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Mi Wey is a local hero named after "Killer Meteors", his secret weapon which makes him invincible. However, when "Immortal" Wa Wu Bin, another powerful local character seeks his assistance, "Killer meteor" will face the greatest and the deadliest challenge of his life. Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sometimes if an actor has not had a successful run as a lead then it behooves him or her to take a supporting role. After the box office failings of New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men, Lo Wei decided to cast Jackie Chan as a villain in a secondary position to the lead of Jimmy Wang Yu (who starred in many popular pictures as a one-arm martial artist and many not-so-popular films as a two-arm martial artist.) Wang Yu's stardom was slowly fading at the time of this picture, but he had a much more recognizable name than Jackie's. Useless tidbit: according to Jackie, he made 12,000 HK dollars to Wang Yu's 50,000. The Killer Meteors was based on a Gu Long novel and it was the first of two films to be shot in Korea (To Kill with Intrigue was the second.) Jimmy stars as Mi Wei the Killer Meteor, a sarcastic master of Kung Fu who know no equal. He is so feared and admired that criminals will cut off there fingers in repentance rather than to face his possible wrath and master martial artists serve underneath him. I like Wang Yu's performance with his cocky panache (he even keeps track of his enemies all 491 of them) and glib humor though his character is a bit too "strong" for there to be any real conflict in this film. Also, his weakness at martial arts is very noticeable because of the direction and his slowness (Master of the Flying Guillotine is a good example of where he is choreographed well.) But who needs adroitness of movement when you carry a cool weapon like the Killer Meteor. Only three people have seen this weapon and two of them are dead. Most of the time he uses it as a club on the criminals who are undeserving to die by it's true form.
Wei is approached by Qing, the famous Blue-Robed Swordsman who must bring him to the Celestial House of Hua the Hearty (Wa Wu Bin in some translations/dubbings) before July 15 (according to subtitles) or he will die. Mi is intrigued by this, for he is always looking for a challenge worthy of him, and goes with Qing. When he meets Hua (Jackie Chan) he finds a sick man who needs the Killer Meteor's help. Hua was poisoned by his wife in his Ginseng soup (otherwise a normally healthy soup) and she gives him a yearly dose of antidote. Hua does not like this arrangement and wants his wife dead and the antidote all for himself. Wei accepts this challenge though he learns of the four feared bodyguards of his wife: Blazing Star whose weapons are the Plum Blossom Needles (always a favorite of mine, though for weapons so small they always seem to be caught), Killer Hands with fierce suction grip (like GI Joe's Kung Fu grip with vacuum power), Black Lama whose good at black magic and Taoist Ghost (Lee Man Tai) who is good at tricks. Now these characters sound good, but there use in the film is less than desirable.
Unfortunately the plot is weak. There are too many twists and turns that negate previous plot points and characters who are not whom they seem to be. Or are they? My notes on this film is huge but explaining even half of them would be tedious. Generally if plots become overburdened then you can fall back on the martial arts in the film. With Jimmy being the lead character and unless he was being doubled for flips the martial arts are too slow and the action too pedantic. Also there is not a lot of fighting. There are two main fight scenes between Jackie and Jimmy. The first fight scene is the best while the finale is a bit disappointing. It takes place on wooden poles with stakes on the ground resembling an action scene from Jimmy's earlier film Master of the Flying Guillotine and a bit like Yuen Woo Ping's Iron Monkey, though both are much more interesting. Luckily for the viewers Mi Wei shows off his killer weapon.
The Killer Meteors was a failure at the box office and did not help either Jimmy's or Jackie's career. Along with the confusing story and mediocre action scenes there are too many problems with this film ranging from the overuse of the "lifted" King Kong score to really cheap costumes. Yet, I cannot say I wholly disliked the film. I liked Jimmy's performance, Jackie's "bad guy" performance, some of the story, the beautiful scenery and the titular weapon. Since there is a plethora of better Jimmy Wang Yu and Jackie movies there is no reason to recommend this film unless you are into watching all of Jackie's or Wang Yu's films like me.
DVD Notes: the two editions of this film I own are the Columbia version and the Simitar Platinum Series version. There is very little difference between the two. Both versions are full-screen (with the credits running letterboxed), both have Mandarin dialogue (though for some reason the Simitar version says Cantonese which is wrong), both have the same dubbed version and both have the same running time (104m). The Columbia version does have English subtitles though.
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