Reviewed by: mrblue
First off, despite some of the alternate titles and packaging, Jackie Chan doesn't star in this movie. In fact, his only appearance comes during the credits where he demonstrates some techniques, and (in some prints) at the end during a "behind the scenes" sequence. But he does a good job co-ordinating the fights, which is why this movie gets a higher score than it really should.
Why? Well, given that it uses the tired old "kid who doesn't know kung fu must learn it to get revenge" plot (even going as far as to use a bad Simon Yuen "drunken master" ripoff) and some very lame comedy. Even Jackie, the world's biggest PR machine for his movies, termed it "comedy" (yes, he used quotes) in his autobiography. Taking this in mind, 36 Crazy Fists should have been regulated to B-movie hell.
Actually, some of the jokes are funny, but unintentionally. At one point, some monks must convince their master to train the kid, so they bring a prostitute into bed with him for blackmail purposes. When she gets into the bed, her bare breasts literally take up the whole screen due to the poor center framing. For some reason, I found that pretty funny, but most (if not all) of the other attempts at jokes are just painfully unfunny.
However, the fights are very solid -- nowhere close to Jackie's best work -- but they almost make the crap in between them interesting and/or funny. Almost. This is only really recommended for die-hard Jackie or old-school fans; most others will be frequently using the fast-forward button to get to the fights.