Return of the Chinese Boxer (1977) Poster

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A little slow in paces, but the imaginative action is fantastic
Leofwine_draca30 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A sequel only in name to Jimmy Wang Yu's earlier THE Chinese BOXER, this is another crazy classic from my favourite martial arts actor, containing some more magnificent scenes of action and kung fu enough to satisfy even the hardest-to-please fan. Despite lapses in logic, a story that makes no sense and jumps from place to place and a slow first half, the film picks up speed to offer a fantastic finale with some great set-pieces. Overall the quality of the action and excellent cinematography and art design make this one to watch. First up are the hilarious opening titles which show Wang Yu practising by beating the heck out of some straw figures in a gym, by kicking them through windows and the like - great stuff.

From then on you might be forgiven for thinking you're watching a different film. Lots of historical intrigue and political unease between the typically warring Chinese and Japanese nations. The Japanese are the bad guys in this film again, although the story is slightly different to most in the more-recent setting of the late 19th century which means that steam trains and powerful guns are used to give the film an edge. Finally about twenty minutes into the tale Wang Yu arrives, looking different in his black costume and long whip-lash ponytail but still fighting as good as ever and whipping lots of bad guys single-handedly. His first major opponent is this knife-throwing guy who has a hilarious battle in a tavern with him. He escapes by walking up walls and flying around until the enemy runs out of knives and flees.

After this a largish section of the film is taken up with one of those beloved tournament sequences showing different pairs of fighters battling to the death in often bloody and gory battles, with plenty of dribbling blood and broken limbs. Great stuff with some interesting new weapons and excellent fast martial arts mayhem, highlighted by the good cinematography. After more plot exposition and some unsuccessful attempts at characterisation, the long finale shows Wang Yu going up against increasingly stronger opponents with some bizarre and hilarious results.

Fights to watch out for include the spear-dancing fun with the bald guy and an excellent bar-room brawl between Wang Yu and his most beloved opponents, the Thai boxers who have come back from their beating in THE ONE-ARMED BOXER to fight once more. Things take a supernatural turn when the bad guys revive three rotting zombies to do battle with Wang Yu; naturally he's shocked when their newly-broken limbs mend rapidly and bone-crunching blows fail to stop them. His explosive way of dealing with the zombies makes for great entertainment as limbs and internal organs are scattered all over.

Then it's time for the visually outstanding final battle between Wang Yu and a top gun-toting samurai warrior known as the Black Crane. This takes place in a house filled with dummies of Wang Yu so there's lots of tension as Black Crane tries to distinguish the real from the fake. The final show-down is appropriately violent and features a brutal extended beating for the bad guy before he dies, just as I like it. Although there isn't a wealth of action as in MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE to propel this into the realm of absolute classic status, RETURN OF THE Chinese BOXER is still more than worth a watch. The action scenes themselves score the fullest marks possible and it's only the slow-moving moments of plot exposition which drag the score down. Wang Yu fans check it out.
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Not Shaw Bros, but an independent-produced extravaganza.
deluca.lorenzo@libero.it31 December 2020
Contrarily what another user review said here, this is NOT a Shaw Brothers movie, it was produced by the independent company Cheng Ming, since actor-director Jimmy Wang Yu divorced in a very traumatic way from the Shaws in 1970, so he was forced to relocate in Taiwan where he made his subsequent movies, including this really funny Wuxiapian plenty of action (with an encreasing use of a stunt-double for a little overweight Wang Yu). If you like MARTIAN arts cinema filled with high jumps and almost supernatural Kung-fu, you can't miss this one: not totally weird as Wang Yu's previous extravaganzas The One Armed Boxer or Master of flying guillotine..., and not as good as them, but still enjoyable. You must forget to be an adult and back to see this with a childish eye. Moreover if you, like me, are familiar with those actors, the presence of Kung-Fu cinema vets like Lung Fei (with no moustache, this time), Kam Kong (the blind Lama in Master of the flying guillotine...), Lei Chun (a regular in those matters), Wang Yueng Sheng (Okinawan karateman in One Armed boxer), the moustached bulky Sit Hon, Ma Kei (also in One Armed Boxer as Wang Yu's master) and many others, adds fun. Released 11/12/1977 in Hong Kong, also titled Revenge of the Samurai, and written by famous Martial Arts novelist Gu Long, author of the script in many Shaw Bros' classics like The Magic Blade, The Sentimental Sworsdman, Full Moon Scimitar and others fantasty-adventures directed by legendary Chu Yuen.
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Must-see for Jimmy Wang Yu Fans
razula29 February 2000
While the world was transfixed with Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and their countless clones, "Jimmy" Wang Yu was creating several minor masterpieces that have been overlooked by many fans, but still remain as an enormous influence upon today's martial arts films. Along with Jimmy's now classic "One Armed Boxer" series is another under-rated Shaw Brothers epic, "The Return of the Chinese Boxer."

