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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jackie Chan is in this movie, billed as Chen Yuan-Lung. He made this
right before he left Hong Kong, and the movie industry, for Australia.
would probably be rated R, because of some brief nudity and sex
The film consists of three unrelated stories. The first is about the Chinese game, Mah Jongg, and the attraction it has for Hong Kong people. The first story also contains two other stories within it. The first one tells about the difficulties of trying to play Mah Jongg during the Japanese occupation, and the other tells of an historical tale of how the Mah Jongg tiles were invented.
The second story is the one in which Jackie Chan has a small a role. This one is a mystery drama that unfolds in flashback format. There is very little that can be said about this story that wouldn't be something of a spoiler.
The last story involves a screenwriter and director, who just happen to have the same names as those who made this movie. Ultimately, there is another story within a story, and they are shown making a movie which is a spoof on the Bruce Lee clone movies of the 1970's. This one has a fake Bruce Lai, starring in the movie within a movie called "Bruce Lai vs. Zaitoichi".
One nice thing about this movie, is that it introduces almost all the characters and gives the English names for the cast. Since there are a lot of familiar faces in the movie, this film can be used as a visual reference for HK actors of that era. I counted more than 30 names given.
This film is subtitled. It is from the time when the subtitles, as well as the movie, were cropped to fit the TV screen, but they really do help.
The stories are interesting in and of themselves, especially if you want to know more about the Hong Kong of the mid-1970's. Although, it is probably true that I wouldn't have tracked this film down, if Jackie Chan hadn't had a connection to it, I think I can honestly say that a serious follower of Hong Kong film would find this to be worth watching, irrespective of whether Jackie had played a role in it.
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