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PLEASE NOTE that the 5pm screening (TIFF Bell Lightbox 1) of UNBEATABLE on Sunday, September 15 has moved to 5:45pm (TIFF Bell Lightbox 3).
Fleeing to Macau to escape loan sharks, a former mixed-martial arts champion becomes embroiled in the lives of a psychologically troubled single mother and a young wannabe fighter, in Hong Kong auteur Dante Lam’s stylish and compelling action-drama.
Unbeatable is not just another fight flick.
The latest action-drama by Hong Kong
auteur Dante Lam, set in the mixed-martial-arts
world, is a film with broad appeal, one
that can satisfy the appetites of disparate
audiences, from genre aficionados to lovers
of Asian melodrama, from the young to the
old — ladies included.
Former boxing champion Chin Fai
(superbly played by Nick Cheung) has
moved to Macau to escape the loan sharks
on his trail. Unable to afford a flat on his
own, he rents a room in the rundown apartment
of Gwen (Mei Ting), a single mother
suffering from mental disorders she
developed after a terrible family accident.
Struggling to keep her mother from plunging
into madness is ten-year-old Dani (an
amazing Crystal Lee, who won Best Actress
for her performance at the Shanghai
International film festival). At the gym
where he does menial chores to make ends
meet, Fai meets Lin Siqi (Eddie Peng), who
wants to enter an MMA championship to
prove himself to his father (Jack Kao).
Lam delivers masterful combat scenes,
rendering his characters' technique and
emotions with equal dexterity, but the
focus of the film remains the lives of these
damaged, unlikely heroes. The "Raging
War" of the original Chinese title, Ji Zhan,
seems to refer not only to the furious fights
within the ring but also to their the characters'
A compelling tale of endurance, impeccably
directed, Unbeatable is moving,
uplifting, and entertaining.
- Dante Lam
- Dante Lam was born in Hong Kong
and began his career as an actor
and assistant director. His feature
directing credits include Operation
Zero (97), Beast Cops (98), Jiang
Hu: The Triad Zone (00), The Twins
Effect (03), Beast Stalker (08), Sniper
(09), Fire of Conscience (10), and