15 July 2016 | ckormos1
Chen Kuan-Tai in the role he was born to play
It begins with two guys walking in a canyon and that whistling song heard in many of these movies. They stop for noodles but have no payment. They meet the rich guy that wants to hire Chen Kuan-Tai for a bodyguard but he refuses on morality. Next he admonishes Cheng Kang- Yeh for stealing. They get in more trouble with the local big shot, so hop a train to Shanghai to seek fortune and fame. They start at the docks. They defeat the protection guy Chan Wai-Lau. The two friends soon have a problem between each other about how to manage their new success.
The copy is a VHS to digital file transfer with English dubbing. Where is the high definition fully restored digital version? Nowhere, of course, we are lucky the VHS rental craze saved this film from turning to dust. Chen Kuan-Tai was made for the role of the title character. He played a similar character in many 1970s martial arts movies and nobody did it better.
Besides Chen Kuan-Tai, the best part of the movie was the fights. There are a lot of fights and they could easily have been boring considering the restraints of the story. In 1979 so many of these movies were made and "anything goes" applied to the fights. There was the gymnastics of the Venoms, the wire work, the comedy, the kick masters and everything else. Yet this movie had a contemporary time frame, no fantasy, no over the top displays of inner power (telekinesis), it was all just street fights. The fights never got repetitive or unrealistic or boring from start to finish.
I rate this above average and highly recommend it for fans of the genre. I also recommend it as an introductory movie for folks who would like to take a look at martial arts movies from the golden age 1967-1984 to see if you like them.