The Magnificent Ruffians
- 1h 22m
Yuan Ying Fei is the descendant of the one known as Golden Sword and himself is a master of the technique as well as being boss of the town. He is so a cruel man and has killed his sparring ... Read allYuan Ying Fei is the descendant of the one known as Golden Sword and himself is a master of the technique as well as being boss of the town. He is so a cruel man and has killed his sparring partners with unnecessary blows, causing many martial artists to leave the town with only ... Read allYuan Ying Fei is the descendant of the one known as Golden Sword and himself is a master of the technique as well as being boss of the town. He is so a cruel man and has killed his sparring partners with unnecessary blows, causing many martial artists to leave the town with only Guan Ah Yun remaining. Guan is the owner of Wu Wei security bureau which Yuan wishes to bu... Read all
The film concerns the plight of unemployed martial artists at the turn of the 20th century. Guns and modern transportation have essentially made the traditional security transport agency obsolete. Who needs highly trained and expensive martial artists when you can give an idiot a gun? An unhinged man who has inherited his father's businesses and wealth plus his father's "Golden Sword" skill, preys on starving, itinerant martial artists by challenging them to friendly fights. What the desperate martial artists don't know is that this guy is really fighting to the death. When the only guy in town who could possibly defeat the Golden Sword techniques refuses to sell his property to the rich guy, the rich guy concocts a plan to have our heroes, also wandering starving martial artists, kill him without their knowledge. The rich guy also covets the man's beautiful sister.
One of the criticisms of Cheh's film is that they are frequently humorless affairs despite the absurdity of the martial arts. Not so here. Quite a bit of light-hearted fun despite the evil of the rich guy's plans. However once the film hits the last third much of the fun is gone as tragedy takes full control. In contrast, The Crippled Avengers managed to maintain the humor throughout the entire film (after the nasty first ten minutes). The martial arts are choreographed by several of the "Venoms" so we do get to see a lot of their excellent skills on full display but perhaps missing the expert choreography of Tang Chia who would pull it all together. The final fight is quite remarkable and goes on for a while. The "Golden Sword" is actually a kwando (a large blade at the end of a staff) which is not frequently seen in film.
A strange scene in the middle of the film is quite revealing of director Cheh's predilections. The heroes are invited to stay at the rich guy's mansion. They are offered a bath before dinner. The four heroes, wrapped in towels, walk to the bath. One of them gooses the other who exclaims, "What are you doing?" Then three of them wrap their arms over each other's shoulders as they enter the bathroom. Suddenly they all run out screaming. There are women there ready to bath them! (We don't get to see the women naked). The upset heroes throw the women out, toss their towels off (off-screen) and we cut to them all together in the bath having a playful water fight! Cheh must have been having a wonderful day! Just a warning to those who like their Venoms a little more hetero.
A fun film, not the best, but fun.
- Oct 13, 2007