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Sakra (2023) – English Review

A man is accused of killing someone in his sect, but he didn’t do it. Now he must find out who the real killer is while also uncovering his mysterious past. Unfortunately, every time he arrives at a new location to gather clues, he’s accused of more murders. He’s truly an unlucky man!

Sakra is a movie based on a popular novel, but I don’t know much about the book. However, I’m familiar with Donnie Yen, who directed and starred in this wuxia movie.

Donnie Yen is not a good actor. He lacks the natural charisma of an action star, and his acting skills are wooden. Even Keanu Reeves, who’s often criticized for his acting, seems like a real boy compared to Donnie Yen. He can’t convey believable emotions or display much range as an actor. Nevertheless, Donnie Yen is an excellent martial artist on screen.

Regarding the movie itself, it’s quite messy, as are many other Chinese movies in this genre. There are a lot of names and places to keep track of, so you’ll need to pause frequently to read the subtitles and connect the dots. If you’re familiar with these kinds of movies, this won’t be surprising. However, I don’t think most of these movies are intended for audiences outside of China.

The action scenes are enjoyable, particularly the second major sequence, which has lots of energy and cool choreography. There are three significant action sequences in total, if I recall correctly. The rest of the movie is mostly talking as Donnie Yen’s character attempts to solve the murder case and unravel his identity.

Unfortunately, the movie is not well-made, and the actors and characters are unimpressive. Moreover, the movie looks cheap and lacks the grandeur and scale of a proper movie. It is like watching a TV episode, and that is not cool! This is an ugly-looking movie, and it also feels empty and dead. The universe is so small, even though it does not feel that way when reading the subtitles. There are so many places mentioned here, but what we get to see is such a disappointment.

If the movie had a competent director and a more skilled actor like Jet Li, it could have been much better. However, this movie is a mess, with bad acting and stereotypical characters that lack depth. It feels like a TV episode rather than a proper movie.

Is Sakra worth watching? No, unless you’re a fan of Donnie Yen. Even then, I don’t think this movie will be well-liked by fans of the novel, as Donnie Yen’s lead role makes it challenging for any chemistry to develop between him and his co-stars. Donnie Yen has the usual dead look in his eyes, and the other actors are not much better. Apart from Donnie Yen’s love interest, the female characters are not attractive. I miss the sexy Hong Kong women from the ’80s and ’90s. They were in a league of their own. Yeah, baby! Yeah!

Rating: 4/10

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