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  • It starts with "Who are these people and why are they fighting?" They are the villains who have used legal shenanigans to steal land from our hero. A lot of talking follows but if you have seen these movies before you know this will be settled by fists not lawyers.

    Our hero's father has died at the hands of the villains so now he must get revenge. Bring on all the drama first. This is actually good because the son is in no way a match for any of the villains at this point in the movie.

    The story quickly fizzles into a situation where the dialog only serves to remind the audience of the one dimensional plot as already pointed out in my first paragraph.

    Our muscle bound would-be hero rashly takes on the Japanese and after a good fight he is taken prisoner.

    The fights in this movie are quite good. I would rate all the fights as above average. Despite getting it right, did this movie even make any money? I doubt even a hard core fan of the genre has it listed as a favorite. Sometimes you can do everything right and the result is "meh".

    As a hard core fan of martial arts movies of the golden age from 1967 to 1984 my greatest pleasure is finding a movie like this. I never heard of it. I do not recognize the actors. I stumbled across a copy and it is wide screen though small in resolution and dubbed in English. All the fights are above average. Most are empty handed but never appear to be the same fight over and over. There is a good assortment of weapons and there is even a ground fighting sequence which was rare in the early 1970s. The final 24 minutes is almost non-stop action. This is like a car collector finding a classic in a barn.

    I recommend it for all fans of the genre and rate it above average.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    CHALLENGE THE DRAGON is a 1973 Taiwanese kung fu story with an original translated title of THE WAY OF THE TIGER. It stars the unknown-to-me Tang Lung as the usual hard-hitting fighter who finds himself up against a gang of thugs who have been stealing local ginseng supplies that are supposed to be used to provide medicine for the villagers.

    Everything about this film is cheap, from the outdoor filming to the performances. Lung is somewhat undistinguished as an actor and the main thing about him is that he looks like Shaw Brothers star Sun Chien. However, he's pretty good in the fighting stakes, and given that this film is overloaded with action, that's important. The twist is that CHALLENGE THE DRAGON is a well shot film throughout, featuring brisk pacing and snappy action scenes. The director uses slow motion to good effect and plenty of camera fluidity to give the fights energy and motion. It's surprisingly good given the quality of most contemporary fare.