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aka: "The Master and The Kid" - Taiwanese "Lone Wolf & Cub" clone
A cheap but stylish attempt to bring some of the world of the Japanese Lone Wolf & Cub series into the kung fu genre.
After a confusingly edited opening sequence our hero, a government officer, who has just killed a criminal discovers his brother's family and his mother killed in revenge by the criminal's father, an evil warlord. The hero finds a lone survivor, his nephew. He tries to leave the child with foster parents but the kid keeps escaping and following his uncle. The officer relents and let's the child accompany him on his quest to bring the warlord to justice. The warlord hires legions of assassins to kill the officer and the boy. But this officer is an unstoppable force of kung fu fury.
The similarities to the Lone Wolf series are abundant. The officer wears a similar outfit to the Lone Wolf and instead of a baby cart the officer pulls the child in a wagon. The assassins are very quirky especially one creepy guy who dresses in black and can cut down trees with a hidden blade. There's a nod to the Zatoichi series when the officer gets a special weapon to deal with the creepy guy. The martial arts are good to excellent but the wire work is very primitive. A few of the effects are ridiculous especially the scene with the attack eagle. The film has a melodramatic subplot concerning a would-be assassin and his bride to be which works. The music track is probably all stolen.
Very well filmed and quite entertaining. There's enough plot and character work to make it stand out from the standard kung fu flick. The story is a little lumpy and the final fights are not up to the standard set earlier in the film but the story is still moving. There a fleeting bit of female nudity at the very beginning and none after.
While thankfully in widescreen, the print presently available seems to have been cropped anyway. Probably to remove the Cantonese subtitles which were frequently put in every print of low budget Taiwanese and HK Mandarin films. I look forward to a subtitled version of this film.
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