Bullet Points: Beyond Redemption
If a movie review is posted and no one is around to read it, does it even matter? The answer is no.
Bulletproof Action would not exist if we did not have action fanatics, movie lovers and cinephiles stopping by the site each and every day to share in our love (and sometimes hate) for the movies we cover on the site. So when we get review requests from one of our readers we always do our best to accommodate those requests.
Recently one of our Twitter followers, Dic Rattlehead (who you can follow @ThrashusMaximus), wanted to read our thoughts on 2015’s Beyond Redemption. So I fired up my Netflix and checked out Beyond Redemption and now, here is my review…
- The Premise: Billy Tong (Brian Ho) is a new recruit in a street gang that is led by Yuan (Don Lew) or as he is known by the members of his gang “Big Brother”. But both Billy and Yuan are much more than they seem. Yuan is not content just running a street gang. Yuan wants to move up the ladder in the criminal underworld and has a plan to steal some valuable data from an influential member of the Triad, Xi Long (Anthony Towe), in order to become a major player. To do this, Yuan sends his guys to invade the home of Xi Long and kidnap Long’s young daughter Tiffany (Linna Huynh). Billy is actually a cop who has gone deep undercover and has just recently infiltrated Yuan’s gang. Undercover cop Billy is now stuck in the middle of it all, knowing full well this could be his demise and that he has to protect Tiffany, an innocent pawn in this underworld game of human chess.
- Variation on the Theme: The plot devices in Beyond Redemption have been seen before… the cop who has gone deep undercover and wants to get out… someone inside the gang suspects that the cop is a cop… the cop’s significant other reveals that she is pregnant making his non-cop life suddenly extremely important. None of that probably screams originality to you, unless you have seen very few movies in your lifetime. I have gone on record before stating that action movies aren’t known for their originality and instead utilize formulas that are proven winners. The key is to execute that formula well and when possible throw in a little something different. Beyond Redemption gave Billy’s backstory a little twist, when we learn that Billy was basically forced to take the undercover assignment by his boss Captain Mackay (Darren E. Scott). An arrest of a rapist that Billy made was caught on camera. Billy beat the tar out of the suspect. The beating was so severe, the scum bag rapist ended up in the hospital. Billy felt his actions were justified (the sicko raped a 7 year old girl). But in the eyes of the law, Billy crossed the line and he himself could now lose his job and spend time in prison. But Mackay offers him an out. Billy goes undercover and the beating that Billy delivered is swept under the rug. That one thing gave Beyond Redemption something unique and put logic into why Billy just didn’t say screw it, take his pregnant girl and start a new life in a new city as opposed to going into continuing with an operation that could have easily got him killed.
- Action Aficionados: The cast of Beyond Redemption did not come into the movie with a ton of acting experience, but they did come in with a ton of action experience! Just looking at two of the major players in the movie, Brian Ho and Don Lew, both have an impressive list of stunt credits in their filmographies so they were no strangers to the physicality and the fighting that their roles required. But even with their limited acting experience, it is not like either man shit the bed when it came to the delivery of lines or conveying emotion. Beyond Redemption is an action movie about cops and gangsters. It was not a complex drama about the human condition that was asking for more than the inexperienced actors could handle. Quite simply, Beyond Redemption was a well paced 89 minute action movie that was made with and by people who know the importance of action in a movie.
I enjoyed Beyond Redemption. The quality of the action more than makes up for any of the movie’s shortcomings. Beyond Redemption is the type of movie, with its generic title and cover art that I honestly may have overlooked, so I want to thank Dic for suggesting it.
Now my suggestion would be to check out these Bonus Bullet Points…
- Familiar Face: I instantly recognized Osric Chau from his work as Denny in Boone: The Bounty Hunter. Chau played Rickson, one of Xi Long’s loyal employees in Beyond Redemption. Chau is two for two with me and I’m really digging his work. Hope to see him pop up in more action projects in the future.
- Directorial Debut: Beyond Redemption was the first feature film directed by Bruce Fontaine.
- Vancouver is Vancouver: Nowadays it is not surprise to learn that a movie or television show was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia. But Beyond Redemption was a rare case where Vancouver was able to be Vancouver and not New York City, Minneapolis or some other major metropolis from the United States.
- Above and Beyond: The seeds to a sequel are planted in the final shot of the movie.