Archive for the James Tien Category

Review: Winners and Sinners (1983)

Posted in Dick Wei, Fat Chung, Fung Hak-On, Jackie Chan, James Tien, Lam Ching Ying, Mars, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao with tags , on March 2, 2015 by Michael S. Moore

Winners Sinners 3

Starring Sammo Hung, Richard Ng, Stanley Fung, John Sham, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Dick Wei, Moon Lee, James Tien, Mars, Fung Hak-on, Wu Ma, Lam Ching Ying, Fat Chung.

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung

Directed by Sammo Hung

The first official film in the Lucky Stars series finds our first iteration of the group (really missing Eric Tsang!) meeting for the first time in prison, after they are all put there due to their bad luck, and, well, they aren’t really very good and playing bad guys. They form a bond, and the team, consisting of Teapot (Hung), Curly (Sham), Exhaust Pipe (Ng), Vaseline (Charlie Chan), and Rookie (Fung) decide to join Curly’s sister in a cleaning business called the Five Stars Cleaning Company. Meanwhile, a rather bad cop named CID 07 (Chan) does a really inept job of trying to catch a group of drug dealers attached to Jack Tar (Tien), and a mishap causes a briefcase that contains counterfeit plates lands in the hands of the Lucky Stars. Of course they are oblivious at first as they are obsessed with trying to get into the pants of Curly’s sister but soon find themselves in danger as Tar thinks the Five Stars Cleaning company are another rival gang. Most of the Lucky Stars are taken hostage, and its up to Teapot to save his friends and get the girl…

Winners Sinners 1

Too much fun. That’s what all of these actors bring to the table. The story is flat and unoriginal, but never mind that. The Lucky Stars are the draw here, and in particular Sammo Hung and Richard Ng. Sammy brings his innocence as Teapot, a fighter who is good at being a good guy but bad at being a bad guy, but wants to get the girl in the end. Richard Ng, clothes or not, is hilarious as he tries to pull off his complex shenanigans all to see one woman naked, but of course he’s the nut job of the group as well. John Sham brings his normal manic energy to liven things up, and Jackie Chan is on hand to provide stunts, and at the same time play a real prick of a cop. Many HK stars come out to play, and Tien chews the scenes like a nice ham sandwich as Tar, but I was hoping to see more from Lam Ching-Ying as the Butler. As good as everyone is, there is one scene that still has me laughing out loud, involving Vaseline and two thugs, none of whom know kung-fu, but can all strike poses as if they did, and they engage in trying to out-pose each other in the middle of bodies and chairs flying around…and watching what happens when Exhaust Pipe enters this strange scene will have you rolling.

Winners Sinners 2

A warning to Jackie Chan fans: he isn’t the star of this film, and this is the Lucky Stars film where he shows up the least, even though adverts showcase him as if he were one of the major stars of the film.

The fight scenes are as great as one could hope for, the best being the finale in the warehouse as Teapot takes on Fung Hak-On, Dick Wei, and two bald fighters in a duel to the finish. Jackie Chan has a brief fight with Yuen Biao that was under cranked (actions filmed on a slower frame rate to make the speed of the actual fight faster) in a way I thought wasn’t necessary. The battle at Tar’s mansion was also a standout, especially the results of an ill-fated piano jump (you’ll have to see for yourself!). The roller-skating stunts by Jackie Chan were good also, but went a bit overlong, but was worth it for the massive car pileups that occurs at the end of the sequence. With the exception of the final warehouse fight, this is probably the Lucky Stars film with the least impressive fight scenes in the series.

However, any film where Fat Chung sports a Jheri Curl:

Fat Chung

is just gold to me.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8

Not my favorite of the series, but it’s still a fun first entry into the world of the Lucky Stars! 

