giant, he tells him ‘You don’t fight with size but with your brain.’ Yen uses both, unleashing well-placed kicks and lightning-fast hands and impaling the guy on a stake. In the climactic fight scene in the woods, he takes on the villain. They’re both all punches and kicks, but Duan Mu unfairly releases a blade from his shoe which Yen’s character must evade. After defeating him, rather than kill him, Yen leaves him to suffer in shame for the errors of his ways.

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