I usually chuckle derisively at boneheads who claim that subtitles are unnecessary work when you should be enjoying movies. But with Black Mask I might flip the saying around a bit (where Black Mask is concerned) reading subtitles is a welcome distraction from being forced to watch this lamentable film…
I’ve always found that reviews which essentially say ‘this sucks’ and/or ‘don’t watch it even if you are a massive Jet Li fan’ are more opinions than reviews, and while my reviews are of course opinionated, I feel obligated to tell you more about this snore-fest.
The army has conjured up some soldiers that are incapable of feeling pain – apparently this was tested by telling them they were going to watch Fist of Legend and then subjecting them to this – anyone not pissed off is ‘in’. This team of emotionless, bland, unfeeling killing machines are called the ‘filmmakers of Black Mask’ (seriously are you getting how disappointed I was about this film?), I mean Squad 701.
One escapes. Dun-Dun-DUNNNNNN!! In true tongue twisting fashion he decides to lay low in a library, which I guess makes him a lay-low-li-brarian? He becomes friends with only one man, a violent and determined cop who can’t understand his pacifism.
Meanwhile ‘someone’ known as Black Mask is doing the cop’s job by taking out local drug dealers and naughty types in the area. No idea who that might be…
A woman shows up to be an inexplicable and unnecessary love interest around a plot which is incredibly John Woo-lite in all respects, only with Universal Soldier rip-offs to spice up things.
The action is heavily wire reliant and sooo desperately wants to be stylish and Aeon Flux-ey, if you will recall Aeon Flux was a cool animated short that appeared on MTV in the early 90s, that was converted into an awful live action movie in 2005 notable for only Charlise Theron side-boob.
Final Rating – 5 / 10. Thanks to inferior action and a labyrinthine yet pointless plot Black Mask ends up as little more than an almost forgotten flick from a bygone era. One which would be entirely forgotten were it not for Jet Li’s name above the title. Black Mask remains only as a Black Mark on Jet Li’s career.