Unbeatable follows the lives of two MMA fighters; Fai (Nick Cheung), a former MMA champion and Qi (Eddie Peng), the fast and determined newbie who showed potential in fighting, that he joined competitions in hopes to win the prize money for his bankrupt father.
Director Dante Lam allowed the story to drive the action, rather than creating points of action just for the sake of it. It was essential for viewers to understand the motivation behind the characters, the reason that made them step into the fighting ring. Lam managed to send that message across subtlety but vividly, with a strong buildup towards the end of the film.
Another impressive point for Unbeatable were the camera angles and precise shots during the fights in the ring. There were not only adequate wide-angles to give audiences an overview of the ring, but even close-ups of expressions, twists and combat techniques. Despite all the intensive fights, shots were steady and focused, which intensified these battling scenes.
The relationship between Fai and little witty girl, Dani (Malaysian actress Crystal Lee) brought much giggles, with her being that cute daughter one would hope for. As she slowly opens up to Fai, that chemistry between the unique duo were such a joy to watch.
There might not be a 'twist', where moviegoers might hope for, but it couldn't have ended better. Having said that, it's a pity the supporting characters weren't explored further, such as the female love interest of Qi and the backstory of single-parent mother who lost her son. The connection of their stories with the leads were weak and unfathomed. In addition, the film felt a tad too long, where fighting-action scenes during the competition were the only scenes we were looking forward to.
Overall, the luring factor for Unbeatable goes beyond those chiselled abs and buff bodies. Though a formulaic flow of events, Lam manages to blend action with emotion. Behind those sweaty men trying to rip limbs off their opponents are stories of affection, determination and of course, inspiration.