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Review: My Lucky Stars (1985)

Posted in Bolo Yeung, Dick Wei, Jackie Chan, James Tien, Lam Ching Ying, Lar Kar Wing, Michiko Nishiwaki, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah with tags , , on June 21, 2013 by Michael S. Moore

my lucky stars

Starring Sammo Hung, Richard Ng, Eric Tsang, Stanley Fung , Charlie Chin, Sibelle Hu, Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Dick Wei, Michiko Nishiwaki, Bolo Yeung, Lam Ching Ying, James Tien, Lau Kar Wing, Yuen Wah

Fight Chroegraphy by Sammo Hung

Directed by Sammo Hung

The Lucky Stars are some of the craziest martial arts films out there. It features many of the best funnymen in Hong Kong at the time, led by Sammo Hung. Technically this is their second film, the first being Winners and Sinners, but this is the first film under the “Lucky Stars” moniker, and all of these films feature some of Sammo, Jackie, and Yuen Biao’s best screen fights. As a warning, though, the comedy is extremely juvenile and slapstick, so if slapstick comedy isn’t your thing, you may want to fast forward to the fights. Me? I’m a fan of Richard Ng, so I’ll watch whatever he’s in.

The film begins following Hong Kong police men Muscles (Chan) and his partner Ricky (Biao) are undercover following Paul Chang, a former cop turned crook, to Tokyo, to find out what nefarious business he’s up to. What that business is hardly matters, as Muscles and Ricky chase one of his gang to an amusement park where they are attacked by ninjas dressed in light blue in the broad daylight in front of people. And now I know where the ninjas from Miami Connection got their training from. Muscles beats the tar out of them but in the fight Ricky gets kidnapped. Muscles, as it turns out, was at one time one of the “Lucky Stars”, a group of orphanage kids who turned to petty crimes. He was cast out once he became a cop and sent his best friend Kidstuff (Hung) to prison. Muscles arranges for Kidstuff to get out of prison early and along with the rest of the Lucky Stars, Sandy (Ng), Roundhead (Tsang), Rawhide (Fung), and Herb (Chin). Kidstuff can stay free of prison if he takes the Lucky Stars undercover to find out what Chang is up to and to find Ricky. Their liaison with the police is a beautiful detective Barbara (Hu). Can the Lucky Stars keep their composure around a beautiful woman long enough to save Ricky and bring Paul Chang to Justice?

my lucky stars Jackie Chan

The story is really simple, and features mostly the shenanigans of the Lucky Stars, all of whom have the maturity of twelve-year-olds, and bring no unending annoyance to Barbara. Richard Ng as Sandy, the nutso (that’s debatable) member of the crew, is as reliably funny as always. I like Eric Tsang as Roundhead, but thought his schtick grew old after a while. Chin is good as Herb, but doesn’t really do much. His shining moment will come in another Lucky Stars film. Stanley Fung’s best moment comes early, when he comes face to face with a very angry Bolo Yeung. And jeez, was there a Hong Kong star not in this film? It felt like they were all there. That’s part of the fun of the film, and it did look like everyone was having a blast, including Sammo Hung as Kidstuff, the most competent member of the crew. Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao are really only supporting characters with small parts, despite the DVD covers that feature Jackie as if he was a main character. Jackie’s not even in the film extensively until the last twenty minutes.

my lucky stars2

But what a good twenty minutes they are! Jackie takes on ninjas in a house of horrors, (there is one moment where Jackie Chan is in a mascot getup and gives expressions that are just laugh out loud funny as he stays in character) and then has a fantastically choreographed fight with Dick Wei. Sammo Hung takes on Lau Kar Wing in one of Sammo’s best onscreen matchups, but perhaps the most memorable fight is Sibelle Hu versus bodybuilding champion and martial artist Michiko Nishiwaki. Ms. Nishiwaki gives some leg kicks that looked just brutal. Yuen Biao has an all-too-short fight with Lam Ching Ying, but it does feature one of my favorite moments concerning Yuen Biao’s sweater. Also look out for Yuen Wah as one of the thugs.

Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 8.5

 My Lucky Stars is a wildly fun film featuring some of 80‘s Hong Kong’s best performers led by legend Sammo Hung. I highly recommend this film, but the best, though, is yet to come!

