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風雨雙流星 (1976)
The Killer Meteors


Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 11/01/2005
Summary: Wang Yu vs. Jackie

Sometimes if an actor has not had a successful run as a lead then it behooves him or her to take a supporting role. After the box office failings of New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men, Lo Wei decided to cast Jackie Chan as a villain in a secondary position to the lead of Jimmy Wang Yu (who starred in many popular pictures as a one-arm martial artist and many not-so-popular films as a two-arm martial artist.) Wang Yu’s stardom was slowly fading at the time of this picture, but he had a much more recognizable name than Jackie’s. Useless tidbit: according to Jackie, he made 12,000 HK dollars to Wang Yu’s 50,000. The Killer Meteors was based on a Gu Long novel and it was the first of two films to be shot in Korea (To Kill with Intrigue was the second.)

Jimmy stars as Mi Wei the Killer Meteor, a sarcastic master of Kung Fu who know no equal. He is so feared and admired that criminals will cut off there fingers in repentance rather than to face his possible wrath and master martial artists serve underneath him. I like Wang Yu’s performance with his cocky panache (he even keeps track of his enemies all 491 of them) and glib humor though his character is a bit too “strong” for there to be any real conflict in this film. Also, his weakness at martial arts is very noticeable because of the direction and his slowness (Master of the Flying Guillotine is a good example of where he is choreographed well.) But who needs adroitness of movement when you carry a cool weapon like the Killer Meteor. Only three people have seen this weapon and two of them are dead. Most of the time he uses it as a club on the criminals who are undeserving to die by it’s true form.

Wei is approached by Qing, the famous Blue-Robed Swordsman who must bring him to the Celestial House of Hua the Hearty (Wa Wu Bin in some translations/dubbings) before July 15 (according to subtitles) or he will die. Mi is intrigued by this, for he is always looking for a challenge worthy of him, and goes with Qing. When he meets Hua (Jackie Chan) he finds a sick man who needs the Killer Meteor’s help. Hua was poisoned by his wife in his Ginseng soup (otherwise a normally healthy soup) and she gives him a yearly dose of antidote. Hua does not like this arrangement and wants his wife dead and the antidote all for himself. Wei accepts this challenge though he learns of the four feared bodyguards of his wife: Blazing Star whose weapons are the Plum Blossom Needles (always a favorite of mine, though for weapons so small they always seem to be caught), Killer Hands with fierce suction grip (like GI Joe’s Kung Fu grip with vacuum power), Black Lama whose good at black magic and Taoist Ghost (Lee Man Tai) who is good at tricks. Now these characters sound good, but there use in the film is less than desirable.

Unfortunately the plot is weak. There are too many twists and turns that negate previous plot points and characters who are not whom they seem to be. Or are they? My notes on this film is huge but explaining even half of them would be tedious. Generally if plots become overburdened then you can fall back on the martial arts in the film. With Jimmy being the lead character and unless he was being doubled for flips the martial arts are too slow and the action too pedantic. Also there is not a lot of fighting. There are two main fight scenes between Jackie and Jimmy. The first fight scene is the best while the finale is a bit disappointing. It takes place on wooden poles with stakes on the ground – resembling an action scene from Jimmy’s earlier film Master of the Flying Guillotine and a bit like Yuen Woo Ping’s Iron Monkey, though both are much more interesting. Luckily for the viewers Mi Wei shows off his killer weapon.

The Killer Meteors was a failure at the box office and did not help either Jimmy’s or Jackie’s career. Along with the confusing story and mediocre action scenes there are too many problems with this film ranging from the overuse of the “lifted” King Kong score to really cheap costumes. Yet, I cannot say I wholly disliked the film. I liked Jimmy’s performance, Jackie’s “bad guy” performance, some of the story, the beautiful scenery and the titular weapon. Since there is a plethora of better Jimmy Wang Yu and Jackie movies there is no reason to recommend this film unless you are into watching all of Jackie’s or Wang Yu’s films – like me.

DVD Notes: the two editions of this film I own are the Columbia version and the Simitar Platinum Series version. There is very little difference between the two. Both versions are full-screen (with the credits running letterboxed), both have Mandarin dialogue (though for some reason the Simitar version says Cantonese which is wrong), both have the same dubbed version and both have the same running time (104m). The Columbia version does have English subtitles though.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: zillion29
Date: 04/03/2002
Summary: Jimmy Wang Yu Exudes "Cool".

