Action fans know that Well Go USA’s streaming service which is appropriately called HI-YAH! will certainly attest to the fact that it’s a super value at only $3.99 a month and with the selection of ass kicking martial arts and shoot ’em ups, both old and new, offered on the site, one would be hard pressed to look anywhere else for this much bang for so little buck.
One new aspect that also should attract genre fans to the service is a never-ending supply of original films that debut exclusively on the service before hitting Blu-Ray and DVD eventually. Fromm ass kicking thrillers to super charged Gun Fu epics, there’s numerous new titles launching every month that will satisfy your need for action.
One such mentionable title is the 2020 Vietnamese offering Foggy Mountain which just debuted last Friday. Starring martial arts phenom Peter Pham, this revenge lace thriller is right up the level that fans are craving for. Pham is most certainly an underrated talent only having starred in a hand full of films with one being a HI-YAH! short film original but he should get noticed now with this bone breaking, knee and elbow throwing slugfest that pits his stoic and extremely bad ass character up against the man who killed his wife.
The plot for Foggy Mountain will definitely not reinvent the wheel but it serves the purpose to feature numerous sequences of body jarring fisticuffs to be had. Pham stars as Phi who runs afoul of sinister and slimy villain Ba Rau when he wins an underground match he wasn’t supposed to. Forcing Ba Rau to lose a lot of money, the latter viciously kills Phi’s ailing wife as punishment.
Fast Forward and now Phi is trying to live out the rest of his existence but that proves impossible as the criminal empire run by Ba Rau is systematically terrorizing villagers on a mountain. They kidnap women and children, beat up the men and pretty much just do anything and everything that is despicable. Phi reluctantly helps out the villagers which puts him on a fist and feet flying course with Bau Rau, his henchmen and his deadly right-hand man Vong Akork (Simon Kwook).
Foggy Mountain is straight forward and as advertised and perfect for the streaming service as it features multiple beatdowns every few minutes and stars a never smile good guy who doesn’t want to get involved but does anyway because…you know…he’s a good guy. Directors Phan Anh and Ken Dinh never convolute the storyline and deliver what they know fans want. Pham is still a sympathetic lead here and you want to see him dispense his form of life altering justice on those who harmed them because they are truly snakes and deserve what’s coming to them.
The fights are quick and painful for the most part with Pham demonstrating just how efficient he is but it’s the finale with Kook that is the longest and show stopping in its choreography. Kook is certainly a great look for the main opponent, and he gives Pham the most trouble in a fight that is brutal and hyper-kinetic. It’s a fight that features the strengths of both opponents and Pham really pours on the lightning speed here as well.
Negatively, most of the characters are forgettable and the dialogue is really standard stuff with many scenes not even featuring talking at all and the subtitles sometimes do not gel with what is going on during the scene which can get a little annoying. The night action is unfortunately hard to see as the lighting leaves a lot to be desired but thankfully all the good stuff happens during the day.
There is a cunning twist to be had at the end of the story and even though it’s a somber affair, it’s wrapped up nicely and there is some light at the end of this title. There is no real levity to be had here though so it’s pretty heavy and serious throughout.
Overall, Foggy Mountain isn’t Furie which is another solid Vietnamese actioner but it’s still serviceable and features non-stop pounding and beating. Peter Pham definitely deserves to be showcased more and hopefully he will get more opportunities in the future because he is really a phenomenal martial arts talent. This is standard stuff but that’s not why you’ll be watching as it’s all about the bludgeoning, kicking, and elbowing here and with that, this is a solid entry in the vengeance subgenre. Don’t expect MacBeth and you’ll have a great time if this is the type of film you gravitate to and if you have HI-YAH! then chances are, you do.