First off, I have to comment on Nick Cheung’s amazing ripped torso. At the grand age of 45, it is no mean feat to pull something like that off and he mentioned that his nine months of training and unappetizing diet is definitely very difficult to follow. But hats off to Nick for his dedication to his craft which would put him together with the ranks of Christian Bale, Daniel Day Lewis, Robert De Niro etc.
Nick’s performance of a down and out ex-boxing champion Chin Fai who is in debt and previously incarcerated for cheating by throwing matches is pretty convincing and makes for a good backstory. I thoroughly enjoyed his amazing chemistry with his co-star Crystal Lee (acting as cute and fiesty Dani). The young girl is full of character and needs to step up to mother her mum Gwen (acted by Mei Ting) who suffers from a mental breakdown due to earlier family tragedy. Chin Fai escapes from his creditors in Hongkong and winds up in Macau being a fellow tenant in the same apartment as Gwen and Dani. In the meantime, his friend sets him a job as a janitor and part-time “boxercise” cheerleading aerobic instructor for a class of aunties. Good fun and some laughs there definitely.
Here, the other backstory is developed with the young protege fighter Lin Siqi acted by heart throb Eddie Peng who puts in an equally good performance as the 30 year old son of a former tycoon dad (played by Jack Kao) who lost everything including his will to get back on his feet. Lin Siqi was still a carefree traveller who has yet to discover his niche in life (school dropout), previously roaming the world with his family money till the newspapers splashed his dad’s bankruptcy. Siqi then goes to look for his dad who drowns his sorrow in liquor daily and takes up blue collar manual work at the construction sites to get by. One day, he sees the advertisement for the MMA (mixed martial arts) championship fight and wants to take part to inspire and motivate his father to get back on his feet.
The chemistry between the leads Nick and Eddie is also great to watch as we see an unlikely mentor-mentee pairing. There is one scene where the two blokes accidentally touch lips during floor hold training, and that was hilarious too.
Besides the nicely developed storyline with good character development, what is a fight show without exciting, intense and expertly choreographed fight scenes. The camera work captures the kicks and punches precisely. I was literally at the edge of my seat holding my breath and clutching my fists every time I was rooting for the each of the guys to win.
Unbeatable wins my vote.