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"Into the Badlands" Is the Ass-Kicking Martial Arts Epic You Should Watch

AMC’s new blades-and-badassery series takes in-your-face action to a whole new level.
Courtesy of AMC

Good news for mixed-martial-arts addicts, old-time Kung Fu buffs, and fans of plain, old-fashioned knuckle busting: AMC, a network with a rich history of making smart, niche-genre shows (see: zombies and westerns), is at it again.

Into the Badlands, which airs Sunday nights, stars Chinese action-movie veteran (and, in this case, exec producer) Daniel Wu as Sunny, a heavily tattooed warrior—no joke: his 404 tats mark 404 kills—who sets out on a journey with his young protégé MK (Aramis Knight) to escape a reign of terror brought on by seven Badlands barons.

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This sets the stage for a visual martial-arts feast (Jackie Chan–style kung fu, Israeli Krav Maga, samurai sword fighting) that’s presented not with the typical digital effects, shaky-cam footage, and vertiginous, fast-moving editing, but with long scenes and wide shots that’ll make your eyes bulge. “This is all about seeing how good the kicks and punches really are,” says Wu. Note to Grasshopper: You’ll want to free up your Sundays.



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