Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Masters of Martial Arts film review by Wmpyr
I found this film on Youtube.
It is a classic Kung Fu flick that reminds me a bit of Bruce Lee's first film The Big Boss AKA Fists of Fury, but with a better story. Yes the story is actually better here.
The main character Go-Chan is played by the actor that gets defeated by John Saxon in Enter the Dragon. He was also in Return of the Dragon AKA Way of the Dragon, another Bruce Lee classic.
This actor is a suave looking guy that doesn't look like a fighter, but he does his fight scenes well. Unlike most martial arts films you don't see him go through a training sequence.
So Go-Chan is a martial arts expert who starts off in the film with a challenge match that goes wrong. He kills his opponent with a back hand palm strike to the nose. Go-Chan's dad kicks him out of the house and tells him to never misuse martial arts again. Our mild mannered reluctant hero is now wandering about when he encounters a thief who is portrayed as a good man forced into bad things. The thief dies and Go-Chan decides to carry his burdens, he travels to the family to bring the news and begins work in a new town to support the family.
His employers are corrupt and have henchmen who bully people. They are plotting to win a local martial arts tournament by dirty means. They hire a Japanese fighter Hashimoto to represent them, which at this time having foreigners on your side is considered a very bad thing to do.
The main villain is played by a convincing actor, although it would have been nice to have made him a bit more unique or colorful, but I give him props because he is able to hold his role just by his acting and looks.
Now Go-Chan is a reluctant hero who doesn't want to fight anymore because he feels bad, and he is trying to honor his dad's words, but one thing I do not like about his personality, is that there is another good guy in this film who is more aware about what is going on with the villain's evil scheme. This secondary hero has offered his friendship and even the solution to Go-Chan, but Go-Chan refuses to help stuck in his own drama. You don't want to be blind towards a real friend. So this results in this good guy's death, and Go-Chan has to take matters into his own hands anyway.
Another thing I didn't care for was the way Go-Chan's love interest in the film reacts towards Go-Chan, she blames him for people's deaths. Really not cool since Go-Chan has been honorable to her and has financially helped support her.
I am also pretty sure Sammo Hung was in this as a goon leader.
All in all, this film is not bad, to me it has a lot of potential, but it definitely lacks anything colorful, seems a bit plain. A rewrite of this script would probably be really good since the core is pretty cool, you have a reluctant hero, a martial arts tournament, a cool possible team mate, and 4 main villains.