Bleeding Steel (2017)


Introduction

Bleeding Steel (Ji qi zhi xue) is a 2017 Chinese/Australian science fiction cyberpunk action film directed and written by Leo Zhang and stars Jackie Chan.

It was released in China on 22 December 2017. In the US, Lionsgate Premiere released the film in theatres and on VOD on 06 July 2018.

Outline

Hong Kong Special Agent Lin Dong was told that his daughter Xixi (who suffers from leukemia) is in critical condition. He speeds over to the hospital, but on the way, his co-worker, Xiao Su, informs him that a critical witness is in danger. Agent Lin stops right outside the hospital, pauses, and turns back to protect the critical witness, Dr. James.

Dr. James injects himself with a chemical substance stored with a mechanical heart right before the police burst in to escort him away. They are ambushed by men with exotic black armour and high-tech weaponry led by a monstrous-looking man named Andre, and almost all in the team are killed. Xixi, meanwhile, dies at the hospital. Before Andre can claim Dr. James for himself, Lin Dong manages to ram him against an oil tank using his car. When Andre proves uncannily resistant to both the car’s impact and the bullets Lin Dong fires against him, Lin Dong shoots the oil tank instead, causing a huge explosion. Both Lin Dong and Andre are later shown to have survived, although Andre’s injuries have him turned into a cyborg.

13 years later in Sydney, Australia, author Rick Rogers has recently released a book titled Bleeding Steel about the US Marine with a mechanical heart. A woman named Li Sen, disguised as a prostitute, pays a visit to Rogers at his hotel, drugs him, and downloads information from his computer. Simultaneously, a black-clad woman and two men with black armour suits attack the building and torture Rogers to reveal the source of his inspiration for the book, while Li Sen hides in the suite’s bathtub. At that very moment, the intruders are attacked by Lin Dong, who also tries to find out the same answer. Rogers is killed by the Woman, and the arrival of the police forces everyone to retreat.

When briefed about the failed operation, Andre identifies Lin Dong and Li Sen and sends the Woman after the latter, but Li Sen has already fled. Acting upon the data they purloined from Rogers, Li Sen, and Lin Dong separately begin to track Nancy, a young girl who is plagued by nightmares about a laboratory where strange experiments were conducted. In order to deal with them, she has been visiting a spiritualist, who is the source of Roger’s manuscript. She is tracked down by the Woman in Black, but rescued and taken to safety by Lin Dong and Li Sen’s combined efforts.

Subsequently, Nancy is revealed to be Xixi, resurrected by the efforts of Dr. James, who was working on genetic enhancements of human beings, specifically regeneration, to create immortal bioroid soldiers. James fitted Xixi with a mechanical heart and abiogenetic blood substitute which enhanced her regenerative abilities. However, Xixi’s temporary death left her amnesic, whereupon she was put into an orphanage for her own safety, while Lin Dong and his old unit secretly watched over her. Her nightmares stem from James’ memories which imprinted themselves on the compound he had injected himself with, and his blood was afterwards used in her resurrection. Andre, a former Special Forces soldier, was another test subject who infiltrated the project in the interest of a prominent Korean arms dealer to market the bioroids. However, the artificial genome failed on Andre, slowly consuming him from within. James himself died soon after his operation on Xixi, making her the sole successful subject of his achievements.

Lin Dong takes Nancy and Li Sen to his house, where he locks the young man in his advanced security vault and pays a visit to the spiritualist, who he finds murdered. Nancy runs away to take a flight back to James’ abandoned home, where she recovers both her old memories of her father and a bank vault key hidden by James. Following her, Lin Dong reunites with Xiao Su, but before he can reach Nancy, she is kidnapped by the Woman in Black and brought separately to Andre’s airborne laboratory. Rejoined by Li Sen, who has managed to free himself, they proceed to the bank vault, where the Woman, while retrieving a video camera from the vault, was trapped and incapacitated by Lin’s old unit. Checking the camera’s contents, which detail Andre’s bioroid conversion, Lin and Xiao Su surmise that he needs both this information and Nancy’s altered genome to bestow the regenerative effect upon himself.

