6.4/10
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10 user 14 critic

Hero (1997)

Ma Yong Zhen (original title)
Corey Yuen's remake of Chang Cheh's Boxer From Shantung sees Taiwanese Japanese heart-throb Takeshi Kaneshiro as Ma Wing-jing, a worker from Shantung who rises to the top of the Shanghai triad ladder.

Director:

Corey Yuen

Writer:

Jeffrey Lau (as Ann Gee)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Ma Wing Jing (as Wucheng Jin)
Biao Yuen ... Tam See
Jessica Hester Hsuan ... Kim Ling-Tze (as Xuan Xuan)
Wah Yuen ... Ma Tai Cheung
Tak Yuen ... Yeung Seung
Valerie Chow ... Yam Yeung-Tien (as Jialing Zhou)
Corey Yuen ... Uncle Po
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Storyline

Ma Wing Jing and his older brother Ma Tai Chueng arrive in Shanghai to make their fortune at the end of the Qin Dynasty. Be-friending a powerful mobster (Tam Sei) Wing Jing is given his nightclub in return for saving Tam Sei's life. Unfortunately, another Gangster wants the territory a well. Corruption and violence rule the streets as Wing Jing and Tam Sei must battle not only the rival gangs but the corrupt police officials as well. Written by R. L. Strong <RS080455@PACBELL.NET>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dangerous Times Make Heroes of Desperate Men

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Hong Kong | China

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

17 June 1997 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Hero See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The End Credits state "No Animals were hurt or dead during the making of this film" See more »

Connections

Remake of Boxer from Shantung (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Old-fashioned melodrama energized by New Wave fervor
1 January 2005 | by LibretioSee all my reviews

HERO (Ma Yong Zhen)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

Corey Yuen's period adventure HERO marked an impressive return to the action movie fold by Shaw Brothers, following a long period in which the studio had concentrated almost exclusively on TV production. A remake of the Chang Cheh classic BOXER FROM SHANTUNG (1972), HERO follows the adventures of a courageous country boy (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who flees rural poverty and relocates to Shanghai circa 1911, where his impressive fighting skills bring him to the attention of a benevolent gangster (Yuen Biao) who agrees to mentor him. Thus emboldened, Kaneshiro rises through the ranks of the criminal underworld, until he's challenged by a powerful rival (Yuen Tak) who plots against him. Tragedy ensues.

The concept is old-fashioned, but director Yuen energizes proceedings with New Wave fervor, employing thousands of extras in a bid to recreate the majesty of old Shanghai, whilst filming the combat sequences in a defiantly modern manner, pitting hordes of axe-wielding assailants against lone protagonists who are forced to use acrobatic manoeuvres and everyday objects to fend off a potentially horrific death. Yuen's script (co-written with Kay On) is eventful and melodramatic, and the sweeping visuals (by cinematographer Tom Lau) are further highlighted by a sumptuous music score, co-written by William Hu, Raymond Wong and Lincoln Lo. But while the film delivers on action and spectacle, it fails to establish the characters as anything more than stock figures, which essentially limits the narrative's dramatic impact. For all that, however, the performances are uniformly excellent, and HERO's all-star cast is divided squarely into the beautiful (Kaneshiro, Valerie Chow, Jessica Hester), the bold (Yuen Biao at his most virtuous), and the beastly (Yuen Tak as the villain, lacking only a top hat, cloak and twirly moustache).

NB. Shot in mainland China, the film was consequently subject to strict Chinese censorship laws which curtailed some of the gorier violence (a Shaw Brothers trademark). These scenes weren't restored for the HK theatrical/video release, though a more complete version turned up later on DVD in the UK.

(Cantonese dialogue)


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