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“So badass, it hurts… but it hurts so good.” – Eric Campos, FILM THREAT
“The martial arts sequences are extremely well choreographed... almost breathless” – Andrew James, MOVIE PATRON
Director: Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen
Screenplay: Johnny Nguyen, Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen, Dominic Pereira
Cast: Johnny Nguyen, Thanh Van Ngo, Dustin Nguyen, Thang Nguyen, Chanh Tin Nguyen
Producers: Jimmy Pham Nghiem, Truc 'Charlie' Nguyen, Johnny Tri Nguyen
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Vietnam, in 1922, is under French colonial rule, and anti-French sentiment is running high. Rebellion is brewing and resistance groups are emerging all over the country. In response, the colonial government has activated units of Vietnamese secret agents to track and destroy the rebels. One of their best agents, Lee Van Cuong, however, is suffering a crisis of faith. Troubled by his conscience, he finds no amount of drinking can numb his guilt over the blood he has spilled. When his cruel and ambitious superior Sy captures Vo Tanh Thuy, a courageous revolutionary fighter and the daughter of the rebel leader, Cuong helps break her out of prison and becomes a fugitive himself. Risking capture at every turn, the pair fight overwhelming odds trying reach the rebels, with Sy hot on their trail.
THE REBEL is an exciting action-drama with political overtones and intense fight scenes, confirming a place in the martial arts cinema club for Vietnam. The pace is quick, the acting top-notch and its many stunt sequences are impressive. The film’s prolonged climax, which includes gunfights, knife fights, explosions and plenty of barehanded brawling, will thrill the most jaded fight-flick fan. At the same time, given that THE REBEL is set in the troubled times of the French occupation, one cannot help but draw parallels with the current situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s a film that has a lot more to say than most in its genre, but not at the expense of some serious martial arts mayhem.