1 May 2007 | Ryan_McLelland
An action packed kung-fu military film
Just after the Vietnam War the U.S. Government decides to send a group of Chinese soldiers back into 'Nam to recover some munitions long stolen by the VC. Part of this group are convicted soldiers who are relieved of their sentence should they complete the mission. But when the mission is scrubbed at the point where half the soldiers have already jumped off the plane, the misfit crew must complete the unofficial mission regardless.
Fans of the kung-fu genre will certainly find other films with better martial arts, but the kung-fu within this film is superbly done. This is because of sequences put together by stars Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Sammon Hung (Magnificient Butcher, Warriors Two, Dragons Forever) stars and directs this military film and is probably in the best shape of his career here, looking very fit and limber as the leader of the crew. Yuen Biao (Knockabout, Prodigal Son, Dragons Forever) plays a villager who ends up helping the troops when they come to rescue his uncle. With Yuen Biao aboard you know that you are going to see some amazing martial arts action as one of the best of all time pulls off some amazing aerial moves.
For those who follow kung-fu film history, this film certainly is interesting as it brings together many from the Peking Opera House (the China Drama Academy) where Sammo, Biao, and Jackie Chan were schoolmates. Yuen Wah, the ultimate bad guy seen recently as Landlord in Kung Fu Hustle, and Corey Yuen (who went by Yuen Kwai in his old Opera House days - and rarely acts since he's an acclaimed director of such films as The Transporter) also went to school at the same time as Jackie, Sammo, and Biao. Yuen Woo-Ping, the acclaimed actor/action coordinator of films like The Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Iron Monkey also attended the same school years earlier. Woo-Ping makes a rare acting appearance here and is pretty damn funny throughout the film providing some comic relief.
The film certainly isn't original with many plot devices from films like Deer Hunter and Dirty Dozen. However the action comes near non-stop and the great cast help push the film quickly along. The kung-fu moments do come few and far between but those fights are worth it to see Sammo and Biao performing some amazing martial arts.