Black Mask

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * · · · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * · · )

Buy Black Mask from

I became a Jet Lee fan after only one movie, Lethal Weapon 4. In a movie that didn't have much else going for it, he was quite a kick (no pun intended) to watch. I guess that got me excited when I rented Jet Lee's Black Mask. I wasn't looking for the next Citizen Kane when it came to plot, but I did figure on some great kung fu. Well, I was wrong. Black mask has a lot of explosions, a lot of bullets, a lot of punching and kicking, but none of the cool stuff I expected. I couldn't tell you what good kung fu is, but I know what I like and this isn't it. For me, movies like Blade and the fight scenes in The Matrix are good kung fu. They are large and dynamic and far outside of realistic. Black Mask tried real hard, but just didn't deliver. The plot was a good one for a Hong Kong special. Jet Lee plays a dude who was injected with some stuff that turns him into a terminator. He can fight real hard and never feel pain, kind of like Soldier. Like Soldier, there are more like him but they went bad and are trying either to blackmail the government, kill drug dealers or steal some international criminal database (not sure which and I really don't care). Anyway, we get the required pain in the ass woman who does nothing but get into trouble hanging from the tip top of buildings and ruining our hero's pots by burning dinner. Granted she is cute and can play a mean video game behind her back, but she is still a pain in the ass none the less. Anyway, there are also the elements of the buddy cop cliche' so we get all the crap they could put into one movie. Now understand, all of this would have been fine if the fighting was fun, but frankly it wasn't, and that is what killed the movie. The DVD has a 1.85 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack but this doesn't help much either. While the disc was good, the movie just didn't cut the mustard in the field it should have kicked ass in.