2 October 2016 | Leofwine_draca
A slightly superior sequel
SECRET RIVALS 2 is a sequel that sees the return of director Ng See-Yuen, star John Liu, and master villain Hwang Jang Lee. Anyone who's watched the first film will be surprised at the inclusion of the latter character, who was surely killed at the end of the previous movie. Fear not, it turns out that Lee had a vengeful twin brother who turns up seeking revenge in this action-packed instalment.
The only man missing is Don Wong, who is apparently off on his travels somewhere, but fear not, a couple of his younger brothers take his place. And SECRET RIVALS 2 has the edge over its predecessor, proving to be more action packed and more exciting all round. Hwang Jang Lee's vengeance-seeking brother is a fine master villain and surrounded by evil aides, including the familiar likes of Phillip Ko and Corey Yuen. Even Yuen Biao and Yuen Wah have little cameos as two members of his eight-strong 'army'.
There isn't a great deal of plot development or characterisation here, and poor dubbing still threatens to spoil things, but generally this is good stuff for the martial arts fan. The requisite training scenes are limited but fun to watch and the tournament bits are great. Best of all is the extended action climax, once again taking place in a deserted quarry, which goes to show that familiarity doesn't necessarily breed contempt.