Drama Fantasia Festival

Fantasia Festival Review: ‘One Second Champion’ Packs an Effective One-Two Punch

August 23, 2021Ben MK

What if you could see into the future? For some people, it might seem like wishful thinking. But for Chow Tin Yan (pop star Endy Chow), it's a talent he's had ever since a brush with death as an infant left him with the ability to foresee events one second before they happen. But while his younger self dreamed of using this power to achieve great things, the now-grown-up Tin Yan finds himself dissatisfied and living in the shadow of his own unfulfilled promise.

That is, until local gym owner Yip Chi Shun (Chiu Sin Hang) spots Tin Yan using his gift to gain the upper hand in a bar fight, and offers him a job as a sparring partner at his uncle's boxing club. Initially reluctant to accept, Tin Yan soon realizes that boxing is the perfect avenue for bonding with his young son Chi Leung (Hung Cheuk Lok), who also happens to be hearing-impaired and the target of a bully at school. However, when fate throws Tin Yan into the ring with some fighters of a more professional caliber, he discovers that he might just have a talent for the sport as well. Imbued with a renewed sense of purpose and intent on giving Chi Leung a role model to look up to, Tin Yan sets out to take on the ultimate challenger — Hong Kong boxing superstar, "Instant-Killer" Joe (Chanon Santinatornkul). The question is, does this underdog have what it takes to overthrow the champ?

A familiar sports drama in the vein of the Rocky and Creed films — albeit with a fantastical and crowdpleasing, comedic twist — the result will have viewers cheering for Tin Yan's every jab, while cringing each time he's knocked to the canvas. That said, One Second Champion is far more than just your average boxing movie. It also packs an effective one-two punch as a surprisingly touching and emotionally able-bodied father-son tale.

One Second Champion makes its Canadian premiere at the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 38 min.

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