9 February 2018 | BA_Harrison
It's a Shaw thing.
The plot for Long Road to Gallantry is fairly standard Shaw Brothers fodder: martial arts student Du Meng Fei (Kenny Ho) is sent into the wide world to use his skills for good. After rescuing a young woman, Li Sai Nan (Kara Hui), from the wicked Thunder Gang, he finds himself embroiled in a 20 year old conflict concerning a pair of much sought after martial arts manuals.
The story might be unexceptional, but two things make this one stand out for me: 1) the film's plentiful fight scenes, which are fast and furious with plenty of weapon work (swords and spears) and countless impressive mid-air wire-fu somersaults; and 2) the great characters, with a likeable hero, a despicable villain in Leng Tian Lei (Tien Hsiang Lung), and two kung fu cuties- Hui, whose character is out to avenge the deaths of her parents (another oft-used plotline), and the adorable Rosamund Kwan as Dragon Sect member Mu Wan Er, who discovers her real father is none other than the evil Leng.
The crazy action scenes are well handled by director Tak-Cheung Tang, performances are great all round, and the studio sets are fun (I particularly enjoyed the cool fortress inhabited by Li Sai Nan and her uncle). All told, an enjoyable effort from a studio better known for its '70s output.
7.5 out of 10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.