5 December 2016 | ckormos1
Two kung fu child stars do their best
Alternate titles for this movie include: Kung Fu Kids Break Away or Black Eagle or The San Mao Little Vagabond or The Adventure of the Boy with Three Hair. It stars Wong Yat-Lung, Au Dai, Chang Hai-Fen, Ma Cheung and Suen Lam.
It opens with the narrator telling us about the kid Wong Yat-Lung. In town, the other kid Au Dai, pretends to be blind to beg. A man steals from him and he gives chase and causes trouble. Au Dai has a girlfriend. Wong does acrobatics in a tea house. The kids meet up and Wong gets his pocket picked and has to work at the tea house. Twenty minutes in there is no hint of a plot or a bad guy, it's just the daily life of two beggar kids. Then, Wong starts crying to remind the audience he is looking for his mother so I guess that will have to do as a plot.
The adults take stage for a scene or two to set up Eddy Ko Hung as the villain and Casanova Wong as the good guy.
I have not been able to acquire all of Wong Yat-Lung's movies but every movie I saw him in was good and the kid's performance was great. Kids can ruin a martial arts movie but this kid improved every movie. He has that "stage presence" that they talk about. What ever happened to him?
The first time I watched this movie I made a note to myself that it was not holding my attention and because of that I did not write a proper review. Years later I watched it again with an effort to finish and review it. I had the same attention problem simply because of the pacing of the movie and the lack of focus. During my years of watching these movies I have noticed that even the worst can have a special moment. Suen Lam's role provided that in this movie. Hard core fans of this genre will recognize Suen Lam as playing the same character over and over. He typically plays a one dimensional traitor, weasel, slimeball, or morally-challenged character. Here he plays the inn keeper, another typical one dimensional role, but he has a puppy he loves and that made a difference in many of the scenes. One of Suen Lam's most extensive roles was in 1970s "Valley of the Fangs". He did a great job in that movie and I have also reviewed it here.
Overall this movie is only for hard core fans of the genre and I rate it a notch below average. My copy was a VHS panned and scanned and made into a digital file. The English dubbing was good as it gets.