To The Fore (破风) Movie Review

To The Fore (破风) Movie Review | by

Recommended Audience: Fans of Choi Siwon 崔始源, Eddie Peng 彭于晏, Shawn Dou 竇驍, Wang Luodan 王珞丹, Carlos Chan 陳家樂, Ouyang Nana 歐陽娜娜, Andrew Lien 連凱 and Dante Lam 林超贤 movie fans


To The Fore (破风) Movie Synopsis

To The Fore Three BuddiesA sports-romance movie by Dante Lam that focuses on the friendships and love lives of four friends. All four are avid cyclists and they have entered a cycling competition; their toughest yet which will test their friendship.

To The Fore (破风) Viewer Rating: 4/5 ****

To The Fore (破风) Movie Review:

To The Fore is an inspirational teen film, a trending genre in China and Taiwan (think So Young (致我们终将逝去的青春), Tiny Times (小时代), The Left Ear (左耳), but with the element of sports – cycling. This is a rare sports to touch on, and if I have to use other films to describe, I will say it is like a cycling filmed with an East “Hot Shot (籃球火)”+ West “Fast and Furious (速度与激情)” technique. To The Fore 8Basketball-themed idol drama had been many Chinese’s favourite since 13 years ago when Taiwan’s My MVP Valentine (MVP情人 2002) was out. Here, the film used a similar concept, a good cycling coach Andrew Lien with his daughter Ouyang Nana who scouted a group of talented cyclist and trained them for the competitions. While I will say this method will be fantastic in a drama format, the two characters above were not as well as I would like them to. But yet again, Fast and Furious has 7 instalments to develop their characters, this means To The Fore have plenty to expand!

To The Fore 11In every love story, it seems that there will be a mini Meteor Garden (流星花园). Qiu Ming (Eddie Peng) is the Dao Ming Si (道明寺), the fighter who will actively pursue what he want, including the girl he likes. I enjoyed watching how Director Dante Lam brings out the personality of each characters in a very positive way. To The Fore 7Qiu Tian (Shawn Dou), the quiet Hua Ze Lei (花泽类) who is observant and gentle. This is a character who doesn’t seem to fit into this fierce, competitive film. Yet, the Canadian-Chinese actor who was known for his role in Zhang Yimou’s movie The Love of the Hawthorn Tree (山楂树之恋) in 2010 managed to bring out the stress he get from both the media and his training peers without blending into the background.

To The Fore 13Zheng Zhi Yuan (Choi Siwon), the Korean sprinter (冲线手) was the one who surprised me the most. From the trailer, I thought he was the ambitious champion who wants it all. I was wrong. As the saying goes, it takes a hero to recognise a hero, while most film will display the dark side of the industry to increase the excitement, here they used sportmanship to touch the audience’s heart. It was odd having Choi Siwon’s voice dubbed even when he spoke in Chinese, and although he did not have as much screen time as compared to Eddie Peng, his performance was memorable enough to make the audience want to watch more of him. To The Fore Brotherhood“To The Fore” is not just about cycling, it is about brotherhood, about a love-triangle, about youth, and most importantly, it’s about dreams. There were plenty of heart-warming moments in the film which will remind you about the dreams you have when you were young. The characters made mistakes, they failed, and they stood back up again.

ToTheFore LoveShiyao (Wang Luodan), the love interest of two guys in this film, is a character whom I found a tad lacking. I remembered her from The Virtuous Queen of Han (大汉贤后卫子夫) where she played the quiet and kind queen who was often bullied. While the part where she plays a aspiring cyclist who had heart problems was motivational (and very well done!), her chemistry with Qiu Ming (Eddie Peng) was somewhat low. While there was at least an attempt to include a female lead to balance the film, the film was making the same mistakes most Hollywood films had, where the other female characters (Ouyang Nana and Alice 洛诗) are often flower-vases with not many lines. To The Fore SceneryHere, not only will you get to see the cycling terrains of numerous countries, you will also learn about the different functions of a cycling team, something most people won’t know about. There are climbing specialist for the hard inclines, time trialists for long distance and (the focus of the film) sprinters and domestiques of the team. Cinematography and editing wise, the film is definitely comparable, if not much better than some Hollywood films. To The Fore is one of those unconventional films which managed to get my adrenaline rushing without using any guns, drugs, sex or action scenes. Definitely a recommended film for those who love cycling, excitement and eye-candies 😛 .

Do You Know?

