"Modern" kung-fu actioner with an all-star Hong Kong (and Taiwanese) cast.
Chen Sing, Shang Kwan Ling Fung, Eddy Ko Hung, Yasuaki Kurata, and Lung Fei star in "A Gathering of Heroes", which combines traditional hand-to-hand (and foot-to-foot) showdowns with shootings, stabbings, and in one case a log-bludgeoning (!) to hit you between the eyes with a stream of mindless, almost nonstop violence. The plot, involving revolutionaries who are simultaneously contending with government troops and a corrupt kung-fu school, is a little more complicated than it should be in a film of this kind, and yet handled in such a slack, indifferent way that the viewer really doesn't care what's happening. When I taped "Gathering" back in the mid-'80s (it aired on USA's "Kung-Fu Theater"), I couldn't be bothered to keep up with the dull intricacies of the story; there was just too much action to enjoy. The abundant fight scenes were choreographed in fine style by Leung Siu-lung, aka "Bruce Liang"--one of the innumerable Bruce Lee imitators who appeared in the wake of the Little Dragon's death. All you need to know is that Chen Sing, Shang Kwan Ling Fung (who looks great as always), and Eddy Ko Hung are the good guys, while Yasuaki Kurata and Lung Fei (among others) are the villains. Watch "A Gathering of Heroes" all the way through just once...and then replay the fight scenes over and over!
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