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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Kung Fu Classics

Posted by Jacob D.

In Warriors Two, Casanova Wong plays a humble cashier who discovers a plot to kill his small town mayor. Some of the villains are a bit goofy with the humor bordering on cornball, but Casanova Wong, Sammo Hung, and the rest of the cast give us some of the best fight scenes committed to film. There are some interesting fighting styles featured near the end, including a villain using a flying praying mantis style. You’ll just have to see it to understand. Warriors Two definitely makes me wish Casanova Wong had more roles like this.

You’ll find Sammo Hung in The Prodigal Son as well, but Yuen Biao and Ching-Ying Lam are the real stars here. Yuen Biao plays a spoiled rich kid who is convinced that he’s the best kung fu practitioner in his village only to find out that his father has paid off all the thugs in town to go easy on him. During the existential crisis that follows, the young man finds an unlikely and reluctant teacher in a Peking Opera performer.

Based on the story of butcher Lam Sai-Wing, student of legendary folk hero Wong Fei Hung, Magnificent Butcher is the third classic kung fu film I’ll recommend from our collection. In case you haven’t noticed the running trend, every film mentioned here prominently features Sammo Hung, and here he is in a starring role. You can tell Sammo never missed a meal, yet he’s just as acrobatic and skilled as the likes of Jet Li. He’s really a joy to watch in his 1970s and 1980s kung fu films, and in the tradition of Hong Kong films from that era, all of the films mentioned here avoid all of the quickly, flashy editing and tight camera close-ups. The films just let you sit back and watch a master like Sammo Hung do his thing.

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