films seen
32
average score
2.46*
nationality
Hong Kong - 70 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

A truly remarkable figure in the Hong Kong film industry. Though Hung's directing skills never matched his martial arts wizardry or his on-screen presence, he made enough amusing films to warrant a deeper inspection of his oeuvre.

Solid pieces

My Beloved Bodyguard

Wo De Te Gong Ye Ye
2016 / 99m - China
Drama, Action, Crime
3.5*/5.0*
My Beloved Bodyguard poster

Once Upon a Time in China and America

Wong Fei-hung Chi Saiwik Hung Si
1997 / 102m - Hong Kong
Action, Adventure, Western
3.5*/5.0*
Once Upon a Time in China and America poster

Blade of Fury

Yat do King Sing
1993 / 105m - Hong Kong
Drama
3.5*/5.0*
Blade of Fury poster

Kung Fu Master

Yi Tian Tu Long Ji Zhi Mo Jiao Jiao Zhu
1993 / 99m - Hong Kong
Fantasy, Action
3.5*/5.0*
Kung Fu Master poster

Crazy martial arts fantasy. Even though 100 minutes isn't particularly short for this type of film, it feels like they only had time for about one third of the plot and just crammed in the rest without worrying too much about whether it would make sense or not. The film is a continuous roller coaster that blazes through fantasy-driven fights and complex intrigues.

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Six clans and a handful of outsiders battle it out against each other. It's not easy to keep track of the alliances being formed, all the fights, their conclusions and the constantly shifting intrigue, but ultimately it didn't matter to me. The action is amazing, the spectacle is grand and the pacing is so crazy that I could only sit back and be impressed.

The only awkward thing is that the film ends mid-battle. Apparently the sequel was binned after this film performed badly at the box office, so you're left with an unfinished story. Not a film I'd recommend to martial arts novices, but if you love the high-speed, high-octane Hong Kong martial arts cinema, this is one of the craziest you'll find.

The Moon Warriors

Zhan Shen Chuan Shuo
1993 / 83m - Hong Kong
Romance, Action, Adventure
3.5*/5.0*
The Moon Warriors poster

Project A

'A' Gai Wak
1983 / 105m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
3.5*/5.0*
Project A poster

A very nice surprise. I recognized some scenes from a Jackie Chan documentary I saw earlier, but within the actual context of the film these scenes were even more impressive. This is a true spectacle, where Chan lays down the basis for what would become a very fruitful and respectable career.

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The beginning is a little hesitant though, as the comedy alone isn't really strong enough to carry the film. But once Chan starts his usual action antics that part is soon forgotten. The bicycle scene, the tower scene and the finale are legendary and a testament to Chan's skills, both as an action hero as well as a director.

Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung make fine additions to the cast, a trio that has dominated 80s Hong Kong action cinema and has more than put its stamp on the film industry. This is one of the best Chan films I've seen so far, a warm recommendation for everyone who likes his action work.

The inoffensive

3.0*/5.0*
Septet: The Story of Hong Kong poster

Not the greatest anthology. Don't be fooled by the names involved, I know they include some of the biggest Hong Kong directors from the past few decades, but the anthology itself is quite rigid and singular. Only Tsui Hark dares to do something different, the rest all went for sentimental throwbacks. Much like their Chinese counterparts.

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The stories are pretty simple, Sammo Hung reminisces about classic martial arts training, To looks at the stock market, Ann Hui digs up the old school life and Patrick Tam finds two lovers torn apart. Hark is the only one who had a bit of fun, throwing us inside a mental hospital where doctors and patients are too alike to distinguish.

I'm not a fan of nostalgia and sentimentality, many of the directors present aren't really equipped to deal with these themes either. It would've been a lot better if they'd stayed closer to their signature craft, that's what the anthology concept is for. A little disappointing, though I can't say I'm all that surprised. Hark deserves lots of props for his short though.

The Tantana

Mi Zong Wei Long
1991 / 91m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Fantasy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
The Tantana poster

Though I love myself a bit of early 90s Hong Kong fantasy/martial arts, I'd never heard of this film before. Not too surprising maybe, since it's really just some second tier genre filler, but with someone like Sammo Hung involved both in front and behind the camera, you'd figure it would have at least has some kind of status.

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Hong Kong was teaming with this type of fantasy/martial arts productions around that time, and The Tantana looks quite low-budget compared to some of the more infamous entries in the genre. It's not hard to see how this got snowed under, but that makes it an ideal film for rediscovery, especially for people like me who've already seen most other films in this niche.

