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Return of the Kung Fu Dragon More at IMDbPro »Ju ma pao (original title)

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Old School Flash Gordon

8/10
Author: Mark-129 from United States
13 May 2005

I watched this film for the legendary Polly Shang Kuan, but was surprised to find the film to be much more entertaining and effective than I expected.

The opening, colorful costuming, story and pace is mounted in the fashion of a Flash Gordon Saturday cliffhanger serial, and this, a year before Star Wars.

The complicated story involves the military conquest of a peaceful island-nation by an evil despot and his sorcerer ally. His victory leaves the island's three heroic protectors dead, but, their young children are hidden away to grow to adulthood with different identities, unaware of their heritage, in hope that, in time, they might challenge and defeat the evil ruler. The charming Polly Kuan stars as one of these children who has been adopted by the conquerer himself, initially as an insult to the defeated hero, later as his protégé.

Truthfully, the acting and martial arts are not outstanding, but, the story, as presented, has the qualities of a much better film. Even with the poorly done and over the top English dubbing, every once in a while, character driven elements, including humor and pathos are on display. The finale, in many ways, reflects George Lucas's Return of the Jedi, but is more effective on certain levels then the Star Wars effort. From me, that's saying a lot.

I'm not saying this is a very good film, it's not, but there are a few great ideas on screen that would soon be fully realized in the bigger budgeted films of the '80s.

Well worth your time!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The princess of the Golden City—Taiwanese Kung Fu tale

7/10
Author: Cristi_Ciopron from CGSM, Soseaua Nationala 49
17 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The throne of the Golden City—the capital of the Phoenix Island, in the South China's seas—has been usurped and a mischievous Emperor now reigns; but somewhere there is a princess, an heiress to that desired throne, the fair daughter of the dethroned Emperor. She's aided by the descendants of her father's loyal and brave generals—aided by them, I say, to gain the throne that belongs in fact to her. Well, now you can tell whether the subject of the Kung Fu legend RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON interests you. Adroitly, this tale is treated in a burlesque manner, it's colorful, lively and pretty dynamic, action—wise exciting and quite fast—moving, funny; one could object a certain murkiness of the storyline—but then again, since these Kung Fu scripts aren't known for their keen thoughtfulness, what couldn't one? Don't make your appreciation of RETURN OF THE KUNG FU DRAGON depend on that ….

There are, of course, magicians, and the royal princess is nice—in fact, quite cute.

Are we entitled to conclude that the Kung Fu dragon from the flick's title is this princess? Directed by Chick Lim Yu, ROTKFD is a '76 Taiwanese flick, and the almost non—stop gags and humor make impossible of course any feeling of wonderment at the legendary facts narrated, yet do allow for rather enough sentiment of weirdness.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fairly standard Taiwanese martial arts flick

5/10
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
28 December 2015

A peaceful city nation is taken over by an aggressive enemy, led by a dictator and a wizard. The children of three prominent citizens murdered by the invaders grow up and seek revenge.

Return of the Kung Fu Dragon is a martial arts film from Taiwan. It isn't particularly distinctive from the many other chopsocky films from the 70's. In other words its action packed from start to finish, with lots of kung fu fighting. Like others it's cheaply made, with ropey dubbing but it does gain something from its period setting, which does give it some production value. But on the whole, this is strictly one for enthusiasts for this kind of thing.

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