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.
Dragon is now transferred to be the police head of Sai Wan district, and has to contend with a gangster kingpin, anti-Manchu revolutionaries, some runaway pirates, Manchu Loyalists and a corrupt police superintendent.
After failing to save his wife from 'The Doctor', Kit Li is working as a bodyguard and secret stunt double for the cowardly martial arts film star Frankie Lane. Frankie attends an ... 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>
The part of the young Wong Fei-Hung is played by Tsang Sze-Man, a talented martial artist, and also a girl. See more »
Just after Miss Orchid put the needles in the back of Dr. Yang to get the poison out of the Buddha's Palm, she lays him back in the chair, and then we see his back without the needles, and it never shows her taking them out. See more »
[dubbed and subtitled versions]
Don't take things too seriously, and you will always be at ease.
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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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