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唐手跆拳道 (1972)
The Crush

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/19/2002
Summary: Impressive

If I didn't know who these actors were, I might have guessed that this was a Japanese movie. At least, at first. The Japanese are really loathsome villains here. But the look of the film, the pacing, even the construction of the shots, looks very much like lots of old samurai films.

And this works very much in the film's favour. The plot is straight melodrama. Goodies versus baddies, although the hero, Wong, does get ignored by his villagers for awhile and is treated as a baddie.

The print I saw, transferred to VCD, was somewhat mangled and jumpy, but nevertheless it didn't hide the quality and obvious good look of the film. The action scenes are very well done, particularly the frequent use of slow motion for the more spectacular moves. The fights use varied techniques, and impressive skills of unarmed fighters against skilled Japanese using swords.

The story seems to move slowly at first, and this film has much less dialogue than many other old fu films I've seen. This near-silence seems to give the film a Japanese flavour as well.

Despite the apparently slow pace, I never found the film dull or dragging, and re-watched some scenes several times. And, btw, the film appears to have been filmed in Korea.

Unusual and recommended.

Reviewer Score: 8