Arya's In-Flight Asian Film Festival


City Under Siege
Director: Benny Chan
Hong Kong

Easily the worst movie I saw on this endeavor. I have to admit I didn't even bother finishing it, so feel free to dismis this review as easily as I dismissed the movie. Though do keep in mind that I was stuck on a plane, with plenty of time to kill, and the dulling pain of the economy class seat and a four year old sitting next to me was an escape from this movie.

It concerns a hidden treasure of Japanese mutagen buried in Malaysia during WWII when the Allied bombed them to shits. Decades later, it is found by a Chinese circus troupe, who uses their newfound superpowers to spring a crime spree rampage throughout the city. The only person who can stop them is an infected Sunny, the bullied circus clown who dreams of becoming a skilled knife thrower like his legendary father. It's barely fifteen minutes into the movie, and we're already treated with terrible jokes, sappy backstories and acting so awful it transcends the language barrier. No matter. Soon they all have superpowered wire fu with some bad CGI thrown in.

Director Benny Chan turns up the camp for this one, except I don't believe he meant it as camp, having seen his at-once extravagant and schmaltzy New Police Story, Gen-X Cops and Rob-B-Hood. Chan seems to be sincere in wanting people to take his over-the-top actions seriously, and even expect our emotional involvement in the ludicrous personalities of his characters. What, we're supposed to feel proud when Sunny lives up to sepia-toned flashbacks of his dad? City Under Siege promises to be X-Men with loads of kung fu, but it has the aesthetic grace of the Vanilla Ice portion in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II.

US release unknown.

Arya Ponto • Contributor

As former Editor of JPP, Arya likes to entertain peeps with his thoughts on pop culture, when he's not busy watching Battle Royale for the 200th time. He lives in Brooklyn with a comic book collection that's always the most daunting thing to move with, and writes for


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