February 4, 2017


Starring Brian Ho, Don Lew, Linna Huynh, Tony Towe, Vicky Huang, Osric Chau, Eddy Ko, Peter Chao. Directed by Bruce Fontaine. (2015, 89 min).

Beyond Redemption is...well, beyond redemption.

Billy Tong (Brian Ho) is an undercover cop who may be in too deep. Involved with a violent gang led by Yuan (Don Lew), he's forced to take part in kidnapping the daughter (Linda Huynh) of a prominent Vancouver businessman Xi Long (Tony Towe), who also happens to be a rival underworld kingpin. Tong is soon torn between maintaining his cover and rescuing the girl before she is killed.

Despite an abundance of martial arts action and a few recognizable Asian actors, Beyond Redemption is actually an English language Canadian production and the cast consists primarily of guys who've made a living as stuntmen. It shows, too, because most of the performances are as stiff as plywood. That probably should come as no surprise since Bruce Fontaine, directing his first feature here, is also a stunt performer by trade.

"My nipples are hard!!!!"
But that's not necessarily a deal breaker for this genre. One would naturally assume the action would be exciting enough to make up for the wooden acting. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. While there are fight scenes and gunfights o' plenty, they are unimaginatively choreographed and sometimes appear hampered by the film's limited budget. Even the gunshot wounds favor sloppy CGI over good old-fashioned squibs.

From its standard plot to its lackluster action, Beyond Redemption offers nothing that hasn't been done bigger and better before. It might make a passable time killer on a dull evening, but only for undiscriminating action fans.

FEATURETTES: "Yuan vs. Billy"; "Mauler Fight" (making-of features)

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