Kill-Fist Plot Synopsis
Our protagonist here is Zhang, a middle-aged man struggling to excel in a crippling economy trying to sell insurance. He’s about to get divorced and he’s losing custody of his daughter Didi too. If that wasn’t enough, Zhang’s misery is compounded by the fact his father is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Talk about a bad break!
Thankfully, Zhang receives an invitation on his computer one night to a strange game called Kill-Fist. The rules are pretty simple. After receiving a parcel with a uniform and a watch inside, Zhang is to show up at an underground parking lot, fight a combatant, knock them out and sync their watches to progress on. Winners gain money, losers gain a black eye, and the higher ranked fights coming against much more skilled combatants.
Given how desperate Zhang is, it’s hardly surprising that he gets involved. The prize money begins at $300 but it increases with more experienced fighters, going up to $5000… and if he gets enough experience, Zhang is offered the chance of getting into the finals.
What happens to Jean?
Around this time we meet Jean who’s a top student. Her professor is a pervert and offers private tuition for free and a guarantee of her getting a full scholarship… if she’ll sleep with him. After some contemplating, Jean agrees. It’s an uncomfortable scene as the teacher begins to undress her and kiss the girl. Eventually Jean gets cold feet and leaves the room.
The next day, it’s revealed that Jean actually filmed the whole thing and he loses his job. It also makes mainstream news too. The professor follows Jean to an underground parking lot that night, where he runs into one of the crazed fighters. They receive a text message with a bonus $5000 granted for beating up the teacher. The man is knocked out and subsequently raped… while John films from afar.
Who’s behind the Kill-Fist game?
As we learn from the end of the movie, Jean is the mastermind behind Kill-Fist. She’s given files from John’s laptop to use against him, including footage of him slapping Zhang’s aunt constantly in the face. She sends this on to Zhang to rile him up, ready for the big fight to come.
Zhang meets John in the familiar parking lot and the pair come face to face. It turns out Zhang was actually John and Tung’s boss back in the day, but the latter went to prison to make sure Zhang stayed free. This explains why John doesn’t like him and why his life has spiraled out of control. Either way, the pair fight and Zhang wins, snapping John’s neck. It’s assumed that he’s dead at this point.
Does Zhang win the final round?
The final found round sees Zhang approached by a whole army of thugs. Zhang beats them all but it happens off-screen. However, more masked thugs show up with iron pipes ready to beat up an exhausted Zhang. He tries to escape but it’s no good. He’s left a bloody, beaten mess on the floor. Jean arrives and taunts Zhang with his familiar work song, and it’s here she explains exactly why she’s doing all of this.
Why does Jean want revenge on Zhang?
It turns out Jean’s revenge stems from her father, Kwok, who was a respected teacher in the community. John, Tung and Zhang were bullies back then and Kwok tried to be a hero, noticing the kids beating up a poor man and trying to save him. Unfortunately, Zhang and the others beat Kwok up while a young Jean watched helplessly from afar. Zhang beat him so badly that he went into a coma and never woke up. He then passed away.
Jean’s mother ended up spiraling into depression while Jean plotted her revenge. She spent a long time creating this game just so scumbags can kill each other off. Those alongside Jean have lost someone at the hands of these gangsters too, and have decided to go above the justice system, since there’s no justice for criminals anymore.
And with that, Jean swings and kills Zhang, ignoring his pitiful “sorry.” But when it’s done, her smirk disappears as she realizes what’s happened. Jean has become the very thing she didn’t want to be, leaving Didi without a father. It’s a nicely poetic way to round things out, before we inevitably close the film on one final scene. Jean reconciles with her mother, who appears to be coming to terms with what’s happened, and decides to throw away their father’s clothes away.
How does Jean fund Kill-Fist?
This is something that’s not really explained in the movie, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility to believe this is a crowdfunded exhibition. Either that, or Jean perhaps used some of the life insurance money she may have gained from her father’s passing to set all of this up. Convincing others to join her may well have been done online rather than in person, given how effectively she convinced Zhang to get involved.
Whether the higher rates of $5000 were ever paid out to combatants or not is up for debate, but it’s clear from how Zhang was dispatched that these men eventually do kill anyone who gets higher up the rungs of the game. This whole plan was designed to find criminals and make them pay, but do the means justify the end?
Read More: Kill-Fist Movie Review