To The Fore 9In order to get the best cinematic effects, this film went to many cities to film, such as Mainland China, Taiwan, Korea, Italy, Mongolia Tengger Dessert, Switzerland Matterhorn, Shanghai etc. The film invited 1404 professional cyclists, travelled 117 900km, more than 80 people were injured during the filming process. In order to capture the scenes in Italy’s Mount Karara, the crew had to drive 4 hours to reach there each time. To The Fore 2Dante Lam started planning in 2000, but the plan failed a few times. His dream of filming a cycling-themed film finally came true after 15 years. When asked about the reasons for failure, he mentioned about the high cost involved, and those were spent in areas that cannot be seen. Every athlete’s full outfit cost more than $7000, and in “To The Fore”, 1500 of such outfits were used. Each bicycle cost $20,000 and the film used 400 of them. To expect high standards from every actor, they will need to spend at least 3 weeks to 4 months to undergo intensive professional training. Because of the amount of time used in such preparation, the amount of time spent on “To The Fore” is equivalent to filming 2-3 movies for the actors. It was said that filming this movie was even more complicated than filming Unbeatable (激战).

To The Fore 4Eddie Peng revealed that he had to ride 120km daily, and had cycled all the mountains in Hong Kong during his training period. To The Fore Wang Luo DanThe actors had to undergo 11 hours of training daily to get the physique and techniques of a professional cyclist. Wang Luo Dan revealed that she had to do 50 sets of sprint trainings, 20 seconds of sprints with 40 seconds break. On her 30th set, she would feel like crying, and on the 50th time, she will feel like vomiting.

To The Fore Shawn Dou InjuredOne of the actors Carlos Chan (陈家乐) had an accident during filming and fractured his collarbone (clavicle fracture). Shawn Dou revealed the two most serious falls he had in the film was so bad that his helmet broke. Choi Siwon was even knocked down by a water tank. He also injured his neck and had a bad vertebrae slip when filming in the Tengger Desert. Choi siwon save dogBeing a dog lover, Choi Siwon saved a puppy who dashed out into the road on a rainy day. He named it “Missing” (迷路) and brought it to a nearby vet for a check. He only left after the crew promised him that the staff in the clinic would take care of him.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out To The Fore (破风)Facebook Page!
To The Fore (破风) is out in cinemas on 6 August 2015.

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*Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

24 thoughts on “To The Fore (破风) Movie Review”

  1. i went to watch this movie and came back with the following lessons:
    #1 : we will really sacrifice for the person we love dearly
    #2 : love cannot be forced, you need two hands to clap and if you cannot be lovers, you can still be friends!
    #3 : true friends stay with you in your ups and downs, they track you to check on you, they sacrifice what they have to keep the friendship, they pushed you from the back without you even realising it!
    #4 : the NEED of wanting to win and be on top can cloud your judgements and make you do wrong things
    #5 : the courage of facing your mistakes and staring all over again
    #6 : hardwork and determination will help you realise your dreams
    #8 : you may be in a competition, but deep down inside you are still true friends!

  2. A movie that centers on biking/cycling with a twist of romance. I wonder how much did they spend on the production from shooting scenes from different countries.

  3. Louise ღ (@louisechelle)

    Reading through your sypnosis, I found this movie like a typical movie to watch but after reading how much effort they have given to produce this film, well, that’s something I’m very much interested in.

  4. sounds like an interesting movie, and one i would watch! the amount of effort the actors put into their jobs… admirable !

  5. A new story for me about cycling eh? And yeah, I think this is some feel-good movies, that would suit my movie genre preferences. 😀 I’m just not sure if this will be available on big screens here in the Phils.

  6. I like that there is a theme other than romance in the film, sports based action is always good too. I haven’t heard of this film in the UK, but i am sure it is something we would watch.

  7. Cycling can really be an exciting film subject as well. This may be good one to catch. I saw something very strange though in one of your pictures. Why is the guy in red (pic after the video) wearing such ugly and awkward looking pants like that??!!! – Fred

  8. I love watching sports related movies a lot for some reason even though I am not good at any sport myself. =p

  9. I loved Premium Rush, I own a bike but haven’t used it in a long while. The kids come first and going out to ride it just isn’t in the cards right now. I would love to see To The Fore, hope they show it in the Philippines! 🙂

  10. Since I’m a fan of sports-related movies, even if I haven’t seen this one, I’d still watch it. But your review definitely made me to see it more.

  11. The trailer alone excited me more than ever. I’m reminded of a fellow blogger who would be so interested in this movie for sure with the kind of sports he has. Franc Ramon will be so thrilled with this, I’m pretty sure.

    As for the movie, if this will be shown here in Thailand, I’m sure to check it out.

  12. This sounds like an interesting movie to watch. I am not really into anything that’s sport-related but given the story line, I would like to check this movie out someday.

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