20 years after the death of his parents, a martial artist sets out to avenge their deaths by pretending he doesn't know kung fu. But when it is revealed that he does know kung fu, the ... See full summary »
20 years after the death of his parents, a martial artist sets out to avenge their deaths by pretending he doesn't know kung fu. But when it is revealed that he does know kung fu, the killer sets to kill him and his friends. Written by
FIGHTING ACE has all the elements of a good kung fu film, from a revenge-centered plot to a lovable sidekick. It is quite enjoyable, and the fights themselves occur often and are well-choreographed.
At the age of two, Che Kao (John Liu, star of the epic INVINCIBLE ARMOUR) sees his parents murdered by an evil master after a kung fu book (or something; it's never quite made clear). For the next twenty years, he seeks a master to teach him kung fu so that he can get revenge...sound familiar? It should, but FIGHTING ACE somehow makes all the elements come together and make them entertaining. Che first trains under Master Yen (played by Kwan Young Moon, the superb villain from MASTER WITH CRACKED FINGERS), who is under contract to teach the idiotic Cheng--a memorable quote being "I think you really are a fool!" Eventually he must leave and train under three (count 'em!) other men, although he keeps respect for Yen by refusing to call the others master.
Along for the ride are Master Yen's daughter Shao Lun and fellow servant Shen, who serves as comic relief (although in this case the humor isn't overbearing and actually serves to further the plot!). Of course, as Che Kao learns his path crosses with that of his parent's killer, and the final fight is quite satisfying, albeit somber.
The fight sequences in FIGHTING ACE are to commended, including styles such as "fish in the water" and "butterfly falls to the ground," as the instructors call them. Each fighter also has a unique style and move that can be seen a number of times throughout the movie. This adds a nice dimension to such characters as Shun, who would be just a bumbling sidekick in any other movie; here, he actually saves Che Kao in the showdown with his rolling moves.
In all, FIGHTING ACE is a nice film, pleasant for the hour and a half that it lasts. Perhaps the best thing it will give you is exposure to John Liu and the guest star Kwan Young Moon (who gets too little screen time); I highly recommend their other films. My rating: 8/10
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