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In the hope of finding someone worthy of being his teacher, portly fighter Chen Rong (Sammo Hung) challenges random strangers to fight him. After easily beating several opponents, Chen Rong is finally defeated by martial arts expert Chun Yao (Ka-Yan Leung) but is unable to convince him to become his sifu. Not one to give up, Chen Rong follows Chun Yao everywhere, even to his home, where he meets his unwilling sifu's tasty wife Yoo Yi (played by the amusingly named Fanny Wang), who takes pity on the eager young man.
When some really bad men turn up to cause trouble, Chen Rong is amazed to see Chun Yao and his spouse seemingly running scared. Curious, Chen questions Yoo Yi and discovers why Chun Yao flees when he could fight: on his wedding night, Chun discovered his older adoptive brother Chong Ming (Yi Chang) making unwanted sexual advances towards Yoo Yi. Rather than fight the son of the man who gave him a home and raised him as his own, and feeling just a little guilty about being responsible for accidentally blinding Ming in one eye, Chun opts to keep out of his brother's way. Unfortunately, Ming hasn't given up lusting after Yoo, sending countless hired help to try and dispose of his brother and make off with his wife. Soon enough, Chen Rong finds himself involved in the familial fracas, with bloody consequences for all.
The Victim kicks off in classic kung fu comedy mode, with Chen Rong's search for a sifu resulting in some very silly moments against several comical opponents; the broad humour continues when Chen's pursuit of Chun Yao leads to a brawl in a steamy bath house against several naked men. Even when the film enters darker territory, the zaniness persists, with perhaps the film's most tragic moment weakened by an inappropriate gag featuring Sammo Hung dressed as Dracula. The movie's iffy comedy is easily forgiven, however, thanks to the brilliantly choreographed fight action which is frequent, fast and furious, with Hung displaying his incredible kung fu skills and agility to the full, and Ka-Yan Leung performing some amazing moves despite having had no formal martial arts training.
The final fight between the two 'brothers' is bloody, brutal and brilliant, and would have been the perfect way to end matters; unfortunately, the film closes with a bit more silly buffoonery courtesy of Hung which makes no sense whatsoever.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
N.B. All character names in my review come from my DVD's subtitles and are more than likely wrong.
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