Shing Lung (Jackie Chan) is a youngster, living in a remote village with his grandfather who teaches him Kung-Fu. He keeps getting into fights, even though his grandfather warns him not to ... See full summary »
A local Kung Fu expert is hired to form a team of guards to escort an dying man to a doctor. In order that they reach the doctor in time, they must pass through the "Stormy Hills", which ... See full summary »
After the execution of his family by a gang, Lei Shao-feng is spared by its afflicting leader who stands in the way of him becoming reunited with his love, as does a traitorous friend, who takes advantage of their predicament.
A pair of evil gung-fu artists, Heaven and Earth, are slaughtering the entire Yin-Yang brotherhood. The movie opens with two members of the brotherhood and their two male children being ... See full summary »
A young man poses as "the Whip King" and collects the reward for a bandit he has seen killed by a famous bounty hunter. He must now learn Kung Fu if he is to live up to this new persona and conquer the enemies he has inherited.
An orphan who has been raised at a kung fu school, where he is treated as little more than a dogsbody and practice target for the students, has a life-changing experience after helping an old peripatetic beggar.
After the death of his master, martial arts student Tong Huo-wan travels with his adoptive family to seek redress from the man responsible but finds himself torn between righteousness and filial piety after becoming entangled in a feud between a local clan and gangsters.Written by
Filmed before but released after Jackie Chan's two Seasonal Productions movies, Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) and Drunken Master (1978). This movie was filmed as a Mandarin-language movie. However, the focus on the dubbing switched to Cantonese, due to the success of the Cantonese-language Seasonal movies. This is why most releases feature Cantonese as the only Chinese dialect option, despite the fact that the harder-to-find Mandarin track syncs up with the actors far better. See more »
The Japanese theatrical cut is only about 89 minutes (compared to the uncut 96 minutes of the Hong Kong cut), but features a primarily unique music track. While it uses some of the same music cues as the Hong Kong cut, most of the music is produced especially for this edition, including two vocal tracks: "Dragon Fist" and "Do or Die". Aside from this, the opening fight montage with Hsiu Hsia has been replaced with footage of Jackie Chan's penultimate fight from the finale, while the opening credits play over set to the aforementioned "Dragon Fist" theme. As of now, this version is only available on a late 2014 Japanese blu-ray (the earlier Japanese blu-ray only features the alternate opening as an extra.) See more »
What surprises me is how good the story was. Yes, it's a very basic and not a terribly unique premise, but it was well directed nonetheless (from which I heard rumors that Jackie himself directed but Lo Wei took the credit).
Whatever. The point is this film - Dragon Fist - is a surprisingly good dramatic kung fu period film. And I've always said that early Jackie Chan is best Jackie Chan and this movie is really worth mentioning in the same vein as Drunken Master 1 and Snake In The Eagles Shadow.
Much of the meat of this film is indeed the story; it starts of as a generic 'bully kills my master' setup but by 10th minute, almost immediately the story progresses and takes a twist. Through the length of the film, the movie dances into surface-level ideas of revenge and redemption, being stuck between a rock and hard place, right and wrong, what is honor and what it being honorable and I think it manages - not always but for the most part - succeeds in telling that story.
There is an arc here - Jackie Chan's character have the most developed arc of the story and it's executed well enough even though it wasn't deep enough. The acting is also - not everyone but for the most part - well done. There isn't anyone here deserving of an oscar, but everyone played their respective roles good enough that you don't have to suspend too much belief.
The action deserves a special mention because it is on the whole very well choreographed. It doesn't have the signature bombastic Kung Fu move shout-outs - rather it's simply stylized and theatrical kung fu fighting and in my opinion, gives the movie an extra hot sauce dash of appropriate realism.
If you've watched Drunken Master 1, and you've watched Snake In The Eagle's Shadow, then you should be watching this one too.
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