The Shaolin Temple is the last place to resist defeat by the Manchu Dynasty, mostly because of their unique fighting style. Men from far and wide come to wait outside the temple, hoping ... See full summary »
Chen Kuan-tai battles assassins that use a deadly, beheading weapon to kill dissidents. Based on true events, the film's weapon was completely fabricated because in real life, no one ever ... See full summary »
Director Chang Cheh reunites the Five Venoms in his second biggest cult hit in the West. It's Lo Meng's most memorable performances whose showdown with fellow Venom Kuo Chue is artistically violent while being graphically artsy.
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Phillip Chung-Fung Kwok,
It seems that there is actually a cult audience that likes to simply watch meaningless acrobatics for an hour, but for most of us, the best kung fu films are those which simply use such acrobatics as vehicles for the characters to perform actions.
This is one of those movies that is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. It's simply non stop kicking and striking, with no direction. It's like the monotonous 3 minute car chase that feels like it never ends, or the gunfight with guns that never run out of bullets, and you have a headache after about a thousand shots are fired.
This is one of those.
There are other problems as well. It tries to establish some characters, but it fails, because the director has too many characters. Ordinarily, this could work, but here there is the relentless, repetitious acrobatics that would bore you even at a circus, that leaves no time to develop anything to identify a character with, save for one young hothead, who does come across as lightly likable in a comic hothead way.
The chief problem here is that we have the ten tigers, all good guys, and their 5 young disciples, all good guys, along with their schools full of students, along with a rebel leader, against one bad guy. He is killed, and then his son looks for revenge, along with his uncle, and another guy who is never explained.
The three bad guys represented the law, while the good guys seem to be outlaws. Yet we're to side with the majority of outlaws against 3 lawmen working on their own. Clearly, they can't claim to be underdogs, nor can they claim to be likable. There just isn't any way to watch this and pull for the multitude of outlaws we are supposed to like. We just never buy into their cause.
Another huge problem is the final scene, a decapitation meant solely for gore, to impress the sickos and psychos, beavis and butthead, plus the victim is the last of the trio seeking revenge, against what appears to be an army.
I tried to like this movie, but it pushed me away at every stop. You really have to hypnotize yourself into liking this.
This is not good. This is how not to make a kung fu movie.
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