Review: Dragons Forever (1988)

Posted in Benny Urquidez, Billy Chow, Corey Yuen, Dick Wei, Jackie Chan, James Tien, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah with tags , on March 2, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Dick Wei, Billy Chow, James Tien

Fight Choreography by Sammo Hung and Corey Yuen

Directed By Sammo Hung

For years Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao have dazzled us with onscreen stunt work and fantastic fight choreography, and after starring early on in quite a few wildly successful films together, they decided to go their separate ways, but before doing that they wanted to tackle one last film together, and bring out every actor, stuntman, and Peking Opera School buddy they’ve ever worked with to go out on a high note.

What a note they hit!

Jackie Chan plays, well, Jackie Lung, a successful lawyer who also seems to have gotten a degree in douchbaggery, as he’s a womanizing asshat who works for Hua Hsein-Wu, who owns a local factory that is being sued by Miss Yip, a strong woman who owns a fishery nearby, whose accusation is that the waste runoff from the factory is hurting her business. Jackie tries to warm up to her best friend and confidant Nancy, who isn’t smitten by Jackie’s charms at first. To ensure his client wins the case, Jackie hires his buddy Luke (Hung) to spy on Miss Yip, but doesn’t tell Luke that he’s also hired his two-fries-short-of-a-happy-meal pal Timothy (Biao) to plant a bug in Miss Yip’s house.  Jackie’s plans fall astray as Luke falls in love with Miss Yip and mistakes Timothy for a burglar, and they both get into a scuffle, and before long Jackie must referree both of his friends as well as try to win the heart of Nancy, all the while trying figure out what the men he’s working for are really up to.

Good lord, where to start. Rarely in the Halls of AssKickery has there been a film like this. Jackie Chan is as great as always, and here he really cuts loose with fantastic moves especially during the boat attack and the final fight in the factory, first with the thugs and then a fantastic rematch with Benny “ The Jet” Urquidez (Wheels on Meals). Sammo Hung is his funny yet serious self as Luke, and gets some fights but not that many, but with so much butt-kicking goodness I didn’t mind. Yuen Biao has some absolutely jaw-dropping scenes, first with his acrobatics throughout the entire film, and then the factory finale where he takes on the always great Billy Chow. Yuen Wah is hilarious as the cigar-chomping baddie, and it’s impressive he can still puff away–even when cartwheeling or somersaulting around.

The three-way fights that occur twice in the film involving Jackie, Sammo and Yuen Biao are comedy gold, and really show that they have done this with each other their whole lives, and they actually have. Their movements and timing with each other is classic, and can never be duplicated. That chemistry onscreen is rare, and has to be celebrated whenever we see it. Jackie’s fight with Benny The Jet is the crowning achievement of the film, and these two really know how to move with each other. Benny has the speed and power to give Jackie a hard time, and on-screen it shows. Benny makes a great villain, and really gives Jackie a run for his money. Their fights are brutal, more so than most of Jackie’s onscreen duels.

The story is fluffy and sweet, and exists to make room for the fighting and comedy, but somehow it all works. The three leads are the glue that holds everything together. They all play to their traits at the time: Yuen Biao is usually the crazy one, Sammo the amoral one except when it comes to his friends, and Jackie the good-hearted but womanizing jerk who always does the right thing. The camera work is dynamic for the fights, and it’s pure perfection. The pacing is well done, and each fight gets bigger and more complex. The Factory fight as a whole is an amazing finale of martial arts, filmed by the best the industry had to offer at the time. It rarely gets better than this!

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) Every fight catered to the strengths of its actors and what they can do, and Sammo used it to the fullest to get every drop of cool that could be had. The Jackie/Urquidez fight isn’t as good as Wheels on Meals, but it’s close. The boat fight is one of Jackie’s best.

STUNTWORK: (10)  Sweet Beejeezus did the stunt men get their asses kicked. Some of the falls and bounces off furniture they took were downright criminal, and the splits Billy Chow had to do? They had better had paid him well for that one. I think that might’ve cost him the ability to have children. Yikes. The stuntmen really brought it for this one, and they really sell every fight scene.

STAR POWER: (10) Everyone was at the top of their game. Damn near every badass on-screen at the time was in this! As a last hurrah for some of the members of the 7 Little Fortunes (Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Corey Yuen, and Yuen Wah) they chose a damn good way to close out their collaborations!

