6.5/10
87
7 user 3 critic

Xiao zi ming da (1979)

Not Rated | | Action, Comedy | 1979 (Hong Kong)
While on a fishing trip, Shao Lung's father is killed by Wu Pa Feng in front of the young man's eyes. Lung takes shelter with his uncle's traveling group of Kung Fu acrobats and begins honing his skills so he can one day have his revenge.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ji-Lung Chang ... Shaolung (as Peter Chang)
Casanova Wong ... Wo Pa Fong
Lu-Ling Li
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hui Lou Chen ... Pipe Smoking Uncle
Kai Chia
Yi-Chun Chiang
Han Chang Hu
Kuo Chu Huang ... (as Kwok Chu Wong)
Li Hui
Kun Li
Yun-Pao Lu
Fei Lung ... Jenã Tien Yen
Chin Ku Ma
Li-Pao Ou
Te-Yun Pei
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Storyline

While on a fishing trip, Shao Lung's father is killed by Wu Pa Feng in front of the young man's eyes. Lung takes shelter with his uncle's traveling group of Kung Fu acrobats and begins honing his skills so he can one day have his revenge.

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Action | Comedy

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Not Rated | See all certifications »
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1979 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Dog Fu  »

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Excellent use of the set in the final fight, perhaps for the first time ever
25 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

Father and son (Peter Chang Chi-Long) are walking and father spots his enemy, Casanova Wong. CW wants a gold plate and information. They fight and dad is killed. The son has no kung fu. Soon after the kid is learning kung fu along with a girl. While street performing the kid spots CW. His teacher warns him it is too soon for revenge and to keep training. Later Lee Kwan does a disco dance to win the affection of the girl but she is not interested. Going for wine our guy meets Stumpy who picks his pocket for the gold plate. CW suspects our guy but needs to provoke him to fight as if that would establish his identity. After being kicked out of the troupe he hooks up with the fortune teller to continue to learn martial arts.

There is inconsistency regarding how Casanova Wong could possibly know Peter Chang and vice versa. Since this is dubbed in English that might be the problem instead. Regardless the viewer easily can see it will all come down to a final fight between the two and the incidences in the middle seem to only delay the confrontation not build any suspense or other plot structure. Despite that it never gets so far as to drag as many small fights keep the action going.

Chan Wai-Lau gets killed off by Casanova Wong before the final fight but he is an actor worthy of mention. He played in over 100 movies mostly as a fighting stunt man (including a good Simon Yuen knock off) despite his small size. In fact, because of his small size he even played an old lady.

The fights in this movie were all good. In addition to the good choreography and execution each fight had moves emphasizing the personality of the fighters and the story situation. That extra bit makes the difference between just another fight scene and something memorable.

This movie goes even further with the use of the set in the final fight. Typically the final fight in a martial arts movie would be on top a dusty hill or some other featureless landscape. In years to come Jackie Chan would use set pieces for his final fights. I now wonder if this movie was the first use ever. Here the barn is used as part of the fight, the bags of grain, the ropes, the poles, the rafters, and such are all part of the fight choreography.

I rate this above average and recommend it for all fans of the genre.


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