I have always maintained that this is one of the greatest old school kung fu movies of all time. There are objective reasons for this that I will leave to other reviewers. I will instead focus on my subjective reactions to this picture.
We all know the real reason why this movie is maligned. Thousands of viewers have gone into this thing over the years expecting a Jacky Chan-fest. Then they realize that not only is Chan the badguy, but he's also a serious dork (with terrible dubbing voice, no less). So they jump on these boards and take it out on Jimmy Wang Yu.
This is one of those old school movies that is more atmosphere and plot than fighting clinic. You won't be particularly dazzled by any of the on-screen hijinks. But I challenge you not to be entertained!
Jimmy Wang Yu's character is invincible. He can't be beaten. If he gets beat, it's on purpose. Why people insist on mandatory training sequences in fu flicks is beyond me. The whole point is that the Killer Meteor, Mi Wei, is a badass lawman out for justice. No one can touch him. This makes him Dirty Harry. This makes him Matrix in Commando. You're supposed to admire his cool under pressure and you're supposed to giggle as loser baddies fall at his feet.
There's also a great deal of comedy. Fu fans go ga-ga when Sammo farts or when some kid pees on a guy's face, but if a badass hero dishes out a one-liner everyone calls it "cheesy".
The pacing is good throughout, and anyone judging the film based on the VHS print is missing about 20 minutes of deleted footage that really adds alot to the overall story.
And Jimmy likes girls in this movie. Heck, even the loser bodyguards are heterosexual. At no point in this movie does anyone pull any Jacky-style "girls are icky" crap. Just pure testosterone fun!
Naysayers be damned. This is one of the top ten kung fu movies ever filmed and a testament to the screen power of the celluloid badass. Jimmy Wang Yu truly was the "Clint Eastwood" of Asian cinema.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Chan V Wang

Total rubbish. I like the idea of Jackie being a bad guy, but apart from that, a rubbish kung fu movie.

Rating (out of 5): 1
(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)



Reviewed by: Cal
Date: 07/19/2001
Summary: Aarghhh!

Ok, I'll admit that the idea of seeing Jackie Chan as a bad guy may have some novelty value. Don't be fooled, this is a TERRIBLE movie. Jimmy Wang-Yu displays the charisma of a dead budgie.

Some movies are so bad they're good. This one is so bad you'll be gnawing off your own leg in boredom. I fell asleep. Twice.

If someone offers you this film, run away. Fast.


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: YES Jackie a baddy!!

A old film and the quality i saw was not so good!! Wang Yu is the good guy in this and his mysterious killer martial arts move is this meteor thing, thing.........not sure what it is but it'll kill anyone!!

I found this a bit boring and slow paced but i can't remember too much about this so maybe what i say doesn't count much............

4/10


Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 09/09/2000
Summary: Jackie Chan as a villain !

Chan fans, don't be fooled. The cover of more than one version of this film shows Jackie prominently on the cover. But make no mistake. This is a standard Jimmy Wang Yu vehicle, from start to finish. Though not in every scene, Jimmy and his character dominate this film. Jackie appears for only about ten minutes, and much of that time he spends lying down !

The most striking feature of this film, apart from the predominance of strong primary colours on the set, is the mind-bogglingly complicated plot. More than a dozen major support characters compete for attention, and several of these have hidden or multiple identities. Trying to keep up with who is allied with or against who, and why they do what they do, could be harmful to one's mental health. Perhaps the scriptwriter was trying to mix swordplay and kung fu in with an Agatha Christie style murder mystery.

Overall, there's less action here than many of Jimmy Wang's other films, but this is not a problem. The acting ranges from awful to (occasionally) ordinary, but the combination of complex plot and a number of great fight scenes combine to disguise this deficiency. Well, most of the time. I must admit there are a few short bits where the action/complexity slow down to such an extent that the low standard of acting starts to show. But it's eay to forget these bits.

Unlike many of Jimmy's films, this one has a happy ending. And it is a truly bizarre one. Also, it's fun to see Jackie Chan playing a villain. He's quite good at it, too. Perhaps a pity that, not long after this film was made, he made the choice, and had the star power to insist, on always being a good guy.

Recommended.

Reviewer Score: 7