FINAL GRADE: (10) Dragons Forever is one of the classics of kung-fu films, with stunning fights and slapstick comedy that marked the end of the Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung/Yuen Biao films, but they went out with a bang!

Review: Yes, Madam! (1985)

Posted in Corey Yuen, Cynthia Rothrock, Dick Wei, Fat Chung, James Tien, Michelle Yeoh, Sammo Hung with tags , on October 6, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

 

 

Starring Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, James Tien, Dick Wei, Fat Chung, Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung

Fight Choreography by Corey Yuen

Directed by Corey Yuen

Women in martial arts films, particularly the early films, have always been a mixed bag. On one hand, especially in the Shaw Brothers films, the women can kick some serious ass. On the other, it seems that they still need the men to come and save them at the end. Of course there were exceptions to the rule, Angela Mao being one of them. But in 1985 two women broke into the scene and changed everything. Jackie Chan discovered Michelle Yeoh while working on a commercial together. Cynthia Rothrock was a martial arts champion, and had come to the attention of Sammo Hung. Corey Yuen, another one of the Seven Little Fortunes decided to put them both into his next film, and it would define both women for the next decade and advance women in action films forevermore…

The film opens as we meet resident ass-kicker Inspector Ng (Yeoh) who foils a robbery of an armored car, and flips and spins her way around shooting the living hell out of a bunch of dudes as if to announce “ the ladies are the badasses in this film, folks!” Afterward Ng announces she is heading for a vacation with a British gentleman, but her plans are canceled when her friend is, well, canceled by a hitman named Dick (Wei) who killed the man for Mr. Tin (Tien) a douchebag business man who needs to get a microfilm that shows his involvement in an illegal deal involving forged documents. Before Dick can get them two bumbling thieves Strepsil and Aspirin break into the room and steal the dead man’s passport, not realizing that the man was dead and the film was in the passport, and they take it to their partner Panadol (Hark). Ng is brought into the case, but must take on British Inspector Carrie Morris (Rothrock) as her partner. The three thieves slowly become aware that they are in over their heads as the police and the hitmen get closer to them both, and they try to avoid prison and death…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 

Yes, Madam will most certainly not be known for its acting, which I have to admit is not too good for the main leads, but this was pretty much the first film for both women, and in the end it won’t hurt the enjoyment of the film…much. What it does show is the onscreen presence of both Yeoh and Rothrock.

It is also refreshing to see that both female characters beat the tar out of everyone without needing to be “saved” by a man. They carried the action on their own, and take as much punishment as they doled out. The comedy and lightness of the film are carried admirably by John Sham , Hoi Mang, and Tsui Hark in a rare film appearance. After a time their bumbling around does test the patience of the audience, but the fights reward the patience later. Dick Wei is as good as always playing an utter douchebag and badass, which he excels at, and Fat Chung is as ridiculous as I’ve ever seen him, and it takes a special kind of over the top acting to distract you from his mustache, which I swear could be its own character in this film. James Tien doesn’t do much in this film except laugh…a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fights throughout the film are good, but I did have some issue with the editing, which seemed scatter-shot between showing closeup shots and panoramic shots of the action. It seemed as if the editor didn’t really know how to edit the fights as Yuen had choreographed. The exception to this was the final fight, which lets everyone cut loose, and no one disappoints here. Cynthia shows why she came to Sammo’s attention, as her movements are crisp and can easily hang with the Corey Yuen style of fight choreography, and the same holds true for Michelle, which is amazing when you consider the fact that she knew no martial arts when she made this film. The fight between Cynthia and Dick Wei is particularly satisfying and the overall asskicking here is more than enough to satisfy any martial arts fan. The ending was a bit odd, but it doesn’t take anything away from the effort, and the two women it would propel to stardom.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) The overall choreography is good, and the final fight is fantastic as everyone is given a moment to shine, but some of the earlier fights aren’t as great as they could have been due to the editing.

STUNTWORK: (8) Not quite Jackie Chan crazy, but close as they guys took some nasty spills, especially in the last fight. That poor bastard Michelle Yeoh dropped from the 2nd level to the ground by the bar…yeowch.

