Action-packed as usual with Donnie Yen kicking his adversaries in the role of "Beggar Su". Basic plot revolves around a young Beggar Su getting addicted to opium and manipulated by a ... See full summary »
In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks.
A martial arts expert opens a school and publishes self-help books to make a living. But one day a youth is killed in a street fight after reading the self-help books, which leads to a violent feud between the expert and the victim's father.
This is an over view of martial arts film history. It takes us from 1940's to the 1990's when the film was made. It has clips from all periods as well as interviews with many of the actors and directors that have worked in the genre. It is quite simply a must see for anyone who is interested in the genre or the history of film. Certainly its far from complete, the director did not interview everyone (Jackie Chan is not interviewed but is seen in a good deal of footage) and the film's use of clips is limited to what we'd now consider bargain basement films (early Jackie Chan, anything in public domain, no major films like those of Bruce Lee, and though there are interviews with Steve James and Menahem Golan there is no footage from any of the Canon ninja films). Minor flaws aside, you will not do better than this film for an over view of the history of martial arts films. I have yet to run across a film that so neatly wraps everything up. (IFC recently did a one hour program called Cinema Hong Kong:Kung Fu which is very good, and brings everything up to date but is much too short- Ideally that film and this would probably tell you everything you need or want to know about the genre). This is the real deal.
(Do keep in mind that things have changed since this film was made in particular with the collapse of the Hong Kong film industry, which is touted here as massive an thriving)
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