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The golden age of kung-fu film's first superstar Jimmy Wang Yu (even before Bruce Lee) wrote, directed and starred in his classic favorite of a noble young martial arts student who won't ... See full summary »
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This is a surprisingly good movie, considering the age, the budget, and the simplistic plot line. Namely:Evil bandits kill the entire Hung Escort, including poppa Hung, and steal the 500,000 silver taels they were escorting. The elder Hung is a mighty swordsman, but falls victim to the big boss bad guy's demon rod, a nifty combination poker and Swiss Army Knife affair, after a lengthy knockdown drag-out opening battle.
Cue impetuous vengeful daughter Hung, skilled in dual knifeplay, and hell bent on killing the guys who offed her pappy. Good guy Jimmy Wang Yu introduces himself by casually flipping out of a tavern to save a blissfully unaware child from the thundering hooves of the aforementioned vengeful daughter's horse as she leaves town on her mission of vengeance. She's too busy being vengeful and impetuous to see the child, but it matters not, because Jimmy saves the kid, and her lollipop. Ms Hung heads off to bad guy mountain while Jimmy stoically finishes his tea. Hurrah!
Naturally, Wang Yu is an incognito heroic kung fu master, known throughout the region as Iron Palm, who just happens to be heading the same way as vengeful daughter Hung. When they meet again, at a cartstop along the way, they have a brief comedy tussle, before casually battering a few dozen of the local thugs into the ground and joining forces to combat the nefarious evildoers.
It might sound cheesy and a bit predictable, but this is one of those old school kung fu movies that just gets better and better as it progresses. The acting is pretty good, and the grand finale is well over a quarter of an hour of swish kung fu and fancy swordplay with oceans of blood being spilt by the evil minions foolish enough to mix it with Jimmy Wang Yu.
I've got a ropey bootleg DVD which looks slightly worse than a beat up VHS, with "occasional" subtitles and crunchy sound. It's nearly an authentic Friday night chop socky fleapit vibe, and it's quite possible that I might have whooped a couple of times.
See it if you can. It's kinda charming in an innocent way, and Jimmy Wang Yu is usually worth watching. It sometimes feels like a Ringo Lam or John Woo heroic bloodshed movie that's been hurled back in time a few hundred years. Maybe they grew up watching Wang Yu movies too?
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