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Very underwhelming martial arts flick

3/10
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
13 April 2016

During the dark days of the Second World War, two Japanese prisoners of war are offered freedom if they are successful in managing a lumberyard in occupied China. They gladly take this opportunity and rule the yard with an iron fist, leading to an uprising lead by two of the oppressed workers.

The Brave Lion was one of many chopsocky films to exploit the bad history between Japan and China. Like the others it predictably has evil Japanese baddies and heroic, downtrodden Chinese heroes. Like the vast majority in this genre though, it is very limited; which is partially down to a low budget but in all honesty is mainly due to its tedious nature. There is a lot of kung fu action, quite relentlessly so, but it's never very distinctive and all blends into one long fight after a bit. And there's not really much else on offer with a film like this. I thought it was a pretty bad film and can only be recommended to hard-core martial arts fans.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Typical MA nonsense, from an expert at nonsense films

4/10
Author: fubared1 from Boston, Ma
14 November 2005

But then everyone has to start somewhere, I guess. The film is one of those anti-Japanese Chinese films (apparently the Japanese must have done some nasty things during the time because I used to have a Chinese friend who hated the Japanese, but was not even born when the conflict happened). The other unusual thing is one of the bad guys turns into a good guy (and gets killed in the process). Otherwise it's not as incoherent or non-sensical as other martial arts films, but there is the usual bad direction, editing, and out-of-focus photography characteristic of these films. So, nothing special here. And while some may consider Woo a good director, the only thing he was ever good at is action sequences, and most of these are so over-the-top as to be totally unbelievable (as are the plot devices in his films).

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2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Typical MA nonsense, from an expert at nonsense films

4/10
Author: fubared1 from Boston, Ma
14 November 2005

But then everyone has to start somewhere, I guess. The film is one of those anti-Japanese Chinese films (apparently the Japanese must have done some nasty things during the time because I used to have a Chinese friend who hated the Japanese, but was not even born when the conflict happened). The other unusual thing is one of the bad guys turns into a good guy (and gets killed in the process). Otherwise it's not as incoherent or non-sensical as other martial arts films, but there is the usual bad direction, editing, and out-of-focus photography characteristic of these films. So, nothing special here. And while some may consider Woo a good director, the only thing he was ever good at is action sequences, and most of these are so over-the-top as to be totally unbelievable (as are the plot devices in his films).

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