David Cronenberg's A History Of Violence heads east in this period set Chinese martial arts flick about a family man (Donnie Yen) whose dark past comes to light after he reluctantly foils a hold-up.
His act of stupid heroism piques the unwelcome interest of Xu Bai-jiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a speccy Sherlock with an amusing grasp of acupuncture and neuroscience.
Their yin-yang dynamic enlivens the interludes between the neatly-staged chop-socky, which starts with an ear sliced off in slo-mo before moving on to more significant body parts.
Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s frenetic, high-kicking thriller runs a full 20 minutes shorter than it did at Cannes in 2011 and feels all the better for it.
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