'Big Brother' - Movie Review

Donnie Yen is one of Hong Kong's greatest martial artists. In this movie, he plays a former military man who returns to Hong Kong after years away to teach delinquent students at a run-down school. He instantly proves capable of avoiding student pranks and getting student's attention. And by the half-way point of the movie he's already "saved" pretty much all the troubled kids by intervention with their families, each time with grand and over-the-top gestures: singing in public, racing go-karts on public streets, fighting an MMA star.

According to the box, "City on Fire" (whatever that is) said it was "'Dead Poets Society' meets 'Special ID.'" Which is very funny (if you're familiar with Yen's "Special ID"), but both of those are better movies than this. It's well-meaning, having a bit to say about education and student suicides, but it's repulsively sweet - except for the parts that are bad martial arts scenes. Yen can be quite charming, and they're banking on that here. But the script gives you a sugar overdose simultaneous with overwrought drama: nobody's going to buy this as a drama movie. And yet if you come in looking for a martial arts movie, you're going to be disappointed as well: there are only two significant fights, and both are so choppily filmed that they have zero appeal to fans of Yen's better martial arts films.