Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ninja Checkmate

Ninja Checkmate
AKA Mystery of Chess Boxing (1979) film review

I finally get to review this highly acclaimed film. Let me say that while I thought it was good, there are some areas that wasn't to my personal taste. The villain of this film is called The Ghost Face Killer who is quite memorable mostly because of the role more so than what the actor brings to the table in my opinion. He is ruthless master of the feared Five Elements Kung Fu. Back in his younger days the Ghost Face Killer was a tyrant so a couple of Kung Fu masters unite to dethrone him. Now he is exacting revenge by going after the Kung Fu masters one by one and killing them. He leaves a trademark plate behind which looks like a small crest emblem type thing. The main character's dad was one of the Kung Fu masters and he gets killed by Ghost Face Killer. So now he wants to get revenge and joins a Kung Fu school. There is some humor here, but basically as the newbie he is getting bullied. I understand they are trying to make it light hearted so there is comedic scenes here but overall I can't say that I enjoy school bully stories like this. Anyways the one saving grace for our main character is that there is a cook master at the martial arts school who teaches him. And eventually the main character becomes pretty much the best guy in the school. And when he is finally standing up to the senior student bully, the master of the school shows up and finds the Ghost Face Killer plate that the main character was holding on to. So, the school master mistakes our main character as a spy and kicks him out. The main character then learns from the chess playing Kung Fu master and learns what he needs to know. Together they defeat the Ghost Face Killer with Kung Fu moves based off of chess and also because they understand how The Five Element Kung Fu works, which is basically like a rock paper scissors, earth absorbs water, gold cuts wood, this type of thing. I guess the title has Ninja in it because there are some incredible acrobatics in the fight scenes. And any kind of mystery here to me has more to do with the Five Elements Kung Fu. You have to know the formula to stand a chance. Solid old school Kung Fu flick that is hard not to like.

No comments: