6.7/10
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Fo zhang luo han quan (1980)

Aspiring barber and experienced kung-fu fighter Shang learns that his childhood friend, Siu Ming, has been framed for murder by an unknown villain. When Shang begins looking into the crime,... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shun-Yee Yuen ...
Shang (as Yuen Shun I)
Siu Ming Tsui ...
Si-Ming
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lung Chan ...
Yu
Hsi Chang
Shao-Peng Chen
Mei Sheng Fan ...
Fat Master (as Fan Mui Shung)
Pak-Kwong Ho
Tin Shing Hoh
Ti Hsieh
Hoi Sang Lee ...
Chen (as Lee Hoi Sung)
Shu-chan Ou
Kwai Shan ...
Mu-Chao Mu
Chin-Lai Sung ...
Fortune Teller (as Dai Sai Ngan)
Jing Tang
David Wu ...
Police Captain
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Storyline

Aspiring barber and experienced kung-fu fighter Shang learns that his childhood friend, Siu Ming, has been framed for murder by an unknown villain. When Shang begins looking into the crime, he soon finds himself the target of an assassination attempt. Who is behind all these crimes, and can Shang stop them? Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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hand to hand combat | See All (1) »

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Action

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Release Date:

7 May 1980 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Fat San Lo Hon kuen  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
half-baked but mostly brilliant
17 May 2013 | by See all my reviews

There's genius in this movie, but you must be willing to excavate it. Production was obviously troubled; there's a jarring mood shift two thirds through the film from the sort of non sequitur comedy the Yuen clan loved so much to a morally ambiguous drama that relies on insufficiently developed characters (although, it works in its own strange way). You may wonder why Simon Yuen appears for only one scene and why he looks so terrible. Well, he died during shooting and he had to be written out! There are a dozen comedy fights that could have been cut with no consequence to the story, there's some random hopping Chinese zombie because why not, and the villain is a walking Dave Chappelle joke--he's called Big-Small Foot because one foot is bigger than the other. He's asked about his motivation twice, and both times he melodramatically intones: "MONEYYY!"

So, after spending an hour hovering dangerously close to the absurdity of something like Taoism Drunkard, suddenly we're teleported to the climax of another movie, a dark, sober battle two between brothers at a memorial site littered with charms. The martial arts remain whimsical but are highly reverent and pious with all the intricate Buddha shapes. The motivations make sense on paper, but they don't make sense in context because the meat of the movie focused on lighthearted comedy at the expense of a dramatic arc. Yet it can't be ignored: the final scene is really, really good. The whole thing is fun, but man it gets going near the end. It's obviously close to unfinished, but if they just spent a little more time at the drawing board this could have been one of the best ever. Still highly recommended to those willing to sort of scavenge around for the best ideas and map out their own "big picture."


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