Action Chasing Dream

Fantasia Festival Review: ‘Chasing Dream’

September 2, 2020Ben MK

The connection between the art of dancing and the sport of fighting has been well-documented. And in his latest, Chasing Dream, legendary director Johnnie To brings them both together, in this story of a successful MMA fighter and an aspiring singer who find themselves both striving to achieve the same goal.

A former boxer, Tiger (Jacky Heung) is an undefeated champion in the MMA ring best known for his signature move, the Spinning Revolver. Yet, you wouldn't know if from how he lives, since most of his earnings go towards paying off the debts of his former master, Ma Qing (Shao Bing). A gruff man with a kind heart, Tiger's compassion for helping others is brought to the forefront when he meets Cuckoo (Keru Wang), a troubled young woman determined to make it onto the music reality show Perfect Diva and expose its star Qu FengFeng (Ma Xiaohui) for the fraud that he is. But with fate steering him towards one final — possibly fatal — MMA matchup, will Tiger — and the unexpected romance blossoming between him and Cuckoo — survive?

Marking To's 62nd feature as a director, Chasing Dream expertly straddles the line between underdog sports drama and Hollywood romance; which is to say that while the film may not conform to the same template as the crime thrillers he's best known for, the iconic filmmaker certainly hasn't lost his touch.

Chasing Dream makes its Canadian premiere at the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 58 min.

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