Hao xiao zi di xia yi zhao (1979) Poster

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Nice little movie...
groovycow12 October 2003
FIGHTING ACE has all the elements of a good kung fu film, from a revenge-centered plot to a lovable sidekick. It is quite enjoyable, and the fights themselves occur often and are well-choreographed.

At the age of two, Che Kao (John Liu, star of the epic INVINCIBLE ARMOUR) sees his parents murdered by an evil master after a kung fu book (or something; it's never quite made clear). For the next twenty years, he seeks a master to teach him kung fu so that he can get revenge...sound familiar? It should, but FIGHTING ACE somehow makes all the elements come together and make them entertaining. Che first trains under Master Yen (played by Kwan Young Moon, the superb villain from MASTER WITH CRACKED FINGERS), who is under contract to teach the idiotic Cheng--a memorable quote being "I think you really are a fool!" Eventually he must leave and train under three (count 'em!) other men, although he keeps respect for Yen by refusing to call the others master.

Along for the ride are Master Yen's daughter Shao Lun and fellow servant Shen, who serves as comic relief (although in this case the humor isn't overbearing and actually serves to further the plot!). Of course, as Che Kao learns his path crosses with that of his parent's killer, and the final fight is quite satisfying, albeit somber.

The fight sequences in FIGHTING ACE are to commended, including styles such as "fish in the water" and "butterfly falls to the ground," as the instructors call them. Each fighter also has a unique style and move that can be seen a number of times throughout the movie. This adds a nice dimension to such characters as Shun, who would be just a bumbling sidekick in any other movie; here, he actually saves Che Kao in the showdown with his rolling moves.

In all, FIGHTING ACE is a nice film, pleasant for the hour and a half that it lasts. Perhaps the best thing it will give you is exposure to John Liu and the guest star Kwan Young Moon (who gets too little screen time); I highly recommend their other films. My rating: 8/10
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Pure fighting excitement
InzyWimzy12 October 2002
I wasn't too sure what to expect before watching this. Then again, never judge a movie by its cover or title.

It's a tale of revenge with non stop kung fu action. The actor who plays the son looks like the real deal and his martial arts are displayed throughout. Great kicks!! That goes the same with most of the actors which made it more authentic. The sidekick who provides comedy relief even kicks butt! There are many different fighting styles and the way the hero learns them adds some interesting twists. Plus, the villain is a REALLY bad guy who doesn't spout corny lines, but rather prefers to kill. This film is dark and has a somber ending. One of my new favorite kung fu flicks.
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Not perfect, but highly entertaining!
george-844-38463321 July 2019
Also known as Fighting Ace - Master Of Death was another one of my £1 purchases over the years. One of the better films from the distributors collection of 'rediscovered masters' certainly does have its moments in regards to the kung fu. I must also mention that it is often confused online with one of Liu's other films, Struggle Through Death - a film about slavery and freedom, whereas Master Of Death is a revenge tale of sorts.

There's no denying John Liu is an incredible kicker... he's just not the most handsome of men! That said, he has managed to carve himself a great film career in the 70's/80's kung fu world giving us some great classics along the way.

Showered with a soundtrack heard by many a kung fu film fan in many other films, and a host of recognisable faces from that era, Master Of Death tries to deliver some comedy but ultimately is a drama with a decent dose of kung fu action. Saying that, certain characters dubbing helps bring a laugh or two on throughout!

The fight scenes themselves are pretty well done and are spread out evenly across the film, with lengthy one-shots that highlight the skills and choreography of the fighters. The end fight scenes come close to about 15 minutes, with some great kicks and moves gracing the screen - including a fantastic scene in which John Liu takes on 2 spear-men that reminded me a lot of Jackie Chan's classics, Fearless Hyena and, Snake And Crane Arts Of Shaolin...

Overall: While not the best film ever, Master Of Death still provides great kung fu action and entertains!
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john Liu kicks out the rules and everything else
ckormos112 August 2016
Two questions are common to the story of many martial arts movies. First, if you can kill a guy after demanding his kung fu manual is the manual really worth anything? Second, when will Chinese women learn that the only thing the men in these movies enjoy more than a good fight is a good after fight rape? So that's the opening sequence and the rest of the story is about John Liu getting revenge for mom's rape.

It's good to get that out of the way because this movie is really all about the fights. The fights are frequent and fabulous. There is also an unusual twist. In the martial arts world there is an unwritten rule that the student must be devoted to his first master and never learn from anyone else. That rule is stupid in reality and John Liu kicks it right out the window in this movie. Is there anything he doesn't kick in this movie? Nothing that I noticed. I counted a sequence where he lifted his leg and did sixteen kicks before putting it back down.

Overall I rate this movie above average for the year and genre and consider it mandatory viewing for fans of martial arts movies of the golden age 1967 to 1984.
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cool moves but terrible plot
shandalson6 July 2007
This is a later kung fu movie in the career of the stupendously talented star shining actor John Liu. Unfortunately the plot is incredibly weak, involving Johns mission to seek out and be trained by various Kung fu masters to avenge the death of his parents. Original! Along the way he picks up an acrobatic sidekick and encounters many masters. Of course the superb action compensates for the plot, with loads of fights showing off Johns bootwork mastery, especially the training sequence involving another superkicker. Plus the final fight includes one of the finest use of a crash zoom I've ever seen! If your a kung fu movie fan check it out, ya probably shouldn't if not.
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