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Big Brother

Big Brother is an action-comedy with a heart of gold that pulls plenty of punches and heartstrings.

The film stars Donnie Yen, an athletic actor known for headlining China’s Ip Man franchise and appearing in North American mediocrity (Shanghai Knights, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny).  Yen shows off a gentler side in Big Brother as Henry, a soldier-turned-liberal studies teacher who uses his own brand of practical educating to engage and reign in his careless students.  His methods, however, are deemed as offbeat for Tak Chi Secondary School, a traditional institution that’s facing foreclosure.  As morale turns around, Henry gives special attention to students who have been labelled as “delinquents” by their peers, and offers after-hours guidance.

Big Brother’s wholesomeness bleeds through its story, and the audience can’t help but embrace its charm and humour.  The film reminds audiences about the poor qualities and harmful outcomes of a judgemental attitude.  The results are very effective, and maybe even reflective for some viewers.

The film’s geniality is countered by violent martial arts when local thugs impose on one of Tak Chi’s impressionable students.  While the fights are perhaps too exaggerated for the film’s modest foundation, these sequences are directed and choreographed incredibly well.

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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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