The plot is as basic as can be (an unsuspecting guy turns out to be the big hero but must train with a master before he can take on the villain), but the comedy, action and fantasy bits are pretty amusing and the pacing is perfect. It's vintage filler cinema, but the kind genre fans will welcome at a time when they feel they've seen all there is to see.

Pedicab Driver

Qun Long Xi Feng
1989 / 95m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Pedicab Driver poster

Dragons Forever

Fei Lung Maang Jeung
1988 / 102m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Dragons Forever poster

Millionaire's Express

Foo Gwai Lit Che
1986 / 98m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Western
3.0*/5.0*
Millionaire's Express poster

The Prodigal Son

Bai Ga Jai
1982 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
3.0*/5.0*
The Prodigal Son poster

Knockabout

Za Jia Xiao Zi
1979 / 92m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Action
3.0*/5.0*
Knockabout poster

The Iron-Fisted Monk

San De Huo Shang Yu Chong Mi Liu
1977 / 93m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Action
3.0*/5.0*
The Iron-Fisted Monk poster

Worthy but flawed

Ghost Punting

Wu Fu Xing Chuang Gui
1991 / 94m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.5*/5.0*
Ghost Punting poster

The Victim

Shen Bu You Ji
1980 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Action
2.5*/5.0*
The Victim poster

Dubious filler

Mr. Nice Guy

Yat Goh Hiu Yan
1997 / 88m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Mr. Nice Guy poster

Don't Give a Damn

Mou Mian Bei
1995 / 90m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
Don't Give a Damn poster

Heart of the Dragon

Long De Xin
1985 / 91m - Hong Kong
Drama, Action, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Heart of the Dragon poster

My Lucky Stars

Fuk Sing Go Jiu
1985 / 96m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
My Lucky Stars poster

Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars

Xia Ri Fu Xing
1985 / 105m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.0*/5.0*
Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars poster

The Owl vs. Bombo

Mao Tou Ying Yu Xiao Fei Xiang
1984 / 99m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
2.0*/5.0*
The Owl vs. Bombo poster

A lesser-known Sammo Hung feature. Hung directs and leads, but it's clearly little more than mandatory filler in order to pass the time between bigger projects. The Owl Vs Bombo is a pretty basic mix of comedy and action, with some mediocre dressing to fill in the gaps, which makes it best suited for completists.

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When Hung actually takes his time to focus on the comedy and action, the film is pretty decent. A pretty silly but fun moment with a cherry is pretty hilarious and the end fight isn't too shabby either, but these moments only make up a small part of the film. They almost feel like leftover scenes from a better feature.

In between these scenes there's a lot of animosity and shouting that amounts to very little. The plot isn't very interesting, performances are rather weak and the soundtrack is terribly cheesy. At least the fun moments are spread quite evenly, so you never have to go too long without something interesting happening, but a good film this is not.

Wheels on Meals

Kuai Can Che
1984 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Romance, Action, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Wheels on Meals poster

Winners and Sinners

Qi Mou Miao Ji: Wu Fu Xing
1983 / 108m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Crime
2.0*/5.0*
Winners and Sinners poster

Carry On Pickpocket

Tai Fong Siu Sau
1982 / 102m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Drama, Action
2.0*/5.0*
Carry On Pickpocket poster

Warriors Two

Zan Xian Sheng Yu Zhao Qian Hua
1978 / 95m - Hong Kong
Drama, Action
2.0*/5.0*
Warriors Two poster

Plain forgettable

Pantyhose Hero

Zhi Fen Shuang Xiong
1990 / 99m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action, Thriller
1.5*/5.0*
Pantyhose Hero poster

Eastern Condors

Dung Fong Tuk Ying
1986 / 93m - Hong Kong
Drama, Action, War
1.5*/5.0*
Eastern Condors poster

Spooky, Spooky

Gui Meng Jiao
1986 / 95m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
1.5*/5.0*
Spooky, Spooky poster

Game of Death II

Si Wang Ta
1981 / 86m - Hong Kong
Action, Mystery
1.5*/5.0*
Game of Death II poster

Encounters of the Spooky Kind

Gui da Gui
1980 / 102m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
1.5*/5.0*
Encounters of the Spooky Kind poster

Enter the Fat Dragon

Fay Lung Kwo Gong
1978 / 100m - Hong Kong
Comedy, Action
1.5*/5.0*
Enter the Fat Dragon poster