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‘Into the Badlands’: Martial Arts Drama with No Punch

first_imgSo, for the sake of argument, let us join Sunny and go into the Badlands, this post-apocalyptic world with vast meadows of roses. Early on, after effortlessly wiping out about a dozen dudes without breaking a sweat, Sunny rescues M.K. (Aramis Knight), a teenager he finds trapped in a chest. It turns out that M.K. can unlock a mysterious power of ass-kicking whenever he bleeds, making you ponder the consequences if he ever accidentally nicks himself. And so, on top of motorcycle-riding assassins armed with Japanese Samurai swords, we also have magical teenagers.The Badlands are also occupied by the sickly Baron Quinn (Marton Csokas, The Lord of the Rings), his eighth wife-to-be (Sarah Bolger), his jealous wife (Orla Brady), Sunny’s pregnant lover (Madelein Mantock), and primitive boys training to become cold, heartless Clippers–and follow in Sunny’s footsteps. Figuring out their names was less concerning than trying to understand why all this cliché drama littered the background of a show loosely based on “Journey to the West,” a 16th century Chinese novel.It all was so odd yet so familiar…Apparently, there was something about Sunny’s martial arts skills that piqued the interest of the Baron–who decided to put it to “good” use–and will supposedly keep us enthralled in the journey ahead.But after Sunny brings M.K. back with him inside the high-walled doors of The Fort, where Baron Quinn runs his adolescent training camp, the drama within turns silly and mundane, and the more obvious it becomes that Into the Badlands is nothing more than an excuse to watch Daniel Wu flex his well-oiled muscles.And then it hit me. After tons of dull dialogue, the closing shots flashed on-screen with the song, “Lead Me Home,” by Jamie N Commons. The tune turned a knob in my brain, opened a door, and flooded out memories dating back to February 2013.“Lead Me Home” also concluded an episode of The Walking Dead (“Clear”, season three), when the protagonist Rick Grimes parted ways with an unhinged underling, Morgan Jones, for the second time in the series.This is another post-apocalyptic world. Humans coping with everyday drama are simply trying to live their lives in an environment that won’t let them. It’s the same formula with a new skin. Even AMC’s promotional commercials of Sunny’s martial arts abilities had shot-by-shot similarities to Walking Dead’s Michonne, Daryl and Morgan’s katana slicing, kicking, and stick wielding against the oncoming zombies. The cable network labeled its Sunday double-bill, “Twice The Fight.”Was AMC trying to make another Walking Dead out of Into the Badlands? Sure, there were no zombies lumbering through the Badlands’ rose meadows, and the characters were a lot more settled in, but paralleling the two shows explained all the out-of-place drama.Each commercial break started with these words, “Coming up on Into the Badlands,” leaving viewers hanging with a suspenseful action scene, as though AMC knew the risk that many (myself included) might change the channel if their curiosity weren’t aroused. Almost 20 million viewers tuned in for The Walking Dead’s season six premiere in October, so it’s no surprise that AMC hopes to draw those numbers with the five remaining episodes of its new series before the show enters the real badlands of low ratings.And that might prove the match for a prized martial arts champion like Sunny no matter how many necks he snaps.(Photo credit: AMC) Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Following Sunday night’s zombie apocalypse as depicted by the latest episode of The Walking Dead, AMC presented badass martial arts mayhem with its season premiere of Into the Badlands.A lot of strange words with no context were tossed around–Clippers, barons, and the Colts–but swift sidestepping, bone snapping, and karate whooshing distracted the brain and glued the eyes to the screen.At least for a little while.Wearing “cool guy” sunglasses and riding a motorcycle in a blood-red trench coat, Sunny (Daniel Wu) hits the trail to brighten nomadic and hostile gangs’ days by snapping their wrists and impaling them with rusted skewers or wielding his ever shiny katana.Evidently, once upon a time, Sunny was one of the aforementioned Clippers, assassins who “just show up, kill people, and leave.” But beneath all his ink, which records each of his many kills (404 and counting), Sunny is supposedly just a nice guy who made a bad career move. Now he’s about to rewrite his job description, as we shall soon see.last_img read more

Martin Keown names two positives for Arsenal after Tottenham defeat

first_img Arteta reacts to his Arsenal side’s 2-1 defeat against TottenhamTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 9:05FullscreenArteta reacts to his Arsenal side’s 2-1 defeat against Tottenhamhttps://metro.co.uk/video/arteta-reacts-arsenal-sides-2-1-defeat-against-tottenham-2209436/This is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.‘Both goals conceded by Arsenal could have been avoided. That’s the bottom line. Not for the first time, sloppiness was their undoing.‘It had looked like progress was being made of late, with Mikel Arteta’s men keeping three consecutive Premier League clean sheets. Were it not for Eddie Nketiah’s sending off — and then conceding a late equaliser against Leicester — it might have been four.‘But then they go and do this.  ‘Let’s start with the first goal — the equaliser which arrived three minutes after Alexandre Lacazette’s excellent opener. Sead Kolasinac had the ball and Kieran Tierney was open on the wing. But he didn’t pass to him.  More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘Instead, he looked backwards and opted for David Luiz. Yet rather than play it to Luiz’s left foot like he should have done, he went for his right. It gifted Son Heung-min a run on goal and Spurs were back in it.‘Arsenal had 76 per cent possession in the second half. They looked in control. But they were undone by a set piece.‘Tierney, 5ft 10in, marked 6ft 2in Toby Alderweireld. The Tottenham defender won and that was that.’MORE: Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli responds to Ronaldinho comparing him to RonaldoMORE: Arsenal could play in the Community Shield even if they lose to Manchester City in FA Cup semi-finalFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Metro Sport ReporterMonday 13 Jul 2020 9:12 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link2.2kShares Advertisement Martin Keown names two positives for Arsenal after Tottenham defeat Comment Advertisement Keown says Arteta needs to work out his best system (Picture: Getty Images)Martin Keown says Dani Ceballos and Emiliano Martinez were the shining lights in Arsenal’s otherwise dismal performance in their 2-1 loss to Spurs on Sunday.After going a goal up through Alexandre Lacazette in the first half, a stray pass from Sead Kolasinac allowed Heung-Min Son to equalise just minutes later, before Toby Alderweireld headed in a late winner to seal all three points for Spurs.Martinez was once again in good form for the Gunners, making seven saves to keep the scoreline down, and Ceballos, who has also been in a rich vein of form since the restart, made Mikel Arteta’s side tick in midfield.AdvertisementAdvertisementAnd while Arsenal legend Keown believes there were a few encouraging performances to take from the loss, he insists both goals could have been easily avoided.ADVERTISEMENT‘There were positives for Arsenal, Keown told the Daily Mail. ‘Dani Ceballos was promising in midfield, while keeper Emiliano Martinez was probably their best player. ‘But Arteta needs to decide which way he wants his team to play — three or four at the back — and buy players who suit his preferred system.‘Harry Kane and Son posed problems. We saw Shkodran Mustafi diving in — maybe that’s because he doesn’t feel he’s going to get cover from Luiz behind him.  ‘Choose your system, Arteta, and buy accordingly.last_img read more