Ngô Thanh Vân turns from mother to heroine in new thriller

March 01, 2019 - 09:00

Hai Phượng (Furie), the action/thriller promises to be a blockbuster of the Vietnamese cinema. It’s one among few films to be distributed in the US. It was premiered on February 22 nationwide and received big applause from audience and critics.

Poster of Furie in the US. — Photo courtesy of Studio68
Viet Nam News

By Minh Thu

HÀ NỘI — Hai Phượng (Furie) starring Ngô Thanh Vân (Veronica Ngo) promises to be a Vietnamese blockbuster of cinema.

The action movie is one of few films to be distributed in the US and has received acclaim for audiences and critics since it premiered on February 22 across Việt Nam.

Distribution label Well Go USA Entertainment will release it in American cities such as Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, San Jose, Portland, Seattle and New York today.

In the film, Vân plays Hai Phượng, a former gangster who tries to live a quiet life in the countryside with her daughter. Things go awry when the girl is kidnapped in front of her eyes and Phượng starts a journey to find her daughter.

Pure Vietnamese

While Asian action and thriller films are popular across the world, Hai Phượng is something new and won’t be mistaken for a Thai or Korean movie, said Vân, who also produced the film.

"I always want to bring Vietnamese cinema and culture to the world," she said.

She tried to bring many elements of Vietnamese culture and society to the film, with shots featuring the beauty of the Mekong Delta with rivers, floating markets and fruit gardens.

In the film, Hai Phượng appears as a normal Vietnamese woman in the áo bà ba (Vietnamese silk ensemble garment) and conical hat and is a strong mother who beats up everyone that crosses her path, said director Lê Văn Kiệt.

“International audiences know about Vietnamese women who are dedicated to their children and family. In this film, we build an image of Vietnamese women who are stronger and cooler.

“The action scenes in Furie are also pure Vietnamese. Hai Phượng and the bad guys chase each other on Honda scooters, on top of a running train and on wooden boats,” he said.

The female-led action film also includes the Vietnamese martial art Vovinam.

Veronica Ngo tried to bring many elements of Vietnamese culture and society to the plot.

Behind the scenes

Thanks to parts in many international films such as Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Bright, Vân has been acclaimed as the leading Vietnamese action actress.

The film also stars Phan Thanh Nhiên, Mai Cát Vi and Thanh Hoa, with fight choreography by Samuel Kefi Abrikh (James Bond: Spectre, Fast and Furious, John Wick and The Transporter).

With Abrikh in high demand across Hollywood for his technical skills, Vân had to wait for two years for his services for the movie.

"With Furie, we have five weeks to complete the mission. We worked feverishly for 10 hours a day,” Abrikh.

"I was impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of Vân and her team. Vân got an injury after an action scene but she fought until the end to finish the project."

“I believe that Furie will be a hit at international cinemas,” he said.

Arclight Films is handling the international sales for the film which will be presented at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.

The film will also compete for the Grand Prix and Most Promising Talent Award at the 14th Osaka Asian Film Festival (OAFF) from March 8-17. — VNS