Onboard the laboratory plane, Andre proceeds to extracted Nancy’s blood and inject it into himself to restore his body. Lin Dong, Xiao Su, and Li Sen infiltrate the craft but are thwarted by an impenetrable security screen. A scuffle with Andre’s henchmen forces the villain to join the fight before the transfusion is completed, which gives Nancy sufficient time to fully regenerate and come to her father’s aid. Lin and his allies cast Andre into the craft’s reactor core, which overloads and destroys the lab. Li Sen is caught in the explosion; Xiao Su and Nancy manage to escape by parachute, but Lin Dong is attacked by Andre before he can join them. However, because Andre has accidentally injected Lin Dong with the enhanced blood during their fight, Lin Dong gains enough power to deprive Andre of his heart, killing him.

In the aftermath, as Lin Dong, Nancy and Xiao spend time together as a family, Lin learns from his colleague that Li Sen was the son of the arms dealer who sought to recover James’ achievements and take revenge on Andre for the murder of his family thirteen years ago. He also was a fellow mate of Nancy/Xixi at the orphanage and had acted out of genuine affection for her. At the same time, Li Sen is shown to have survived and now offering the camcorder tape to the most interested buyer.

Cast

  • Jackie Chan as Lin Dong.
  • Callan Mulvey as Andre.
  • Show Lo as Li Sen.
  • Ouyang Nana as Nancy.
  • Tess Haubrich as Woman in Black aka Lady Fidget Spinners.
  • Erica Xia-hou as Xiao Su (Susan).
  • Kym Gyngell as Dr James.
  • Damien Garvey as Rick Rogers.
  • The Boy Ryan.
  • Kaitlyn Boyé as Junkie Girl.
  • David Torok as Man in Black.
  • Robert Gilabert Cuenca as door scientist.
  • Scarlett Koehne as Uni Girl.
  • Isabelle Wojciechowska as Popcorn Girl.

Production

In June 2016, it was announced that Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Heyi Pictures would co-produce and co-finance the sci-fi thriller film, Bleeding Steel, starring Jackie Chan, the film would be directed by Leo Zhang from his own script. On 27 July, more cast was announced which included Tess Haubrich, Callan Mulvey, Nana Ou-Yang, Erica Xia-Hou, and Show Lo.

Principal photography on the film began on 20 July 2016, in Sydney, Australia. Filming also took place in Taipei and Beijing. Last scene is from the Atlantic Road in Norway.

Release

Bleeding Steel was first released in Australia by Perfect Village Entertainment on 15 December 2017 before being released in China by United Entertainment Partners (UEP) a week later, on 22 December. The film was released in the Philippines by Viva International Pictures and MVP Entertainment on 21 February 2018. In the United States, the film was first released by UEP with English subtitles in December 2017. It was later released with an English dub by Lionsgate Premiere on 6 July 2018 in both theatres and video on demand.

Bleeding Steel, though not officially part of the Police Story series, was released under the title ポリス・ストーリー REBORN (lit. Police Story Reborn) in Japan, and used an updated version of the Police Story title song sung by Jackie Chan in the end credits.

Trivia

  • When Officer Lin (Jackie Chan) is undercover secretly looking after his daughter (who does not know who he is because she was sent to an orphanage when she was a youngster) is working at her school cafeteria, his name badge says “Jackie Chan”.
  • Released fifty-five years after Jackie Chan’s first role.
  • This movie is subtitled throughout in Chinese and English, even during the English language parts of the movie were set in Sydney.
    • But the outtakes during the end credits are spoken in Chinese, and there are no subtitles whatsoever.
  • End credits song is an updated version of the Police Story (1985) title song with Jackie singing.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Leo Zhang.
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s): Leo Zhang, Erica Xia-Hou, and Siwei Cui.
  • Music: Fei Peng.
  • Cinematography: Tony Cheung.
  • Editor(s): Kwong Chi-leung.
  • Production: Heyi Pictures and Perfect Village Entertainment.
  • Distributor(s): United Entertainment Partners (China) and Lionsgate Premiere (US).
  • Release Date: 22 December 2017 (China) and 06 July 2018 (US).
  • Running Time: 109 minutes.
  • Rating: 15.
  • Country: China.
  • Language: English and Mandarin.

Video Link

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