STARPOWER: (9) Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock’s stars would only rise after this, and Dick Wei is always good, as is James Tien and Sammo Hung in cameo rolls, and some of the Lucky Stars (Dennis Chan, Richard Ng) appear here as well.

FINAL GRADE: (8) A good small budget film that has some fun moments and good fight choreography, but gets the high mark for introducing Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock to the world.

Review: Game of Death (1978)

Posted in Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, James Tien, Robert Wall, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Robert Wall, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Kim Tai Jong, James Tien

Fight Choreography for Bruce Lee’s fights by Bruce Lee

Fight Choreography for everyone else by Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao

Directed by Robert Clouse

Let’s get one thing cleared up first: Game of Death is not Bruce Lee’s last film. That moniker belongs to Enter the Dragon, and to that film alone. Game of Death could be best described as a compilation/tribute/b-sides album. The film compiles memorable scenes from Bruce’s earlier films, new scenes shot by a bunch of fake Bruces (Yuen Biao being one of them) and the final fights that feature the actual Bruce Lee.

Was it a good tribute to Bruce? In a small way.

Was it a grab for more cash after the success of Enter the Dragon? Hell yes.

Bruce Lee–or actually his body doubles–stars as Billy Lo, a martial arts film star who is filming a scene with Chuck Norris (archived scenes from Way of the Dragon) when a light from above crashes on the ground near him, stopping production. During these scenes you see Bruce from behind only, and I just knew this was gonna be a long film. I almost died laughing when they would show Bruce speaking to different people from behind, and then Bruce’s reaction shots would be clipped scenes from his other films. Anyway, some douchy fight promotor who works for some shadowy company called the Syndicate wants Billy to fight in the ring, and Billy slaps the guy away. Shit, the real Bruce would’ve slapped the guy through the door. During this scene they had the audacity to actually superimpose a cut out of Bruce’s head on the actor’s body!

Anyway, we then cut to the Meeting of Evil Villians, where the same douchy promotor and his lackeys played by Robert Wall (what’s the deal with him being Bruce’s bitch?) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decide to beat Billy into signing the contract. Billy goes out to dinner that night with his girlfriend played by Colleen Camp, when he gets ambushed by some of douchy’s men. This first fight of Fake Bruce is exactly what you would expect-badly shot scenes of a guy trying to pretend to be Bruce, but isn’t even close.

This brings me to what would be common theme in this film until you get near the end: Billy gets his ass kicked. A lot. WTF?! Okay, I can accept a lot of things, but the sight of a couple of hired thugs beating up someone who is supposed to be BRUCE LEE just kills me. I’m surprised Bruce not only didn’t roll around in his grave at this, but didn’t outright punch his way back to the land of the living so he could smack Robert Clouse around for a second, telling him what the hell, man?! There is not one scene, in any of Bruce’s films, where anyone—and I mean no one—kicks his ass. Yeah, some guys get their shots in, but Bruce NEVER LOSES. It’s not boring, that’s just Bruce. He doesn’t lose. And who would be equal to him for him to lose to? Nobody, that’s who. And yet in several fight scenes with Fake Bruce, he gets his ass owned by everyone, hell even Robert Wall. He punches and kicks these thugs, and they get right back up. If Real Bruce hits them, they ain’t gettin’ back up.

Before long Billy is shot on the set of his film, but isn’t killed, and with the help of an old friend stages what has to be the absolute worst scene ever filmed, lacking in any amount of taste whatsoever. Any respect I might’ve had for Robert Clouse died right at this moment. Billy fakes his own death, and the funeral scenes were ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF BRUCE’S FUNERAL. That takes some balls, but holy shit that was a dung pile of bad decision making to allow it into a fictional film.

Not long afterward I was able to briefly set aside my disdain by watching a fight between Robert Wall and Sammo Hung, which was actually well done—no where near Sammo’s normal quality—but well done nevertheless. It allowed Sammo to show off some fancy moves before Robert Wall kicks his ass, and then in turn gets his ass killed by Fake Bruce following this fight. I’ll say this for Mr. Wall, he always looks great getting his ass kicked.

