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Dreamy young Yu-Shu who draws comics of imaginary martial arts heroes is put to a test when he rescues a young girl from a prostitution racket headed by a local police chief. With his comics and a real Kung-Fu master to inspire him, Yu Shu calls on some new powers. Written by
Towne 3, San Jose, Ca
Brilliant fight scenes at the end make it all worthwhile.
Operation Scorpio (AKAThe Scorpion King) doesn't slip into top gear until the last 25 minutes or so, but when the action does hit top speed, it delivers some truly amazing martial arts scenes that demand the viewer's attention. That is not to say that the first hour is worthless just that compared to the final fight-fest, it seems a bit underwhelming.
The plot revolves around Yuk-Su, a talented comic artist who dreams of being a herojust like those he depicts in his drawings. When Yuk-Su rescues a young maid, Siu-Yu, who is being sold into prostitution, he incurs the wrath of her evil boss, Wa. Led by Sonny, master of scorpion style kung fu, Wa's henchmen give chase to Yuk-Su and the maid. Yuk-Su's father intervenes but he is injured. After being rescued by some friendly bodybuilders, the three eventually hide out at a noodle restaurant, owned by their friend, Master Yat.
Yuk-Su learns to cooks noodles, but also regularly sneaks out in order to secretly build his strength and learn kung fu under the tutelage of Jean, the teacher of the musclebound hulks who rescued them. When Master Yat must leave on business, Yuk-Su is left in charge of the kitchen; however, he pops out to practise his skills with Jean, leaving Siu-Yu to serve the customers. Sonny and his men visit the restaurant and, disgusted by the noodles they are served, trash the restaurant.
When Master Yat learns that Yuk-Su has been sneaking out, he tells him that he should have learnt kung fu from him; it transpires that Master Yat used to be a top Triad assassin, until he decided to try and change his ways. Under the guidance of Master Yat, Yuk-Su improves his skills, even learning the art of the shadowless kick! Yuk-Su eventually gets a chance to try and become a real hero when his friend, Fatty, announces that his maid has also been sold into prostitution. With Jean, they visit Wa posing as French brothel keepers looking for new women. When Fatty's maid is presented to them, she accidentally blows their ruse and at last the action kicks off big style. Despite his best efforts, Jean is badly beaten by Sonny and he and Yuk-Su are forced to flee. On returning to the restaurant, Yuk-Su finds it ablaze; and worst of all, the bad guys have found Siu-Yu! Yuk Su, accompanied by Master Yat, returns to Wa's place to try and rescue Siu-Yu...
Despite some fairly entertaining training scenes, the slow build up to the final action at Wa's house is rather too drawn out and devoid of any serious fight scenes. It is a shame that the tedium wasn't broken up by a decent scrap midway, rather than saving all of the juicy stuff until the end.
The last fight, however, is worth the wait in the end; Won Jin gives a jaw dropping performance as the high kicking Sonny who scuttles, flips and spins with amazing skill and dexterity, and Chin Kar-Lok gives a solid performance as Yuk-Su, the artist-turned-fighter. Also particularly good is old-school kung fu star Lau Kar-Leung (AKA Liu Chia Liang) as Master Yat, proving that this old-timer has still got what it takes to kick ass! Although not a perfect film, Operation Scorpio has enough standout action in its finale to definitely warrant a viewing.
NB. I may have got some of the names wrong. My DVD calls characters by different names than those listed on IMDb.
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