I have grown somewhat accustomed to different rhythms and emphases in modern popular Chinese movies. Even with that in mind, I found OOLONG COURTYARD to be a poorly edited and only occasionally amusing mess of a Kung Fu comedy.
Man-Tat Ng is a poor street hustler (he seems to be a Stephen Chow type). He has a racket of falling down in front of cars and pretending to be injured, then collecting hush money from the drivers. He picks up an acolyte who thinks this is someone who can teach him about real life. A gangster breaks in and demands he steal a sacred artifact from a temple/school, so off the two go to learn about kung fu and some important relationship lessons from the sweet and dedicated elders and the youngsters -- including a couple of potty-mouthed five-year-old orphans.
While there are some decent gags if you enjoy purely destructive slapstick a la the Three Stooges -- I don't -- the story itself stops and starts for these setpieces for most of the middle of the movie. Other characters have subplots which similarly are referred to, ignored, then brought up hastily in the last minutes.
I have no doubt there is appreciative audience for such hijinks. It is not, however, me, nor I believe, anyone who appreciates a good story wrapped around their comedy gags.
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