|Index||9 reviews in total|
People talk today as if Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi were the first women to
kick ass in the Hong Kong martial arts movies. In fact, "feminism" has been
a staple of the genre since the 1950's.
Iron Monkey Strikes Back has Chen Kwan Tai, a 70's Shaw Brothers superstar, forming an uneasy alliance with the sweet-but-deadly Judy Lee. The plot allows the two to face off against each other as enemies (with the two matching each other blow-for-blow in an awesome fight sequence), then later combine forces against the evil conspirators and their henchmen.
While the kung-fu is not as fast-and-furious as the modern product, it is very engaging, but what really sets this apart is the great bi-play between the two stars, as they constantly try to out-do each other, pull pranks, then grow to a grudging respect for each other, before finally the inevitable happens.
Very good action movie, good for a laugh. When you first start watching It you think "come on!" but after a while you start to enjoy it a little more. A good rental or a party movie. Some of the combat is very well done. I give it a 10.
First off let me say that the original "Iron Monkey" (aka Iron Ape) was
released in 1955. Also The Sequel (Iron Ape part 2) and The Concluding
Episode (Iron Ape part 3)(Finale) were made in 1955.
"The Iron Monkey" was released in 1977. This movie is called "Duel at the Tiger Village"... I don't know why it's promoted as aka "Iron Monkey Strikes Back" or "Iron Monkey II". I guess it's to lure in sales (most people should realize this by now). It has nothing to do with Iron Monkey and never did.
For those of you that bought Iron Monkey II, oh well sorry for you. And for those that compare it to Iron Monkey (1993) are comparing apples to oranges. You might as well watch "Iron Monkey 2" (1996) and compare it to this one. These are 20 years apart....
For those of you who like the '70's fu flicks and enjoyed watching Black Belt Theatre, then you'll like this movie. It has a good story and plot, good action, so find a good print that isn't chopped and butchered and enjoy.
For those who aren't intelligent enough or too young to understand or enjoy 70's kung fu flicks, then move on and stick with your 90's movies.
I give this a 6.5
A very nice movie to watch when you know it's a B-film. The story is fairly simple but OK. The kung-fu scenes are very nice to watch, there is humor and enouhg speed and no (mostly boring and irrelevant love-scenes). Although the acrobatic at the end is hilarious it's funny and at the end teh good guys win.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this film under the title of IRON MONKEY STRIKES BACK, which ties
it in to the popular IRON MONKEY also starring Chen Kuan Tai. However,
the two films are unconnected, and DUEL AT THE TIGER VILLAGE appears to
be an approximation of the real title. Certainly there are no monkey
styles here, and indeed no outlandish fighting methods whatsoever.
This is a detective meets kung fu story, similar I suppose in scope to the Donnie Yen movie DRAGON. Chen Kuan Tai plays a detective investigating a murder who seeks the owner of a knife used to do the deed; his methods are a mix of questioning and beating up potential suspects. The first part of the film sees him encountering random people and engaging in random bouts with them; he also tangles with Judy Lee, who proves more than a match when they get down to it.
The usual plot elements are included in this film: routine fights in different surroundings, some horse riding, the use of props (a parasol here), and a gang of grubby street urchins. Kuan Tai is a solid fighter even if his skills are unremarkable for the most part, although Lee acquits herself well with her part. Things pick up around the halfway mark when Tai and Lee fall into an underground prison complex which seems to have been influenced by the works of Joseph Kuo.
The whole area is bathed in a spooky red light and is fulled of trapped staircases and descending spiked ceilings. There's a gang of oiled guards with a specific weak spot who Tai has to go up against. It's a nice little segment, and then the action stays heavy right until the violent climax in which Tai battles the main villain. This closes on a moment of extreme arm-lopping gore which was most welcome to this viewer. IRON MONKEY STRIKES BACK isn't a very memorable kung fu film but the aforementioned elements make it an acceptable one.
For a kung fu movie that was released by the "Wu-Tang Collection," I was
surprised to see how poorly made this movie was. I have not had the
opportunity to see the first Iron Monkey, therefore I don't know what the
standard the second movie was set to, so I have a little trouble saying
this movie was not up to par. However, there were many things about this
movie that made it one of the lesser enjoyed kung fu movies I have
Of all the things of this movie that made this movie weak, I would say that the film quality was the worst. Everything was grainy, sometimes the movie skipped and repeated a few seconds of footage and the lighting was beyond hope. Other weaknesses were the lack of real explanation for fights. Like in most other kung fu movies, at least a "Hey! You killed my brother!" was yelled, but not here. Not even that was uttered. One time, it was only the protagonist asking his friend "Hey, is this your knife?" and then they fought. No explanation. They just fought. Also, the fighting was pretty lame and slow. It was much slower than the other kung fu movies I have seen. There were also a lot of punches that were portrayed as hits, but were obvious misses. And how about that last fight scene! I have never seen so many people in one room all fighting each other. But what was so bad about that, is that there was very little character development for many of the minor characters, so it was very confusing to understand who was fighting who, and for what reason they were fighting.
Moderate plot, even worse cinematography, terrible lighting, bad fighting... this movie needed more time for choreography and script writing. People say that the first Iron Monkey was great, a legend of it's time, but I haven't seen it, so I can't comment. I can only say, I hope it was better than the second one.
**Final Judgement** More than one person may own a certain type of knife. Don't charge them with murder for it.
ej's capsule review for kung-fu films of the chop-socky old-school - 1. basic plot type - historical; weapons used; political intrigue; determined policeman with mystery to solve; budding romance; revenge 2. plot construction - viewer will solve mystery long before the inspector, but otherwise the plot is pretty strong 3. dramatic - in parts 4. funny - in parts 5. dialog - not bad 6. cast performance - chen kuan tai and chia ling in top form 7. crew performance - decent 8. amount of fighting - lots 9. quality of fighting - good 10. special any cast or crew notes - despite u.s. video title, not related to any other 'iron monkey' film; a 'moon-lighting' film for chen kuan tai, as he was still under contract with shaw bros. at the time, and this doesn't look shaw bros. to me 11. big positive - most films of this era in 'fu films ended with the last blow of the last fight; this one actually an amusing post-script added on 12. big negative - chen kuan tai's character is too smart to have missed the solution of the crime for as long as he does bottom-line - who should see this movie - entertaining martial-arts film for any interested in the genre
Many times the sequel film to the original is a weak "wannabe" of the first and this film keeps that theory correct. Cool Head is a detective that is committed to his job. The first 30 minutes involves a killing that Head tries to solve. The apparent killer is captured by Head but then the detective has doubts. Then starts the confusion in this film. There are 3 women that start to follow Head around the country. Killers also track Head and try to kill him. The women help Head. Fight scenes show nothing extraordinary. The final fight is somewhat interesting but the ending is confusing as to what happens to the detective. If you have nothing else and you feel like watching a confusing martial arts film then watch this.
OK, I'm a huge fan of all kung-fu films, iron monkey, hero, crouching tiger hidden dragon etc but this is terrible. the dubbing is terrible the fights are slow and stiff, there is no creative side of it or any conclusion. The main character is called Detective Cool Head !!! Although i do like the swords featured on the cover, that are also seen in crouching tiger, this movie is impossible to understand and follow, word to the wise don't watch it. I recommend, Hero , House of the flying daggers , Iron Monkey (90's),Once upon a time in china , kill bill ( vol 1 & 2 ),and most of Bruce lee's films. The Camera Work is terrible in this film and there is no story.
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