Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Black Mask

Posted on

Jet Li, Black Mask

Black Mask

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
90 minutes
performer:
Jet Li, Karen Mok
director:
Daniel Lee
distributor:
Artisan Entertainment
genre:
ActionAdventure, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a D

When you go into a movie starring Jet Li, the sleek (and wonderfully named) Hong Kong action superstar who was introduced to American audiences in Lethal Weapon 4, you assume that you’re at least going to see some kick-ass martial-arts deviltry. But Black Mask barely provides that. A 1996 Hong Kong production that has been dug out of the vaults and dubbed into English in order to exploit Li’s success, it’s an excruciatingly garish and inept sci-fi schlocker that casts Li as a surviving member of a biologically enhanced commando force. Wearing a black cap and corrugated rubber mask (a boringly blatant homage to Bruce Lee’s Kato), he goes up against a renegade cartel of his former colleagues. The plot makes almost no sense, and instead of the high-flying, dancerly stunt work that is Li’s specialty, the movie features endless badly edited scenes of machine-gun mayhem and surgical gore. This is fun? Maybe in Hong Kong. D