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This nondescript Taiwanese kung fu flick has a simple premise, one that looks to have been inspired by the classic LONE WOLF & CUB series by the Japanese. Essentially, two people must transport gold across the country, while a hundred and one assorted traitors, bandits, thugs, henchmen, criminal masterminds, assassins, and prostitutes try to steal it off them. What follows is a simple plot, nothing more than a series of fight scenes strung together over a threadbare premise. If the fights were decent, this wouldn't matter; unfortunately, they ain't. Not much of this film is of a high quality. The direction is uninspired, the script silly, and the martial arts undistinguished (one of these films where limbs are stiff and made out of wood and lots of people jump around).
What's most galling is that this could have been a great film – precisely because of the set-up. The fact that our two heroes are acrobats invites some excellent moments, such as when the hero jumps off the roof of a building to land on an enemy's chest, or the insane jumps that they frequently make. Yet these gravity-defying scenes occupy only a few minutes of the proceedings and are mainly limited to the (great) opening sequence. The appearance of a female ass-kicker – Shu Lin Chang, who rivals SISTER STREET FIGHTER – also bodes well and, indeed, she's the most appealing aspect of the whole movie. The hero is wooden, though, and would have been better off in an ensemble piece – I can see him as an archer or ninja or something. The overacting of the villains is another plus, with their facial expressions adding much amusement to the flick. As a whole, though, CHASE STEP BY STEP is deservedly obscure, with absolutely nothing to distinguish it from the hundreds of other low-budget kung fu flicks churned out during the decade.
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