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Big Brother (2018; Dir. Ka-Wai Kam) - The Best Hong Kong Film of 2018! Mr. Kinpachi for Class 3B

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

FILE PHOTO: A Poster of BIG BROTHER (2018; Dir. Ka-Wai Kam). ©Bona Film Group Limited
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of BIG BROTHER (2018; Dir. Ka-Wai Kam). ©Bona Film Group Limited

《大師兄》(2018) 甄子丹主演 功夫熱血教師片經典

Chinese film development strategies are divided into two tactical categories that one is China-Hollywood cooperation on block busters; the other one is China-Hong Kong-South East Asia cooperation genre films. Audiences of today know the successful example of the former is The Meg (2018), and the latter is this film Big Brother (大師兄).

The story line is simple enough that ex-military kung fu master Chan sir attempts to resolve school problems using a blend of charisma, honesty, humour, wit and kung fu. The second high school of Hong Kong is doomed by bad students with domestic issues, spiteful gangster and silly bureaucrats. The GTO of HK solves all of these at the end.

This film is a Hong Kong version of the Japanese school TV drama series Kinpachi-sensei (3年B組金八先生, 1979-2011) and GTO (麻辣教師GTO, 1999-2000) with Kung fu essence. The main difference is this Hong Kong GTO actually reflects Hong Kong's typical domestic and social issues. It has a lot of social commentary on issues such as gangster's violence and threats of expulsion of residents of targeted land, racism against Middle East, South East Asian roots minorities, and non-Chinese minorities' Hong Kong identity— as well as bullying (of both students and teachers), teenage car driving, teenage suicide, hikikomori, patriarchy and the extreme pressure to do well in school.

From Kinpachi sir, Onizuka sir to Chan sir (Henry Chen)

FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of Kinpachi-sensei. ©TBS
FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of Kinpachi-sensei. ©TBS

Image: Kinpachi sir (a teacher of 3B class) is the model of Chan sir (Henry Chen who is a teacher of 6B class)

FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of GTO. ©KTV
FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of GTO. ©KTV

Image:''GTO'' Onizuka sir is also a model for Chan sir

Our hero is Chan sir (花名:陳俠) which played by the 'Ip Man' Donnie Yen who is the best action star of Hong Kong in the 21st. century. This film is his one of master pieces in terms of emotional expression. However, action sequences are significantly exciting that you can actually witness astonished audiences for his fast cut action montage. The light motif of this film is an eagle even among kung fu action scenes. Their Kung fu action is like flying eagle.

Hong Kong action is designed by the concept that Muhammad Ali Says "Float like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee."

Wiring actors in action, and it's enhanced digitally by computer animations. Anyway, Kung fu is one of Hong Kong film's essential features.

Other feature is Hong Kong's mammoth apartment complex. The Director of Photography Nathan Wong made a consciously framed wide shots which exaggerating the gigantic apartment complex of these ordinary citizens. This imaginary is also typical feature of Hong Kong film.

The most impressive scene among all of these is when 'Mr. Vampire' actor Billy Lau played a role of father of a female student who wants to have a car license and freedom of choice decides her future by a cart race. And when a car accident nearly kills her, the father bursts into tears and speaks out his true love despite his patriarchical attitude against her. This is the most artistic moment of the entire film.

At the end, audiences are enlightened by Chan sir's maxim: 'Remember (記住)!You can do it!' This maxim is not only for Chinese filmmakers of today, but also for all audiences.

This film will be the best of 2018! A Humanistic Kung fu Movie!

FILE PHOTO: A Poster of BIG BROTHER (2018; Dir. Ka-Wai Kam). ©Bona Film Group Limited
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of BIG BROTHER (2018; Dir. Ka-Wai Kam). ©Bona Film Group Limited


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