29 April 2007 | ChungMo
Lighthearted acrobatic kung fu action
This is probably the best directed film I've seen yet from Shaw hack director Lo Mar. It also seems to have been his last film. Most of his films benefit from an enthusiastic cast of martial artists with plenty of action from them. This film is no exception and much of the sloppy directing that bedevils his other films is surprisingly absent here.
A baby boy is left on the steps of a Shaolin monastery by a mad woman who promptly expires. The chief monk decides to take the baby in and raise it. Cut to twenty years later and the young man is sweeping the steps. He hasn't been brought up as a monk rather as a lay student. The man is quirky and the young monks have taken to calling him "Crazy Guy". How thoughtful. The chief monk has trained him in the 18 Lohan style but since Crazy Guy has such a hard time getting along with the other students, the chief monk sends him out into the world to fend for himself! Crazy Guy (that's his name!) finds himself protecting a young man from the local gangsters. The town elders are so impressed with his kung fu skills that they invite him to stay and run a vegetarian restaurant. Crazy Guy accepts the offer and is now called "Crazy Master"! The gangsters are not so happy about this and further enraged when Crazy Master gives shelter to an escaped prostitute. And so the action continues.
Action is not in deficit in this movie, there's lots of fights and jumping around. The fighting is very, very unrealistic and resembles Peking Opera. Lots of flips, tumbles, flying leaps with multiple actors doing these things at the same time. The cast is very agile with the weakest movement from a couple of the comic villains (not the super bad guys) and the heroine. The acting is broad and loud, typical for a film like this. The movie gets serious for the last 15 minutes but the rest is a comedy of sorts.
Not even near a masterpiece but it never pretends to be trying. Fun.