KUNG FU EMPEROR is a cheap Taiwanese kung fu effort that nonetheless gets by thanks to the predominance of plotting and lavish attention to period detail. The costumes might be gaudy but at least they look colourful and impressive on screen. Like many Taiwanese kung fu films, this one amasses a cast of Shaw Brothers veterans to give it some credibility, and it's a ploy that pays off. Ti Lung stars as a ne'er-do-well heir to the throne who gets into all sorts of scrapes when he goes up against a corrupt court official, as played by Chen Sing. The film is dominated by story rather than by action, with the requisite comedy scenes and goofy supporting characters to see it through, although the action when it does occur is fine. It's fun to see Lung playing an oddball fun-loving character in opposition to his usual serious one, while Dorian Tan turns up to contribute some high-kicking mayhem.
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