You are currently displaying English
奇門怪拳 (1979)
Of Cooks and Kung Fu

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 04/11/2006
Summary: Funky styles and Jacky Chen saves the film...

Of Cooks and Kung Fu is an above average late 70's fight fest very similar, as mentioned before, to the Jackie Chan classic "Drunken Master," which was released a year before. Jacky Chen Shao-Lung plays Tan Tan, a somewhat lazy young man (and terrible cook) who is being taught the cooking kung fu style by his Uncle, once the head chef for the empress. Unexpectedly, the best cooks throughout the country are suddenly being murdered and it appears that Tan Tan has to learn every secret of the style in order to protect himself and his uncle.
Other than a few saving graces, this movie could have fallen by the wayside in the heap of generic and discarded kung fu flicks. The first positive is the villain, played by Chen Shan. His face is covered for 90% of the movie with a massive conical straw hat and it lends to his mysteriousness and intrigue. He is also and excellent fighter, and his final showdown with Jacky Chen is a lot of fun. The training sequences are also inventive and well done, with styles like Beggar's Chicken, Flying Shark's Fin and Steaming Beef Balls to throw a curve at adversaries. The great opening scene has Jacky Chen displaying each of the styles, all while cooking in large woks laid out in his back courtyard. In the end, Chen turns out to be the real highlight of this film. He is very acrobatic and fast, pulling off moves that took a ton of practice and choreography and are enhanced by his natural ability. Due to the success of Drunken Master, he is somewhat regulated to being a Jackie Chan clone (hence the name?) with the requisite goofiness and whining due to training hardships, but he manages to pull it off and stand on his own by the end. Chen has a relatively short career for the amount of potential he shows in this movie, and it made me wonder if being typecast as a parallel to Chan limited his future. If that's the case it's a shame, as he could have been quite an interesting and exciting lead actor.
In the US Dubbed version, listen for the use of an interesting synthesizer version of the Beatles "Blackbird" and then the inclusion of the original Jaws theme. Licensing rights?

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MasterArts
Date: 03/06/2002
Summary: A standard for Ocean Shores

Definitely one of the best Ocean Shores video anywhere. This is one of those movies you can remember stepping out of the theater with a smile and feeling good spending the $3.00. Great kung fu action and good training sequences. Everybody in this one acts really good, down to the expressions. It has a good villain, who demolishes everybody till the end. The fight choreography here is topnotch. After getting this movie, I thought there weren't going to be another ocean shores as good as this one. There wasn't, but there was another Ting Chung movie that came close.

Reviewed by: Ryoga
Date: 12/25/2001

I have to totally agree with STSH on what he wrote about this film. I first caught this one on television long ago and I still think it is really good today. This film is also known as Duel Of The Dragons.

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 10/13/2001
Summary: Gourmet chop sockey

This film has a cheap, b-grade look about it, but don't be fooled. It's a ripper. The fight choreography is plentiful, entertaining and extremely well done. The story is clearly a close copy of the formula Jackie Chan used in Drunken Master, and you can almost feel star Jackie Chen Siu Lung trying hard to be like his very similar namesake. Seung San and Ga Hoi perform some stunning stunt work, and work extremely well with Chen.

I would rank this one easily with the likes of Seven Grandmasters and even Five Superfighters. Don't miss it !

Reviewer Score: 10