Ma Yong Zhen
1972 / 94m - Hong Kong
Action, Crime
Boxer from Shantung poster


March 22, 2017


A Shaw Bros martial art film in a slightly more modern setting. It may sound like a minor detail, but since so many of their projects are historic action films, it does come off quite different. It's no revenge flick either, but a zero-to-hero story about two competing fighters. Sadly, the changes here aren't necessarily for the better.

Two young fighters make a name for themselves fighting against and beating some of Shanghai's most renowned fighters. The two seem to be doing well for themselves, but one of the biggest gangs in town is only interested in recruiting Cheng. This starts a rivalry between the two, making their rise to the top quite a bit more challenging.

At 120 minutes long, there is simply too much cruft here. The great martial arts choreographies are saved until the very end (which takes longer than usual) and the more contemporary setting feels a bit awkward with Chang in the director chair. Not a very remarkable film, even though it did garner quite a reputation. The finale is pretty cool, other than that I was left somewhat disappointed.