One Million K(l)icks (2015)

Posted in Reviews by - January 19, 2018
One Million K(l)icks (2015)

Despite its awkward title, this is a strong head-kicking German indie which gives diminutive stuntman Mike Möller free-reign to showcase his incredible physical talents. He might not immediately strike you as leading man material – his small, muscular frame and blond crop wouldn’t look out of place in a German version of Westlife – but his strength and skill is extraordinary. His kicks are sometimes too quick and intricate for the camera, and you may need to rewind some sections to really savour the action. This was the debut feature for the Silent Partners production company, run by Hong Kong-based filmmaker Mike Leeder and German producer Ruediger W. Kuemmerle, and they achieve a lot with a tiny budget. Möller plays Michael – a top brawler with anger issues, an estranged father and terrible chat-up techniques. He gains notoriety when he joins forces with some internet entrepreneurs who film him beating people up. Michael lays waste to some football hooligans, a Taekwondo instructor (played by top stuntman, Cha-lee Yoon), and a kung fu chef before he gets jumped by some hoods and winds up in a hospital. This is when the plot suddenly springs to life, and Michael turns his back on his former, hotheaded self to pursue a more meditative way of life with the help of his kung fu saviour, Mr Lee (Li Yan-long). Yan-long is superb as his smiley sifu, and although the film follows quite traditional genre conventions, some of their philosophical musings start to border on the profound. There is also attempts to break from the formula with interesting lapses into animation and moments of quite broad comedy, particularly in Michael’s attempts to start fights and pick up women. (And who said the Germans had no sense of humour?) This is a fine example of the old adage that good things come in small packages.

AKA: One Million Klicks.

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