Soon Billy’s girlfriend is kidnapped by Douchy, and Billy frees her and goes after Douchy and his boys, and here is where Real Bruce returns for the final fights between himself and Dan Inosanto, nunchuck to nunchuck, a fight with another karate master, and the crowning moment, the fight between Bruce and his real life student NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Each fight is great in it’s own way, and the fight with Kareem is fantastic, a study of fighting while facing a great size disadvantage (it could be argued both ways) and Kareem does a great job here.

After that we go back to Fake Bruce and he has to fight Douchy, in a fight that tries to make Douchy feel like a threat, but his isn’t, and is weakly killed and the film thankfully ends. This is really a horrid film, but I get what they wanted to do. They tried to honor the memory of Bruce and to make sure that audiences would feel that absence would make the heart grow fonder, and at least in this film, it succeeds.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (4) Sammo tried his best to choreograph fights the way Bruce would’ve, but without the secret ingredient of Bruce, none of it works. Sammo’s fight with Robert Wall was the best non-real Bruce Lee fight in the entire film.

BRUCE’S CHOREOGRAHY: (8) For what there was, was terrific. The fight with Kareem was a classic. The last we would ever get from Bruce.

STUNTS: (3) Not much here. Some good acrobatic here and there, but that’s about it.

STAR POWER: (8) There really was a lot of star power from the martial arts world here. Too bad that power was used in this film.

FINAL GRADE: (4) Only the Bruce fights, because they are classic, keeps this film from getting a lower grade that this. Unfortunately the success of this film would spawn the legion of fake Bruces to follow, and an insipid sequel.

Review: Fist of Fury (1971)

Posted in Bruce Lee, James Tien, Lo Wei with tags , on April 23, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Bruce Lee Fists of Fury 3

starring Bruce Lee, James Tien, Jackie Chan (Stuntman)

Directed by Lo Wei

Fight Choreography by Han Ying Cheng

Fist of Fury came out the following year after The Big Boss, and proves to be a much better film in every conceivable way, finally showing the skills and talent that would define Bruce Lee for all time in a way that The Big Boss never could…

Bruce Lee plays Chen Zhen, a popular chinese hero who has been the subject of a few films, with a new one with Donnie Yen in production as we speak. The story begins with Chen’s return home after finding out that his Master, Ho Yuan-Chin, is killed while fighting the currently occupying Japanese, who stage matches to pit their karate to Chinese Kung-fu. Chen arrives just in time to attend the funeral, and there his emotions, like it will the entire film, get the best of him, and he throws himself on the casket, where the current headmaster of the school does the most cast-iron ballsy thing I’ve ever seen, knocking Chen out with a shovel. And I’ll bet no Japanese fighter thought to try that, because over the course of the film they’ll fail with everything else.

At the Master’s wake the next day, all goes peaches until a group of Japanese from the nearest Cobra Kai-wait, wrong film. But Martin Cove showing up would have been some kind of awesome. Anyway, the bad guys from the nearby Evil Dojo tm show up with a sign for the school that reads “Sick Man of Asia”. Now that is straight up gangsta, and requires ass-kicking on an epic level. Their rep Mr. Hu does this and slaps Chen not once-not twice-but three times! Chen was already pissed he got laid out by a shovel, and now this douche shows up and has the intestinal fortitude to slap him!

Bruce Lee Fists of Fury 1

This leads to the now classic fight as Chen shows up to kick ass and fight their Master, to see if he was really good enough to kill Master Ho. Oh he’s not. Not even close. Chen said he was the worst of the students, and I suppose from the standpoint of showing restraint and forgiveness, he’s right, but he did misrepresent himself, and I’m sure those fighters would’ve done much better had they known how good he really was. Cue laugh track here. After hearing about the beating his boys took, Master Suzuki, a giant eyebrowed dude, orders his men to go to the Chang Wu school and destroy it. Chen then shows the dangers of discrimation by beating down two Japanese guys who want him to crawl like a dog to get into some park or something, with no idea that doing so would immediately cause them to have emergency dental surgery performed on them to remove several perfectly good teeth. At the same time the Japanese attack the Chang Wu school, in a battle that is well done, much better than any non-Bruce fight in the Big Boss. Han Ying Chen does a great job of choreography this time out, and especially of using it to up the tension of the scenes. My only beef with this scene is at the end of this, when the Japanese master orders everyone to stop fighting, and they do. I would have thought that this would be the perfect time to get some cheap shots in if I were the Cheng Wu school. Chen shows up, evidently pissed that he wasn’t there to kick more butt, and feels horrible about it.

