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賊贓 (1980)
The Loot


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/14/2008

An entertaining martial arts comedy, with a plot somewhat akin to a Chor Yuen wu xia but inhabited by more nuanced characters than the usual hero/villain roles. David Chiang surprises here by showing more flair for comedy, acting and martial arts than I generally expect from him. Some great fight scenes, with Ko Fei shining especially.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 08/06/2008
Summary: the bloody tattoo...

yang wai (david chiang) is an opportunist, martial artist for hire; he works with the police as a bounty hunter and has just been hired by chui foon (kwang yung-moon) to protect himself, ko yu-shing (phillip ko), kong fei-ha (lily li) and chun-san (gam sai-yuk), from the spider; mysterious and deadly criminal, who hasn't been seen for years. fang chung (norman chu), is a bounty hunter who, as it happens, has recently been impersonating the spider, whilst busting robbers. when it looks the real spider is back, he decides to investigate as well...

i've been quite interested in seeing 'the loot' for a while, mainly because it's eric tsang's directorial debut, but also because i have a lot of time for norman chu and david chiang. i wasn't let down. well, not by tsang, chu or chiang...

the film is a funny, if slightly complicated, martial arts comedy, which has a few nice touches (even if one editing trick is slightly over-used). unfortunately, joy sales have screwed up more than usual with their attempt at remastering the subtitles: either they used the wrong subs or they typed them as they watched it and ran a spell-checker which spewed out a few interesting quirks. after all, i'm pretty sure that phillip ko's character is an assassin, not an "assistant". it doesn't stop there though, grammatical and spelling errors litter the text in a fashion that i thought had long passed. very poor. sort yourselves out joy sales...

back to the film. so, yes, it's a pretty funny film, with david chiang, in particular, doing some great work as a bit of a chancer, working well with the slightly cooler norman chu and the coldness of phillip ko. as for martial arts, it is, once again, the combination of these three that provides the film with some great sequences. the film builds tp its climax, with a final confrontation between chiang, chu, ko and li; a variety of styles (including monkey and mantis) are employed, there's also some nice weapon work and a very interesting style adopted for some two-on-one action.

well worth a watch, even if joy sales have done their best to wreck it...


Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 01/04/2006
Summary: Excellent blend of martial arts and comedy...

David Chiang and Norman Chu play rival bounty hunters in this very funny martial arts mystery. The Loot is a great blend of excellent fight choreography, a fun (but confusing) plot and great chemistry between Chiang, Chu and Phillip Ko Fei. Chiang plays the prankster perfectly while Chu is a little more reserved and Ko Fei is deadly serious. The dynamics between the three work to great effect. Lily Li Li-li has a relatively small part as the love interest for all three (even though Ko Fei is her cousin). Kwan Yung-Moon rounds out the cast as the devious Chiu Foon, who hires Chiang to protect him from an assassin, the Spider.

As good as the comedy is, you might expect the martial arts to be not up to par, but The Loot delivers on that front as well. David Chiang shows more open-hand-style ability than I have seen in previous movies, and busts out a nasty Mantis style near the end of the film, only to be topped by his hilarious Monkey style in the finale. Phillip Ko Fei is very quick and precise in his scenes and is able to protray the deadliness of his character Ko Yuk Shin very effectively. Norman Chu is also excellent in his fight scenes. The final 20 minutes of the movie is a successive all-out brawl between the 5 main characters that loses it's steam a bit, but ends with a hilarious spoof on the Shaw Brothers' characteristic film closings. A definite recommendation for this very funny martial arts mystery.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 11/04/2002

Great old school movie with excellent fight scenes. Ko Fei's skills displayed here will show you why is one of the most underrated martial arts actors. David Chiang is WAY too cool in this movie. You've never seen him better.

[8/10]