Reviews: Undefeatable

Corny, trashy, and more unironically enjoyable than Godfrey Ho's other work

Godfrey Ho has been called the "Ed Wood of Hong Kong", due to not only how terrible his movies are, but also his tendency to recycle stock footage from other films and merge it together to create nonsense.

On the other hand, this is widely considered his best film. And it does so by avoiding his worst tendencies.

Filmed and set in the US, Undefeatable is filled with Asian themes. Let's see - villain with mommy issues, who takes it out on women. A fight club involving martial arts. A Meaningful Pendant (used to finalize the divorce between Anna and Stingray, then dropped from the plot almost immediately). A villain who yells and makes exaggerated facial expressions during combat. A fight scene between two men where they suddenly both decide to get shirtless for some reason.

Godfrey Ho's movies are most well-known for their martial arts fights, in terms of length and sheer number, and this one is no different. I counted a total of 14 fights throughout the entire 90-minute movie. That's about a fight breaking out every 6 and a half minutes. And the majority of them actually don't involve Kristy's fight club!

As per Godfrey Ho's rules, fights are the solution for everything. Stingray encounters a woman who looks like his mom and/or wife, and there's a man nearby? That's a fight right there. Need information for where Stingray might be hiding? That's a fight. Someone insult you? Fight! In a fighting club, where people fight for fun and money? You bet there's a fight. Good thing everyone knows martial arts, even if they realistically shouldn't.

Including the police. When they get a chance to use their guns later on, guess how long it takes for the gun to get removed from the lead cop's hand? That's okay; he knows martial arts.

Despite the sheer number and cheesiness of the martial arts fights, the movie takes its plot seriously. There's a horrible scene early on that establishes how evil Stingray is, and his MO is murdering anyone who looks like his mother and/or former wife in a brutal way. Contrasted with the goofiness of Godfrey Ho's other films, this was quite shocking and disturbing. It also creates a strange contrast between the silliness of the neverending stream of kung fu, and the darkness of the main plot, resulting in a movie that is both unironically interesting and yet enjoyably cheesy.