A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities.
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ... See full summary »
Two friends, ex Shaolin monks, part ways as they brush with the ongoing rebellion against the government. The ambitious one rises up to be a powerful military commander, while his betrayed friend resorts to learn the calm ways of Tai Chi.
Wing Chun, a woman living in a remote village often pillaged by robbers. When Wing Chun finally loses her cool and defeats them, her heroic actions stir up even more trouble in this ... See full summary »
Late 1800s Foshan, Guangdong: Wong Fei Hung/Jet Li trains men in martial arts to help defend against foreign powers already holding Hong Kong and Macau. He looks after cute 13th Aunt, who's just returned from England. Lots of fight scenes.
A Hong Kong cop and two American cops are onto a suspected harbor worker and are forced to team up when they discover that the suspect is a witness on the run from CIA agents and their schemers; two corrupt cops.
Action-packed as usual with Donnie Yen kicking his adversaries in the role of "Beggar Su". Basic plot revolves around a young Beggar Su getting addicted to opium and manipulated by a ... See full summary »
An ex-cop and divorce lawyer team up with a gangster to clear their names after getting involved in a dirty money scheme led by a vicious money launderer, who plans to expand his business and wipe out anyone who stands in his way.
A short-tempered, violent criminal named "White Tiger" is on the run from the police and joins a theater troupe for disguise, killing anyone who angers him or who suspects his identity. One... See full summary »
A Hong Kong variation on Robin Hood. The corrupt officials of a Chinese village are continually robbed by a masked bandit know as "Iron Monkey" named after a benevolent deity. When all else fails, the Govenor forces a traveling physician (Donnie Yen) into finding the bandit. The arrival of an evil Shaolin monk, brings the Physician and Iron Monkey together to battle the corrupt government.Written by
Ronald L. Strong <RS080455@PACBELL.NET>
The part of the young Wong Fei-Hung is played by Sze-Man Tsang, a talented martial artist, and also a girl. See more »
(at around 41 mins) When Dr Yang plays the monocord, we hear vibrato, but the fingers in his left hands are not moving. See more »
[dubbed and subtitled versions]
Don't take things too seriously, and you will always be at ease.
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The scenes that are deleted from Miramax's version of the film are not minor. Also, many of the cuts are also made to the fight scenes themselves.
The English subtitles on the Miramax version of the film are not a direct translation of the Cantonese. Some of those changes include rewording of dialog (i.e., the entire flashback scene for Miss Orchid is reworded to make it seem that Miss Orchid was not a prostitute), changing the names of many of the moves done by the characters (i.e., calling the "No Shadow Kick" a "Shadow Kick"), and adding back story that is never said or spoken about in the Cantonese dialog (Miramax adds an entire back story to Iron Monkey's character about his father getting murdered which only exists in the Miramax subtitles, not in the Cantonese dialog).
It is THE martial arts film to see -- it is about young Wong Fei-hung, before Tsui Hark-Jet Li's "Once Upon A Time In China" period.
Hong Kong film director and martial arts expert Yuen Woo-ping is absolutely outstanding. In "Iron Monkey," one scene I admire most is the poetically quiet, beautiful interaction of fluid movements in graceful progression: as Dr. Yang and Miss Orchid close shop (the clinic), a whiff of wind blows the papers (written prescriptions) up in the air, and Yang (who's actually Iron Monkey) elevates himself up into the air to catch the flying papers, while Orchid, with a few agile movements and glides, catches the balance of the flying papers. It's like a short interlude - a silent romantic song with punctuated accents - with a slight kick from Miss Orchid, a stool plops into place upside down as it should be on another neatly ends the piece. I actually relish this quiet segment much more than the awe-struck extensive finale scene, which is truly an amazing display of exquisitely choreographed martial art movements of three masters (two good forces tenaciously team up against one skillful evil monk) on multiple wooden poles with inferno-like fire a-dancing below. Fantastic performances from Donnie Yen as Wong Kei-ying, father of Wong Fei-hung, who's deftly portrayed by a young girl Tsang Sze-man, and Yu Rongguang as Dr. Yang/Iron Monkey, with Jean Wang as Miss Orchid, to the upstanding police chief, the devastating evil monk and all.
Iron Monkey is essentially a film about the legendary Shaolin kung-fu master (also known as drunken master) Wong Fei-hung when he was young. In fact, the alternate title is "Siunin Wong Fei-hung tsi titmalau," literally: Young Wong Fei-hung's iron monkey.
Follow this up with Jet Li's "Once Upon A Time In China 2" ("Wong Fei-hung ji yi: Naam yi dong ji keung" 1992, literally: Wong Fei-hung #2 - young man should be self-sufficiently strong) and the adult Wong Fei-hung portrayal will be better understood: why he's so good at his knowledge and practice of Chinese medicine, why he acted so restrained and coy with Aunt Yee, whom he very much loves but won't express so - all due to the austere teachings from his father as noted in "Iron Monkey." We also learn that he lost his mother at a tender young age - though from Jackie Chan's "The Legend of Drunken Master" (2000 USA, "Jui Kuen 2" 1994, literally: Drunken fist 2), we can see he has quite a wonderful stepmother - smart and wittily portrayed by Anita Mui! See it if you want another excitingly fun, martial arts action-packed drama about the adult Wong Fei-hung.
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