Furies (2023) Movie Review – A gory revenge drama that makes the martial arts genre proud

A gory revenge drama that makes the martial arts genre proud

A prequel to Vietnamese superstar Veronica Ngo’s action film Furie, Furies aka Thanh Soi is considered to be the first Netflix Vietnam Original movie. It focuses on Jacqueline and her vigilante group of three girls who have taken it upon themselves to rid the city of scum aka. the men who rape, murder, abuse and hurt women.

Jacqueline takes in Bi, Thanh and Hong who have no families and they bond as they train together. Their first mission is to take down the Big 4 who pretty much control the downtown nightlife. However, things don’t go as planned and secrets that were supposed to stay hidden unravel.

This is a gory revenge drama that makes the martial arts genre proud with its disturbing visuals, extreme violence and explicit sexual scenes (so, definitely not for the faint-hearted). Furies gives us 1990’s Saigon with the yellow and green colour palette to highlight the insanity of that time’s underground life, while the neon colours, colourful and patterned clothes, accessories and shops along with the local food add to the nostalgia of that era.

From the main characters’ colourful and quirky hair to the fashion, there’s a symbolic, perverse sense of liberation as their pink and glittery tracksuits and shorts are splattered with blood, fighting through hordes of men. The gritty rock and city pop songs complete the whole experience making the soundtrack album a must-listen as well.

As far as stories go, this one is a high-paced action film with a simple plot to take down the bad guys but it doesn’t go down as planned. A light and entertaining watch, it is not that deep as we see some martial arts experts beat the hell out of everyone. Bi, a girl with a sad past is taken in and trained. She joins the group and they go about beating bad guys while they bond and become like a family.

Sure, we have caricature villains who are just bad. Furies is not about the complexities of human personalities and if you want that you may have to look elsewhere. But it does give us Asian women leading the show, and with representation and diversity taking over most genres, Furies ticks the check box for action movies.

Although, it is not that mediocre even if you take away the diversity aspect of the film. We get interesting plot twists all the way, especially during the climax which was completely shocking. The scriptwriters have worked on the main protagonists pretty well to give them internal conflicts, emotions and independence from the main plot. And of course, Veronica Ngo’s Jacqueline completely steals the show in the final scene.

There is no lull between any action scenes which sometimes happens to be the folly of some martial art films. But the action scenes are definitely the highlights of the film with the creative ways the fights are choreographed.

Especially, the bike chase scene with Bi and Thanh was totally a treat to watch as it felt like they were in a video game as new hurdles appeared and the camera broke from the traditional linear or circular movement to give us directional movement in which the fight went. The visual effects are pretty cool and we even get an encore of it in the final fight scene. This is definitely a fun way to keep the energy up until the end. Overall, this is a great action film and well worth a watch.

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10

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