We’re giving away 2 copies of the film, courtesy of Well Go USA. Hit up the contest thread for details on how to win!
In Saving Mr. Wu, international superstar Andy Lau plays a well-known actor who is abducted and held for ransom. The most novel aspect of the film is it’s a fictionalized version of a very real incident. In 2004, actor Wu Ruofu was kidnapped by a gang of criminals posing as police officers. Wu’s highly publicized abduction became the basis for a screenplay, and though he doesn’t play himself, he is also in the film as the head of the police force that seeks to rescue the abducted star.
The film’s second prominent aspect is its achronological storytelling, jumping to major story beats and then rewinding to fill in the details on how things arrived at their present situation. In some ways, this deepens the mysteries by teasing the audience to put the clues together. But it also deflates the tension in certain respects. For example, we know that the key abductor has been arrested and interrogated by the police, long before we see the takedown happen.
While the film does have a few primary action sequences, it is for the most part a tense drama that focuses on two plot threads: Mr. Wu and a fellow hostage dealing with their unhappy fate, and the harried police detectives racing the clock to find them. Die Hard, this is not.
Andy Lau does a remarkable job in the lead, taking a fairly passive role and elevating it to something pretty incredible. As an action star, this is an interesting departure. He’s almost always subdued in some way – blindfolded, held at gunpoint, or bound in heavy chains – so his performance comes through expressiveness rather than physicality. His Wu is intelligent, noble, and easy for the audience to get behind 100%.
Overall, this is a pretty decent film that tells an intriguing, mostly-true story. It’s lacking in overt action, but the interaction between Wu, his fellow captive, and their abductors is captivating, and I definitely wanted to learn more about the true story after seeing the film.
Saving Mr. Wu released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 2 from Well Go USA, and is also available on VOD.
The disc features a series of brief behind-the-scenes featurettes, a trailer, and deleted scenes. The Blu-ray apparently doesn’t come with a slipcover (or at least my copy didn’t), which is unusual for Well Go USA.
Special Features and Extras
Making Mr. Wu
Featurettes highlighting Andy Lau (3:08), Ding Sheng (3:05), Lin Ye (2:56), Wang Qianyuan (3:01). These are nice and short, which is how I prefer BTS content when it’s foreign/subtitled. All 4 vignettes have the same 30-second opening, which seems kind of silly but isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal, though, is the absence of an interview with Wu Ruofu, the original real-life kidnapping victim – this really should have been the highlight of the bonus content.
9 Deleted Scenes – “50 Grand” (:50), “Loyal” (:44), “Girlfriend” (:25), “Grenade” (1:06), “Head Shot” (:41), “Labor Camp” (:38), “Paparazzi” (:52), “Police Story” (:30), “Red Socks” (:40)
The disc includes trailers for Johnny To’s Three (1:01), Kill Zone 2 (1:33), and Firestorm (1:45). These auto-play when the disc fires up in addition to being available in the menu.
Interested in checking it out? We’re giving away 2 Saving Mr. Wu Blu-rays! Hit up the contest post for details.