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Kuan Tai Chen
The last reviewer of this film missed the point. This film is excellent and the last 30 minutes contains some of the best martial arts action committed to film. Yes, the plot is ridiculous and the dubbing makes everyone sound like a porn star but you don't watch kung fu films for the acting skill and production values. You watch them for escapism and entertainment.
The story itself is about the rise of the gun in china and the director, who also stars, attempting to show how pointless it was to fight the evil of the gun.
Lei Kung is a martial arts master whose speciality is 'pugilism'(i suppose it was easier to dub that word than what the real skill is called), which is basically invulnerability to conventional weapons (swords, knives, blades etc). He decided to dissolve his sect within the school he taught in to protect his students. He was forced to do this as his superiors were ordering other sect to practice 'pugilism' with the proviso of ultimately being able to withstand bullets.
So now it is several years later, Lei Kung is hiding out as a woodcutter, and the bad guys send some martial arts experts to seek him out and kill him. At first we know of three: Ti Hau, the best student of a master who teaches partial invulnerability and techniques to confuse the enemy. Chao Ching, who is a woman, but who dresses as a man to mingle with the populace. She can see how attempting to overcome the gun with 'pugilism' is pointless and wants to join Lei Kung. Finally there is Ti Tan, another master 'pugilist'.
While they are searching another man whose name is not revealed is searching for Lei Kung. His skill seems to be based on hypnotism, and dolls. He hypnotises a person, then uses a doll to control their movements, thus having someone fight for him.
Ti Hau ends up getting ill whilst searching, but is saved be Lei Kung who nurses him back to help with Chau Ching's help. She convinces Lei Kung that she wants to help, but doubts if they can convince Ti Hau when he gets better. It does not matter ultimately, because the other mysterious fighter tracks Lei Kung down. They fight, but Lei kung is well out of practice and is defeated easily. But the mysterious bad guy is Lei Kung's brother, Lei Yung who explains that he was also given the order to kill but can't kill his own brother. He suggests that Lei Kung begins to proactive again to recover his strength and power. That way he can defend himself against other killers who are after him.
Hi trains hard, and starts to get his power back. But Ti Tan turns up and starts to kick off. Ti Hau tries to explain that Lei Kung is a woodcutter who only knows basic kung fu taught to him by Chau Ching. Ti Tan is not convinced and begins his attack. Chau ching defends but is no match, neither is Ti Hau. So it is time for Lei Kung o flex hi muscles. He fights and in doing so speeds up his strength recovery. He defeats Ti Tan, but in doing so let's it slip that he really is Lei kung. Ti Hau runs off, not knowing what to do, he has witnessed Lei Kungs far superior martial skill and is unsure of how to proceed. Ti Hau returns that night, using his skills he tries to convince Lei Kung and Chau Ching that he has gathered many men, but they are dummies and Lei Kung sees through the deception. But it is not Ti Hau but his master who is attacking. Another great fight scene follows with Ti Hau turning up half way through and his own teacher turning on him when he realises he cannot kill Lei Kung. In trying to kill his student, he shows Ti Hau that there is more to life than killing and his own life is worth something. This is the reason Lei Kung disbanded his school, to protect his students who he knew would die if they tried to withstand the gun. Lei Kung defeats Ti Haus' master who then tries to kill himself. Ti Hau stops him, and his teacher also sees that perhaps his way of life is wrong, and his pupil's lives are not expendable. He leaves suggesting Ti Hau remain to carry on training and learning with Lei Kung and Chau Ching. Lei Kung walks off and dusts off his 'holy robes' explaining that he has to go to the city temple to see his brother. He explains that his brother is not really going to let him walk away, but wanted him to train up and face him in a duel to the death. He takes his 2 new students with him, and then fights his brother using weapons combat in some of the most amazing choreography i have seen in a kung fu film. He defeats his brother who he then tells to go back and report that he killed him. His brother is left broken, finally realising that personal glory is no substitute for having a rich and meaningful life.
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