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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

On the eastern frontier.

Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
24 April 2010

Odd, but fascinating and likable early Jackie Chan martial arts vehicle. Well I might just be stretching calling it a vehicle though he's the name seller (outside director Lo Wei), but at times Chan (who plays it cocky, but can back it up) was overshadowed by his co-stars (James Tien and Bruce Liang). Nonetheless the thing that does stand out and this is probably why he doesn't charismatically standout (well not from the crisply choreographed action sequences though) was that the comical elements are played down with a more straight-laced vibe winning out. Lord Ting Chung the fastest fists in the East (Chan) is hired along with some other partners to protect a women and her ill-brother while transporting them through the Stormy Mountains that's infested with robbers. The story might seem basic, but it's anything but. It's quite an eventful plot, which does become somewhat of a mess with its dramatic twists and silly turns. Therefore its busily conceived structure consisting of a variety of characters, situations and challenges lets the pace briskly move through moving from one set-piece to another. Quick, lively and fun sums it up. What more could you ask for. The fluidly diverse martial arts come in spades with flexibility, creativity and exuberance in its flashy and flighty execution of one-on-one or group ambushes. Namely the stirringly long-winded climax, which would come back down to earth with a thud with its abrupt ending (which filled many films of its genre). A novelty that comes to the foreground is that it was obviously made for 3D with its intrusive framing and tricky jolts. I was kind of surprised how much of those occurrences did pop up and another interesting note would be the use of the "Star Wars" theme score for one particular scene. It might not be held up alongside Chan's other efforts, but this raw venture is a neat little kung-fu showcase.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of Jackie's more interesting movies

Author: Aidy from United Kingdom
8 June 2000

This movie was made during the pre-humour stage of Jackie Chan's career, and is one of the relatively few serious movies that Jackie did. I like his humorous films as well but I find they can slow down the pace a little. Not so with this movie as it's action from start to finish.

This is one of the more interesting Jackie Chan movie that I've seen. Jackie plays a bodyguard who is hired to accompany a woman through a dangerous stretch of countryside. Jackie is hired yet agrees to do the job for free...this is just the start of a complicated story line.

Unlike his more humorous movies this movie is out-and-out action from the very start. The fighting scenes are good and frequent. The story line has a few twists and isn't just the standard `I will revenge my father/brother' plot. Interesting things to note are the 3D effects, at one point they enter a monastery that has swastikas on the wall, then when the team are trying to pass through a valley they start to play the Star Wars theme!!!

Overall this is quite different from most Jackie movies in that the story line is rich, the action is frequent, and the twists rival Fight Club.

Not the best movie he's ever done, but well worth a look.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not A Bad Film

Author: Vic Smith from London, England
19 March 1999

This is a typically bizarre early Chan film, made by Lo Wei. It concerns Chan escorting a woman across a dangerous valley to find a cure for her sick "brother". Although not a classic, this film does contain a number of impressive fight scenes,although the script is messy and often confusing. Still,it's nice to see Chan in his long-haired seventies days!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fast, furious and fanciful

Author: Mick Pope from Sydney, Australia
1 December 1998

This has to be one of my favorite Jackie Chan films for the fast action. The plot is at first fairly mundane, just an excuse for a team up with Jackie and some other improbable characters, including that played by James Tien - beware or he'll skin you alive! Although this is one of Jackie's earlier and more serious films - there is plenty to keep you laughing, including the improbable plot development later on. The villains are weird and wonderful and the fight scenes typical of Chan in this era. Things to look out for include the occasional 'borrowed' piece of music from Star Wars. All in all, if you are willing to suspend your disbelief (what's new), then the slightly ham acting won't get in the way of some good action.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

We have ways of making you kung-fu!

Author: vierlix
10 July 2005

That this is a "serious" Jackie Chan movie does not at all stop it being hilarious. The plot has several twists (so many I have no idea what the movie was supposed to be about) and they all exist for one reason: more fight scenes! our movie needs more fight scenes!! it does not matter who is in the scene, invent a reason for them to fight!!

Toss in some seriously bad foley, a "deaf" character who can obviously hear, a little... familiar... incidental music, and some monks whose ultimate technique is to make a moderately loud noise, and it's really no wonder that the subtitling is so shoddily done.

