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The glorious thing about films like King Eagle is that we can step into the world of humble beginnings and marvel at greatness in the making. It's like watching old B&W films and recognizing faces that today are the biggest names in the industry. King Eagle is your prototype, lone wandering swordsman tale that further solidifies the soon to be, penultimate Shaw Brothers' director Chang Cheh on the precipice of greatness. Ti Lung's future, lone wandering, swordsman characters can be traced to this film's influences. We can also witness a break out action role for Shaw Brothers' "baby and acting queen" of drama Li Ching.Written by
"Lone Eagle" as title would better fit the protagonist
The movie starts with three fight sequences in the first twelve minutes. They are excellent fight sequences because mostly just the stunt men are involved. The first actor-centric fight comes when Ti Lung strikes at the gang who murdered his two friends. This fight was choreographed to advance the plot by showing this hero's skill and strength. It was excellently choreographed and executed.
I have but one gripe about the fights. Chan Sing uses what look like two cupboard doors as weapons. There are no such weapons in Chinese martial arts though the shield itself can also be a weapon. China has such a rich history of weapons I don't like it when the movie adds an invented and hokey weapon like this.
Ti Lung owns this movie with his acting and that is something rarely done in a martial arts movie. In addition to doing all the standard hero type acting, Ti Lung also did the romantic side story part excellently. The romantic parts of these movies are typically awkward and forced but here the scenes played smoothly.
"Lone Eagle" would be a more accurate title to reflect the protagonist in this movie. I rate it above average and it has my high recommendation for fans of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984.
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