Hong Kong Digital is sponsored by Poker Industries. Please see the Hong Kong Digital home page for a special offer from Poker Industries to Hong Kong Digital readers.

Issue #126 HOME E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com BACK ISSUES September 23rd, 2002

A Heroic Fight
(1989; Good Year Movie Co.)

A Masterpiece
Highly Recommended
Very Good
Marginal Recommendation
Not Recommended
Definitely Not Recommended

Cantonese: Yung chong gong wu
Mandarin: Yong chuang jiang hu
English: Courageously Roaming The "Jiang Hu"

This Taiwanese production pulls out all the stops, mixing sophomoric comedy and frenetic action into a wildly uneven but entertaining mix. Cute kung fu dynamo Lin Hsiao-lin from CHILD OF PEACH (sic) and KUNG FU WONDERCHILD stars, and the opening reel features a fun recreation of a typical action sequence from those period fantasies. Hsiao-long (Lin) and her goofy inventor father (Yuen Cheung-yan, sporting ridiculous novelty teeth) head up a successful stunt team that specializes in bullet hits and explosions. In a pop culture collision one will never see in a Western feature, grade school age Ting-ting (tarted up like Madonna and dancing to "Material Girl") is kidnapped from a McDonalds by a thug wearing a Mickey Mouse costume! Her grandfather is a reformed mobster under pressure from an ex-associate to resume his old ways. Attempts are soon being made on the old man's life, so he hires Hsiao-long (who rescued Ting-ting) to stage his death at a lavish banquet. However, a traitor (Dick Wei) in the ranks puts everyone's life in danger for real.

Director Chiu Chung-hing clearly studied at The Chu Yen-ping School of Cinematic Insanity and A HEROIC FIGHT is filled to bursting with everything you can think of: car stunts, bicycle stunts, ridiculous Rube Goldberg-style contraptions, a bomb placed in an issue of Penthouse, exploding cigarettes, exploding ice cream cones, a send-up of the Taiwan hit sequence from A BETTER TOMORROW, a child involved in stunts that would have Western parents phoning their lawyer, a bicycle fitted out with deadly gadgets (including a gatling gun, missile launchers, and ejection seat!), killer snakes, high voltage death traps, and, of course, undercranked wire-enhanced fights galore (which go from comedic to brutally violent in the blink of an eye). The storyline is barely there (just as well, as the English subtitles rarely make a lick of sense) and the filmmaking is often sloppy, but no holds barred fun like this is simply not produced anymore in either Taiwan or Hong Kong. The equally wacky soundtrack includes cues swiped from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, MANIAC, PHANTASM, SORCERER, and ALIENS, plus "Chung Kuo" from Vangelis' "China" album!

Cover art courtesy WA.

Lin Hsiao-lan. Image courtesy WA.

Dick Wei (center). Image courtesy WA.
WA #D-DVD 2334 (Mainland China label)

Dolby Digital 5.1

Post-synched Mandarin Language Track

Optional Subtitles in English and Simplified Chinese

8 Chapters Illustrated In the Menu With Clips

Letterboxed (1.86:1)

Coded for ALL Regions

84 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)

Contains brutal violence

DVD menu courtesy WA.

Singapore: PG [Passed With Cuts]

The source materials show some wear but the image looks crisp and colorful, with deep blacks. Some conversion-related instability is occasionally evident but rarely a major distraction. As usual, WA's echo laden 5.1 is best run through a single speaker. There are no extras.

is available at Poker Industries.

Having problems printing this review with Netscape? Go to the File option in the Netscape Task Bar, click the Page Setup from the sub-menu and make sure that in the Page Options listings, the Black Text box is clicked. This should resolve the "no text" printing problem.

Click here for more information about The Hong Kong Filmography

Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2002. All Rights Reserved.
E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com