films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Magnificent Bodyguards

by Wei Lo
Fei Du Juan Yun Shan
1978 / 101m - Hong Kong
Magnificent Bodyguards poster

A simple but fun Jackie Chan martial arts adventure, helmed by Wei Lo. It's not a very remarkable film, but when you pit it against the myriad of Shaw Bros productions of that time there are some notable differences. One of the most notable ones is the use of outside locations rather than studio sets, which does give the film a different feel.

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Main attraction (and no doubt the primary reason for the relative popularity of this film) is Chan's presence. It's the first time I see him collaborating with Wei Lo and while the result isn't too exceptional, it does make for an amusing martial arts spectacle, with a couple of dynamic and lengthy action sequences.

It lacks the inventive choreographies of someone like Yuen though, and I have no clue why they tried to copy the Star Wars soundtrack (which sounds absolutely ridiculous), but these are minor hiccups that don't really stand in the way of the overall enjoyment. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but if you're looking for decent martial arts filler, this is a prime choice.

Brothers Five

by Wei Lo
Wu Hu Tu Long
1970 / 109m - Hong Kong
Action, Drama
Brothers Five poster

Dragon Fist

by Wei Lo
Long Quan
1979 / 97m - Hong Kong
Dragon Fist poster

A decent Wei Lo/Jackie Chan combo, though it's clear there were more capable directors at the time, especially when it comes to highlighting the specific traits of Chan (Woo-Ping Yuen comes to mind). While Dragon Fist is a decent enough martial arts film, it feels like Lo didn't make the most of the talent he was handed.

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There's nothing wrong with the action scenes. There's plenty of them, they're pretty dynamic and Chan is allowed to shine whenever he's featured. They're not quite as creative as Chan's best work, and they don't really set themselves apart for the Shaw Bros work, but the action was more than adequate.

The problem is that the filler in between is way too serious. Chan's known for combining action and comedy, but the plot is pretty grave and Lo has no time for comedic interludes. It drags the film down, as the actors aren't that capable and the plot is extremely thin. This should've been a lot more fun, it's a shame Lo didn't see that.

Fist of Fury

by Wei Lo
Jing Wu Men
1972 / 107m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Fist of Fury poster

The Big Boss

Tang Shan Da Xiong
1971 / 99m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
The Big Boss poster

One of the big Bruce Lee classics. Never been a big Bruce Lee fan though, compared to the Shaw Bros films his choreographies are quite weak and the films he appeared in too cheap for my taste. I get how his skills and appearence propelled him to become the legend he is today, but his films just aren't any good.