21 February 2016 | ckormos1
Two movies - each one stinks worse than the other one
There are actually two movies here and they have the same titles plus many more alternate titles. I am reviewing both here and adding a synopsis of the action. This way the viewer can differentiate between the two and avoid buying and/or watching the same one. The actor Bruce Le (with one "e") also known as Huang Kin-Lung, Wong Kum-Hung, Lui Siu- Lung (and even more names) does star in both of these movies.
This movie I will call #1 though on HKMDB it is listed as 1978 and the other I will call #2 is listed as 1977. Release date 6/1/1978, titles include: Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu or Ching Wu & Shaolin Kung Fu or Bruce and Shao-Lin Kung Fu or Fist of Fury Part 2. The actors include: Bruce Le, Chan Sing, Kim Jeong-Nan, James Nam Gung-Fan and Bolo. The best way to tell the two movies apart is by the presence of Chan Sing and Bolo as they only appear in this movie. It starts with a totally stupid scene. The Japanese military commanders want to shut down every kung fu school in China and are going about doing just that. At one of these schools, considered rebels fortresses by the Japanese, Chan Sing is training Bruce Le. Bruce goes home to mom and learns his brother was killed by the Japanese. He swears revenge (and there we have our plot). Bruce easily defeats some men sent to arrest him. He interrupts a Japanese officer in bed and challenges him to a sword fight and leaves his bleeding body in a tree. Being defeated is worse than death so he kills himself. Chan Sing sends Bruce off to South Korea. He then dies in a strange fight. (I have more about the fights later.) The general gets five karate experts, including Bolo, and sends them off to kill Bruce with the strict order that no guns are allowed. Bruce checks in with his new Korean teacher. His wisdom includes "The secret art of Tae Kwon Do is not too hard". He teaches him Tae Kwan Do using Chinese calligraphy and he has a pretty daughter. The fights are way below standards. The close shots are too fast and blurred. The wide shots often have the action missing as the VHS edit chopped the sides off. The continuity of the editing within the sequences was off kilter and jarring to the eyes. Then there's the bizarre – the karate fighters start fighting by getting down into an extremely low stoop and look like gorillas about to take a dump. The only fight sequence I could not find something to be critical about was when the daughter fought off her attackers. This is not really a review but a warning, not a spoiler alert but a stinker alert. I can't find anything positive to say about it nor can I recommend it to even hardcore fans of the genre.
This next movie I will call #2 though HKMDB has it as a 1977 release date. Titles include: Bruce and Shaolin Kung Fu 2 or Bruce and Shao-Lin Kung Fu or Bruce and the Shaolin Fist or Ching Wu and Shaolin Kung Fu Part 2 or Jeongmu Martial Arts. The stars include Bruce Le (with one "e"), Bae Su-Cheon (again as a Japanese general), Chiang Tao, and Kim Jeong-Nan (again as "the girl" – what else?) The movie begins with the Japanese general lamenting the death of his son. He finds the man who killed him is still alive. Bruce Le has been saved by a Chinese. They discuss all the details and it is totally absurd exposition from start to finish. The story continues with the Japanese moving out to get revenge and do their usual evil. Bruce is also out for revenge and he wants to learn Tae Kwan Do because the movie was made in South Korea.
Early South Korean movies were the dirty bath water of martial arts films and this one is typical. I am a hard core fan of martial arts films and I watch all of them even warned in advance they are pretty bad. Some movies, no matter how bad, still might have a memorable moment. I have a found quite a few memorable moments in movies that were otherwise reviewed s bad .I like to think that is like finding a gold nugget in a muddy stream and worth the effort. Be advised that both of these movies were nothing but dirty water from start to finish.