The Bare-Footed Kid (1993) poster
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 34 users
# of Watchers: 65
Reviews: 2 users
Ranked #60057
Popularity #99999
Watchers 34

A poor barefoot young man from the country arrives in the city to start work with the friend of his dead father, a manager at a dyeing workshop who is trained in Kung-Fu but has retired form the world of martial arts. The dye shop is owned by a kind woman who is being pressured by a local strongman who is trying to steal her family secrets for his own workshop. When the workshop is burnt down the barefoot kid decides to fight back using his impressive kung-fu skills, but just invites further trouble. Edit Translation

  • English
  • 中文(台灣)
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: Hong Kong
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Apr 3, 1993
  • Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
  • Score: 7.1 (scored by 34 users)
  • Ranked: #60057
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

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Cast & Credits


The Bare-Footed Kid (1993) photo


The Butterfly
2 people found this review helpful
Aug 6, 2021
Completed 0
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 5.0
Rewatch Value 5.5

Dyeing to Know You Better

The Bare-Footed Kid started off sweet enough, turning darker with each new pair of shoes the shoeless youth acquired.

Ti Lung played Tuan the noble, skilled fighter living undercover as a supervisor in a cloth dyeing shop. Maggie Cheung, Miss Ho, was the lovely owner of said shop with a secret dyeing technique and the den mother to her workers. These two had an underlying affection for each other that gradually made its way to the surface in a meaningful exchange. Tuan and Miss Ho were the heart of this film and the most compelling characters.

Aaron Kwok played Yuan, the titular character. Bare-foot, broke, and illiterate he came to town looking for his deceased father’s friend, Tuan. Yuan was naïve, but a ridiculously skilled fighter who couldn’t even write his own name which brought up some questions about how he was raised that are never answered. Enter Huang Lien as his love interest who was a teacher in her father’s school. Their budding romance had a rocky start and a rockier ending.

Yuan initially went to work for the kind Miss Ho, making missteps that landed him in the employ of the Big Bad. He earned a pair of stylish shoes, a pocketful of change and soon enough a heart full of regret.

The younger actors’ performances were fine as their characters went through life changes. Aaron Kwok made a sweet country bumpkin who was briefly led astray, his conscience weighing on him as reality sank in. Ti Lung and Maggie Cheung were a couple I never knew I needed as their subtle performances delivered an emotional impact that stayed with me.

Compared to older kung fu movies, the cinematography was excellent with beautiful scenery, lighting and colors. The score could be oddly synthetic at times but it wasn’t anything that distracted me much, I’ve heard much worse in these kinds of movies.

My biggest complaint, and what dropped the rating for me were the fight scenes. Ti Lung is a martial artist, one of those whose movements often needed to be slowed down for the camera. He also had a presence which made you believe he was nearly indestructible. I’m guessing Aaron Kwok’s skills, if he had any, were much more rudimentary, as his fight scenes included a lot of wire-work, possible doubling, speeding up, and blurry camera work, especially the huge concluding fight. One of my favorite martial arts choreographers, Lau Kar Leung, choreographed the fights. Whether he was compensating for the lead’s lack of ability, having an off day, or trying something new, I found the final fight to be hugely disappointing.

The Bare-Footed kid started out with some comedic moments ending as kung fu comedies often do, in heartbreak. Aside from the poor final fight which was brutal, this movie was entertaining. I could recommend it to kung fu enthusiasts with a few reservations.

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0 people found this review helpful
Feb 14, 2024
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 7.0

The Shaw Brothers are dead, long may they live

A faithful, if a somewhat unusual tribute to the Shaw Brothers' golden age, The Bare-Footed Kid offers up a simple yet bittersweet narrative of redemption, a coming-of-age drama through a world of capitalism's corrupting influence, injected with a mixture of fresh faces and veteran Hong Kong performers. Johnnie To mixes in his patterned use of energetic camera movement and skilful with a slice of the 90s new-wave kung fu movement. There's a beautiful chemistry between Ti Lung and Maggie Cheung which adds an extra amount of sentimentality and depth to the film and a gorgeous use of colour sprinkled throughout. The action set pieces choreographed by the legendary Lau Kar-Leung more than deliver, it's ultimately the weak script and miscast lead where the film fails to connect with its punches, yet The Bare-Footed Kid sits within the realm of superb entertainment keeping the door open for more innovative Hong Kong action cinema and Johnnie To's eventual move to what he knows best...

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  • Movie: The Bare-Footed Kid
  • Country: Hong Kong
  • Release Date: Apr 3, 1993
  • Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older


  • Score: 7.1 (scored by 34 users)
  • Ranked: #60057
  • Popularity: #99999
  • Watchers: 65

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