A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »
Two friends, ex Shaolin monks, part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rises up to be a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.
Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »
Wing Chun, a woman living in a remote village often pillaged by robbers. When Wing Chun finally loses her cool and defeats them, her heroic actions stir up even more trouble in this ... See full summary »
This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. ... See full summary »
A Hong Kong variation on Robin Hood. The corrupt officials of a Chinese village are continually robbed by a masked bandit know as "Iron Monkey" named after a benevolent deity. When all else fails, the Govenor forces a traveling physician (Donnie Yen) into finding the bandit. The arrival of an evil Shaolin monk, brings the Physician and Iron Monkey together to battle the corrupt government. Written by
Ronald L. Strong <RS080455@PACBELL.NET>
It is THE martial arts film to see -- it is about young Wong Fei-hung, before Tsui Hark-Jet Li's "Once Upon A Time In China" period.
Hong Kong film director and martial arts expert Yuen Woo-ping is absolutely outstanding. In "Iron Monkey," one scene I admire most is the poetically quiet, beautiful interaction of fluid movements in graceful progression: as Dr. Yang and Miss Orchid close shop (the clinic), a whiff of wind blows the papers (written prescriptions) up in the air, and Yang (who's actually Iron Monkey) elevates himself up into the air to catch the flying papers, while Orchid, with a few agile movements and glides, catches the balance of the flying papers. It's like a short interlude - a silent romantic song with punctuated accents - with a slight kick from Miss Orchid, a stool plops into place upside down as it should be on another neatly ends the piece. I actually relish this quiet segment much more than the awe-struck extensive finale scene, which is truly an amazing display of exquisitely choreographed martial art movements of three masters (two good forces tenaciously team up against one skillful evil monk) on multiple wooden poles with inferno-like fire a-dancing below. Fantastic performances from Donnie Yen as Wong Kei-ying, father of Wong Fei-hung, who's deftly portrayed by a young girl Tsang Sze-man, and Yu Rongguang as Dr. Yang/Iron Monkey, with Jean Wang as Miss Orchid, to the upstanding police chief, the devastating evil monk and all.
Iron Monkey is essentially a film about the legendary Shaolin kung-fu master (also known as drunken master) Wong Fei-hung when he was young. In fact, the alternate title is "Siunin Wong Fei-hung tsi titmalau," literally: Young Wong Fei-hung's iron monkey.
Follow this up with Jet Li's "Once Upon A Time In China 2" ("Wong Fei-hung ji yi: Naam yi dong ji keung" 1992, literally: Wong Fei-hung #2 - young man should be self-sufficiently strong) and the adult Wong Fei-hung portrayal will be better understood: why he's so good at his knowledge and practice of Chinese medicine, why he acted so restrained and coy with Aunt Yee, whom he very much loves but won't express so - all due to the austere teachings from his father as noted in "Iron Monkey." We also learn that he lost his mother at a tender young age - though from Jackie Chan's "The Legend of Drunken Master" (2000 USA, "Jui Kuen 2" 1994, literally: Drunken fist 2), we can see he has quite a wonderful stepmother - smart and wittily portrayed by Anita Mui! See it if you want another excitingly fun, martial arts action-packed drama about the adult Wong Fei-hung.
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