Standard kung fu bruiser marred by the cruellest of animal abuse
A FISTFUL OF TALONS is a star vehicle for Indonesian kung fu artist Billy Chong, who had a pretty good run in the cinema. This isn't one of his best movies, but it's a more than watchable revenge thriller and it has some good sets created effectively on a definite low budget. Once again a hotbed of political intrigue serves as a backdrop to the production and Chong plays a hot-headed young man with a hatred for the Ching, so he goes around chopping their long ponytails off!
There's a plethora of bruising action here, alongside the requisite training sequences and the like. Other plot elements include Hwang In-shik who is great fun as the ruthless villain and Bai Ying as the love interest who keeps a menagerie of eagles as pets (hence the title). Cheng Kang-yeh (SNAKE IN THE MONKEY'S SHADOW) plays in support as one of Chong's friends. The climax is lively and entertaining, although unfortunately the film ends on a freeze-frame of animal cruelty which leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
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