This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. One of his Governors is sent on a mission to retrieve a list of members of that secret society. Meanwhile, Canton kung fu practitioner Fong Sai-Yuk falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich merchant, recently moved to Canton. Her father, in an attempt to gain influence in the region and thus improve his business, offers his daughter in marriage to the winner of a kung-fu contest. Some interesting gender role-reversals take place during a 'comedy of errors. Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
Please note that it being such an old show, the production values and the video quality of this show will naturally come across as dated and a little poor. But don't let this put you off because aside from the video quality and the lack of realism of some of the props, the movie is just brilliant.
This film showcases the good old-style directing of kung fu movies at its best. Choreography of the fight scenes is just stellar and of the quality which you will hardly be able to find in kung fu shows these days. None of that slow-motion exaggerated rubbish, none of that CGI stunt nonsense. Nope, this is raw kung fu fight scenes at its best, which means, fast-paced and high tempo. Blink-and-you-will-miss-it kind of goodness. This film won the Hong Kong Film Award and Golden Horse Award for best action choreography during its time!
The comedy in this film does not lie in the choreography or execution of the fights (they are not the Jackie Chan-style funny antics), but rather in the story itself. Fong Sai Yuk and his mother make a brilliant pair of comedic marital arts heros and more than half of the laughs are from the antics of this mother-son duo.
The overarching stories and scenes are reminiscent of the Chinese period in which it is set - Qing dynasty setting in case you've missed it with the pigtails and male queues.
There are a few things going on in this film:-
- traditional chinese match-making of its time period is showcased, where daughters of reputable families are found matches through competitive rounds among her would-be-suitors;
- traditional chinese relationship dynamics of husband-wife;
- covert rebellious activities by rebel societies, and uprisings against what is perceived as oppression by a local tyrant - the definition of what makes a man a hero is often based on his actions and attitudes towards the people, particularly to those who are in need or oppressed; and
- traditional concept of filial piety and responsibility towards parents in that generation.
Lots of traditions and concepts of that time period are very much evident and imbued in this series, making it more than just your average comedic kung fu show. There is a wealth of information about the cultural mores and attitudes of the people in those days, which make for a much more insightful and unique watch experience.
JET LI is simply wonderful as the titular character Fong Sai Yuk. He portrays this cheeky, playful but incredibly talented kung fu lad to the tee. Young and brash but incredibly filial and family-oriented, he is the embodiment of your typical young kung fu hero of his day. His fight scenes are simply stellar and awe-inspiring.
JOSEPHINE SIAO as Fong Sai Yuk's mother is a scene-stealer! Her comedic and weighty moments in the show are on-point, while her own kung fu scenes are as awesome and as brilliant as Jet Li's. And that's saying a huge lot, I'm telling you, because Jet Li is practically the undisputed kung fu specialist of his time.
Both mother-son duo are the lynchpin and the cornerstone of this film - without them, the film would not be as scintillating and brilliant as it is still today.
Memorable traditional chinese instrumentals and songs which heighten and add depth to the show, nothing is out of place.
I have this film on DVD and while it is very well used in terms of it being lent to others for the spreading of the enjoyment of this great show, I will never ever give my DVD away. This show is just too good and too nostalgic - a keeper for sure and wonderfully re-watchable for the laughs and for the kung fu fight scenes.
An awesome kung fu film of the ages - it is not called a Jet Li classic for no reason!