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I generally dislike comedy in my kung fu, and prefer straight up revenge tales. Mad Monkey Kung Fu, strangely enough, combines both, but ultimately is more comedic than I would like.
That's not to say Chia-Liang Liu's direction isn't as good as ever, his choreographies mind-blowing and the kung fu on display impressive. My only gripe with the film, and the reason I largely didn't enjoy it, is that everything is utterly silly. I guess the monkey style kung fu is inherently silly, in and off itself, but Little Monkey's fights with Lo Lieh's thugs are more circus fare, complete with grimaces and silly quirks, than straight up kung fu.
What I DID like where the training scenes, where Master Chan trains Little Monkey (played over the top, and given his role, right on the money, by Hou Hsiao) in the ways of the monkey fu, . It's still very much played for laughs but pleasantly so.
Anyways, overall good performances by Hsiao, Lo Lieh and the foxy Kara Hiu (unfortunately in a short role), great choreographies as usual by Chia-Liang Liu, but too light-hearted for my tastes.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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