空手道 (The Empty Hands) (Blu-ray release 2018-2-14) tells the story of a little girl, who lost a karate competition, had since resented her Japanese instructor father. She grows up, becomes a mistress and is messed up in life. She is surprised to find that her father gave half of the dojo to another student in his will. That student entices her to compete again in order to regain her life.
Although the screenplay has some notable gaps concerning the supporting characters and the ending, I find the movie to be a little special. We see an expansion of the lead actress’s acting from this movie and Husband Killers (2017). The movie reflects the social problem of real estate in Hong Kong, and public park occupied by square dancing women, etc. I think the primary reason of it failing at the box office is that it is a drama, instead of meeting audience expectation of having more fight scenes as implied by the Chinese title. Strangely enough it has some cleavage scenes, and a supporting character is also shown to be doing a sexy job at the end.
(Note: There exists a political interpretation of this movie. The year 2014, during which the student did something morally right and went to jail, marks an important political event in Hong Kong. The mute supporting character, and people not helping him, may represent people’s voice not being heard. The director, who is also the lead actor, having been banned from China due to his political stance is perhaps keeping his stance, even if this means losing money as shown as a throwing and damaging a Rolex.)