|Index||3 reviews in total|
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!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The throne of the Golden Citythe capital of the Phoenix Island, in the
South China's seashas 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 generalsaided 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, actionwise exciting
and quite fastmoving, funny; one could object a certain murkiness of
the storylinebut 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 nicein 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 nonstop 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.
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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