The "Stormy Mountain" theme song is a real gem. Make up your own verses and sing along!

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:


Author: Sal Murakami from Japan
22 February 1999

This film has never shown in Japanese movie theatre although Jackie was superstar for more than two decades. You will enjoy this if you don't sleep.(It's not easy!) I thought it was something like a mixture of the old Japanese Samurai story and the Western Cowboy film. You will see so many naked indians although it's story is in China - they look so stupid like Monty Pythons' comedy. And you will see the guy with 6 fingers on his hand.You will hear some Star Wars soundtracks.Kung-Fu actions with 3D camera tricks are so shabby, maybe one of the worst ones in Jackie's all films ever made. But you gonna like this garbage if you like 70's cheap and crazy Kung-Fu films.I like this one because this is definitely one of the most stupid films I've ever seen. Even more stupid than Austion Powers!!!!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Cool Movie!

Author: mars-14 from Trinidad
5 September 2004

Cool movie! Features a long-haired 24-year old Jackie Chan, great costumes, an improbably complicated plot, a bizarre song in the middle, American-Indian Mongol hordes, pre-Matrix "bullet time" fx, and much more.

Basically, Jackie and cohorts - the magnificent bodyguards of the title - are hired to guard and transport a valuable cargo over some dangerous, bandit-infested mountains. Of course, nothing is what it seems, no-one can be trusted and there appears to be a lost tribe of American Indians wandering the hills.

The version I saw was subtitled - it was fun hearing the original Chinese. Maybe that let the humour come out more. The movie doesn't take itself too seriously and only gets serious at the very end.

Well worth a watch.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of Chan's Weaker Vehicles From this Period

Author: ProgressiveHead from Murray Bridge, South Australia
8 April 2010

This was one of many Jackie Chan vehicles made around this time when he was not yet a huge star. He had just made "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow", and "Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin". The mega-hit "Drunken Master" would follow. Unfortunately this doesn't compare well to those.

Chan is asked by a young, wealthy lady to take her sick brother to a specialist doctor. To reach him, Chan and a handful of traveling companions must pass through bandit-infested wild country. They encounter and kung-fu-fight several gangs of thugs along the way.

Some minor interest is maintained as there's a quest involved, and the group journey through some nice locations. Also, the musical score has a surprising range of dynamics.

On the downside, the version I saw was poorly dubbed and the script had a lot of problems.

None of the many fight-scenes reach the heights of "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow", "Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin" or "Drunken Master" (Jackie Chan vehicles made immediately before and after Magnificent Bodyguards).

Also, there is a twist near the end which I felt was a cop out and undermined the nature of the film, but by that point I wasn't too bothered anyway.

I would recommend this to die-hard Jackie Chan fans only. The casual fan would do well to stick with his 80s and 90s output (with a few exceptions).

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

"A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away"

Author: Ricardo-36 from São Paulo, Brazil
12 September 1999

I have seen a lot of (bad) chinese, and I am a big fan of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, but this movie is probably the WORSE movie ever made. Let me explain why:

1 - The acting is very, very, very bad. The actors in the "nazi" monk scene were laughing during the fight. The fighting scene is very bad.

2 - As this movie was shot in 3D you'll see some knives, rocks and even snakes flying over the camera, to create that 3D effect. If you are watching this movie in a TV, this will look silly.

3 - The fight scenes are quite bizarre. The make up and the fake blood are very odd. The final fight scene is indoor and outdoor almost at the same time (watch carefully the final fight scene and prepare to laugh with the final "the end" scene)

If you want to see this movie, I must say: May the force be with you! You'll need it.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Dreadful dubbing

Author: grant-robinson from Australia
29 December 2007

I rented a DVD dubbed in Engish.

After watching many brilliant Jackie Chan movies in Mandarin with English subtitles, this was a dreadful disappointment.

I cannot believe the poor quality of the dubbing, makes the whole film appear wooden. If we must have dubbing, why is it not done with Chinese accents? American accents and a poor standard of dubbing is just dreadful.

The acting is also disappointing, far short if the usual Jackie Chan standard.

Maybe if release in the original language with English subtitles, it would be far more interesting and make up for the poor dubbing.

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