Soon Chen discover that the cook and servant were the traitors, poisoning the Master’s food right before the fight. You’ll notice the servant is played by the same guy who played the main bad guy in The Big Boss. Chen kills both men with punches so powerful that it evidently thrusts their innards into a pocket dimension.

This puts Chen on the run, foraging and living in the nearby forest, while Master Eyebrows spends the nights entertaining his new friend Mr. Petrov, who looks strikingly like either Ronald Macdonald or John Holmes. Of course this scene shows off the requisite naked woman. Following this scene leads to one of the most ill advised acts in history, as Mr Hu-you remember, the ass that kept slapping Chen at the wake-is captured by Chen for information, and Chen finally shows he learned something more from his Master other than killing proficiently, and lets Hu live, and Hu repays this act of generosity by trying to stab Chen in the back, and of course reflexes take over and Chen sends Hu into the next world, ensuring his brand of stupidity will no longer affect the gene pool any longer.

Next Chen goes all Mission Impossible here wearing disguises to spy on the bad guys in a scene both implausible and funny at the same, primarily for that reason, and I think the Lo Wei knew this too. Chen watches Ronald Mcd-I mean Petrov give a demonstration of his skill at hammering nails in boards with his hands and bending steel. Which is fine if your Bob Villa, but not so much if you fight guys named Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee Fists of Fury 2

Chen goes to the Japanese dojo, unaware that most of the students left to kill off the Cheng Wu school. Stupidity runs rampant again as Chen tries to get the remaining students to leave peacefully, but they don’t, and Chen breaks arms, crushes heads and impales guys with their own weapons. He arrives to find Master Suzuki’s top guys, including Petrov, ready to take him on, and after he double taps the first guy in the nuts, turning him into the Lead Henchwoman, takes on Petrov in a good fight until Chen goes super speed on him, and dispatches him easily. The last fight between Chen and Master Suzuki is surprisingly weak compared to the fights before, mainly because it is very short.

(Note: At the moment Bruce kicks Suzuki out of the dojo, sending him through the wooden doors, Bruce noted that the stuntman he had been watching that day who did that was going to be special someday, because of the way he conducted himself and just seemed to have that something in the eyes. That stuntman? Jackie Chan.)

Meanwhile, the entire school is wiped out but for the Headmaster and a few of the students who drew the long straws and got to go looking for Chen Zhen. Chen is forced to turn himself in, but in a final act of defiance runs right at a group of soldiers with guns, and they fire, and thus ends the film.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (9) For his last film with Bruce, Han Yin Cheng does a great job this time out, even in the non-Bruce Lee fight scenes. I’m sure Bruce himself had a lot to do with that, but this contains one of the best, most classic fight scenes of all time.

STUNTS: (7) Better than the Big Boss by leaps and bounds. You could tell they were able to hire better stuntmen this time out, and with Jackie Chan being one of them, there’ s no way it could be as bad as the Big Boss. While no real large scale stunts here, the stuntmen act the punches and strikes well, and throw themselves about fairly convincingly.

DIRECTION: (7) Once again, much better as the fight scenes are well framed and move just as well. The story has better drama and characterization as well, and Lo gets the most from his actors. Truthfully, he got lucky with this one.

STAR POWER: (10) Unlike the Big Boss, this features Bruce fighting, fighting, fighting. More Bruce is never a bad thing, and this movie gives you your Bruce Lee fix. He does a much better job with the acting, except for the laughable romantic scene midway through the film.

FINAL GRADE: (9) A great film that defined everything that fans loved about Bruce Lee. Good fights and decent drama make this a winner. Only the final fight brings the score down a bit.