Jimmy has a style all his own. He is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a clone of Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan (Indeed, he was a star before either of these actors were well-known). Jimmy excelled in playing a kung-fun Everyman of sorts -humble, resourceful, and wearing a bemused smirk that acknowledged the ludicrous situations that he found himself in. He has been described as "the Cary Grant of Kung Fu," and for good reason.

In "Return of the Chinese Boxer," Wang Yu is a one-man wrecking crew who finds himself the only man up to the task of stopping the Japanese invasion of Qing China. His enemies are formidable - batallions of riflemen, ninjas, and other assorted assassins who all want to kill the Chinese Boxer. Jimmy's enemies are hilarious, colorful, and well-armed...a signature of Wang Yu's films. The Chinese Boxer has to deal with a host of exotic weaponry, including a dozen-barrel shotgun! Of course, Jimmy is able to outfight and outwit them all.

The ending scene is similar in nature to Wang Yu's other masterpiece of 1975, "Master of the Flying Guillotine." Like "MFG," Jimmy the Hero uses his wits as well as his fists to overcome his enemies. The last scene is superbly shot and you can sense Jimmy the Director laughing his head off as this scene was shot.

If you're an Old School Fu fan, then "Return of the Chinese Boxer" is a must-see. Enjoy!
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"Rabbit Fist" kung fu...
poe42621 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Foreshadowing the climactic fight scene- which takes place in a barn crammed with life-sized dummies that look like Wang Yu-, the opening sequence of RETURN OF THE Chinese BOXER features Wang taking out his frustrations on a bunch of life-size training dummies. There are several firearms used throughout the movie, including an eight-barreled shotgun, wielded in the end by Lung Fei (who played the mysterious "man from Okinawa," a.k.a. The Kung Fu Beast, in Wang's epic THE Chinese PROFESSIONALS- a.k.a., THE RETURN OF THE ONE-ARMED BOXER). The highlights include yet another martial arts tournament with yet another assortment of wacky but oh-so-cool contestants (which include yet another pair of Thai kick boxers who don't hesitate to dole out the punishment, firearms that include a chained weapon with a trigger that allows the user to blow his opponent's leg off once the chain has ensnared said limb, and suchlike). Flying Dagger, another assassin gunning for Rabbit Fist (figuratively: he throws darts affixed with sticks of dynamite!), is busily refining his technique for his next confrontation with Rabbit Fist- but ends up accidentally providing Rabbit Fist with the means to overcome the vampires raised from the dead to hunt him down. (If that sounds like a mouthful, keep in mind that this is another Wang Yu masterwork, and is chock full of these little touches...) The scene where the trio of vampires are resurrected is worthy of Mario Bava himself (see PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES). The final battle features "robot dummies" of a decidedly STEAMPUNK nature: steam hisses from them when they are shot. Wang Yu was ahead of the curve when it came to steampunk, too. (Note: Wang Yu plays Rapid Fist; I prefer to think of him as Rabbit Fist...)
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Jimmy does it again.
geek386611 August 2002
I found this to be a confusing at times martial arts period piece. The story has to do with Japanese and Chinese rivals, a pair of swords, and some pearls. Star Jimmy Wang Yu as the title character shows up only sporadically and doesn't get any real screen time til the end of the flick. There are still plenty of fight scenes without him though. And that's what this movie is all about. The fight scenes. Fans of his MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE will find much to enjoy and much in common with this film. Outlandish villians with equally outlandish weapons. Unique fighting styles and interesting arenas of combat. Highlights include the trio of long-haired kung fu zombies as well as the showdown at the end in the barn of many Wang Yus.

Crash Cinema's DVD is ok. Picture while wide-screen is a little scratchy and washed out at times. This english dub though is probably the only place to see this bit of 70's martial arts action.
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The pinnacle of Chop-socky Kung-Fu
ChineseBoxer18 October 2000
This is the most brilliant piece of kung-fu rubbish I've ever seen. Horrible dubbing, such as how the japanese refer to the country of "Chiner" and the 5 sound effects used in the movie all add up to a delightful movie experience. It is without a doubt the most stirring actor-driven emotional drama I have ever seen. Plus, the more people you have, the more fun it gets! I totally recommend it!
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Great Shaw Brothers action film
Adam E10 March 1999
This Shaw Brothers production packs a lot of neat stunts and fast action. Director-star Jimmy Wang Yu does a really good job and is a really cool kung fu hero. A lot of his stunts are incredible and the action scenes are all shot magnificently. Fans of Hong Kong action shouldn't miss this one. This is the Shaw Brothers at their best.
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