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Black Mask
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Chinese: 黑俠 "I must rescue my master Green Hornet!"
Jet Li as Black Mask
Year: 1996
Director: Daniel Lee Yan-Kong
Producer: Tsui Hark
Writer: Tsui Hark, Joe Ma Wai-Ho, Teddy Chan Tak-Sum, Koan Hui
Action: Yuen Woo-Ping, Dion Lam Dik-On, Guk Hin-Chiu
Cast: Jet Li Lian-Jie, Lau Ching-Wan, Karen Mok Man-Wai, Francoise Yip Fong-Wah, Lung Kong, Moses Chan Ho, Xiong Xin-Xin, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (cameo)
The Skinny: Your typical Jet Li picture spruced up with cool style and better supporting players. The action is terrific, as you'd expect.
by Kozo:

This quasi-cyberpunk neo-future actioner is about a cybernetically enhanced assassin group called 701. Jet Li is Tsui, former captain of the squad, who escaped to discover human feeling. On the outside he befriends ditsy librarian Tracey (Karen Mok) and Inspector Shek (Lau Ching-Wan), both of whom marvel at his emotional detachment. Then the crooked and still-operational 701 shows up with a giant info-stealing scheme and Tsui dons a black mask to oppose them. 

Yuen Woo-Pingís action is fine, and the film is shot cooler-than-cool, with tons of blues and lots of style to spare. Tsui Hark produced this excellent HK flick that suffers only because it has Jet Li syndrome: a complete lack of personality or emotion. Thatís what turns all of Jetís films into the same sort of experience; Black Mask is no exception. That said, this film still has plenty more to recommend it, including the cool cinematography and good turns by Karen Mok, Lau Ching-Wan, and Francoise Yip as Jetís pupil turned enemy. A true Hong Kong experience all the way, and the best Jet Li flick since My Father is a Hero. (Kozo 1996)


Black Mask was given a theatrical release in North America in 1999 courtesy of Artisan Entertainment. The film was cut, dubbed, and rescored with a hip-hop soundtrack.


16th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Nomination - Best Art Direction (Ma Ngan-Chiu, Lui Cho-Hung)
• Nomination - Best Costume Design (Fung Kwan-Man, Kwan Mei-Bo)
• Nomination - Best Action Design (
Yuen Woo-Ping)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Kam & Ronson
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
International Language Version
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
Also see: Black Mask 2 (2003)
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image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen