Rather stiff and slow for the most part even if the finale is good
I think this is the first film from the Shaw Brothers that I had seen in a contemporary setting and as such it took me a little time to settle into it. The film opens with Kuan in the throws of drug addiction and it is only the pity of dealer Chien which puts him on the road to recovery. Some time later Kuan is clean and teaching martial arts when Chien returns to his life, bringing danger and action with him. Well, sort of because in truth there is nowhere near enough action in this film to really carry it.
For the most part the film has lots of dialogue and scenes of drug addiction but not too much in the way of fighting. The odd scene breaks out but generally it is a rather dull affair as the words don't add much but instead only serve to push the action out. The character drama is a little soapy and overwrought for the most part, so it doesn't feel like we get a serious drama in return. The action does get good at the end and the traditional boss fight is enjoyable but sadly a bit short. The performances are OK but the material kept me out a bit. Ti Lung and Wang Chung are both pretty good but I would have liked more from the boss. Lee as a whore with a heart of gold is good-looking but really doesn't have too much of a character.
The film ends on a strong note but generally it takes up time with drama that isn't particularly well done. The fight sequences are mostly sporadic and the dialogue and drama that forces it out really doesn't work as well as it should.
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