27 December 2016 | ckormos1
Slow start but strong finish
It starts with the narrator explaining the philosophy of Chinese martial arts as a man takes a nap. Then John Liu's theme song plays. It is morning and a guy practices alone while kids watch. The kids fight among themselves and mom gets all upset thinking the kid was killed. Kid wants to learn and mom won't let him.
The story starts off too slow by taking 10 minutes for the kid to get a teacher. It could have been done in two lines of dialog. Michael grows up bullied by the owners of the household. He wants to learn the "death moves".
The family is threatened by gangsters collecting an old debt. Michael comes to their rescue and they change their attitude toward him. The father offers his daughter as fiancée as a reward and Michael goes off to earn his fortune first. Simon Yuen briefly appears at about 33 minutes as a street performer but does not fight. The lovely and seductive Woo Gam also entered just before that.
Animal cruelty warning – dog fight at about 45 minutes. There was also an earlier cricket fight but if you are that sensitive why are you even watching this?
From the cover "See the mack wipe 007 his enemy". Huh? What is a Chinese mack?
My copy is a digital file made from a VHS with English dubbing by the A team voice over actors.
Travador Ramos, aka Trovador Ramos, appears for the final fight in this movie. He is a legitimate actor and martial artist but there are many false claims linked to his career. One is the claim that he is a 14th degree black belt. This rank is in a style he invented and he awarded the rank to himself. I am saying it is meaningless. The other claim involves a supposed fight he had against Bruce Lee. I will not encourage that nonsense story. It never happened.
Back to the movie. The fights are all top notch. The story is simple, it's really all about the martial arts. Other than the slow start, the pace is good, the acting competent, but most of all for 1974 the action is right where it should be to make this one totally average for the year and genre.