HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Young Master, The Chan The Man
Year: 1980
Director: Jackie Chan
Stars: Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Wei Pai, Lily Li, Shih Kien, Whang Ing-Sik, Fung Hark-On, Lee Hoi Sang, Tien Feng, Fung Fung, Fan Mei Sheng, Tang Yen Tsan, Chan Shao-Hung, David Cheng, Cheng Yeh-Kang, Cheung Wah, Chiang Kam, Chou Chiang, Chow Kam Kong
Genre: Comedy, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dragon (Jackie Chan) is a young student at a martial arts school who has grown up there as an orphan, as has his brother Tiger (Wei Pai), who is older and who he looks up to. However, one day as the major, celebratory lion dance is being prepared, Tiger falls and injures his leg, meaning he cannot lead the school’s proud tradition of trouncing the competition every time the dance is staged, and it was he who their fortunes rested on. Nevertheless, the contest goes on and the bets are placed, with Dragon the man who takes the lead; he is almost as skilled as his brother, yet the rival school's representative appears to be far more adept than expected: what could the reason for that be?

A bit of subterfuge, that's what, in Jackie Chan's first real mega-blockbuster across the Asia of the eighties, The Young Master. He had already been making a name for himself in his previous hits which helped to establish him, but he really became a household name with this, earning himself a place at the top of the tree when it came to the most successful Hong Kong films at the box office of all time. It was his canny understanding of what audiences of the nineteen-eighties really wanted from their action movies here that paved the way for even more impressive efforts as the decade progressed and Chan became probably the most famous movie star in the world. If the antics in this owed more to what he had been in before, they made it apparent he was not going to rest on his laurels.

So there were not so many of the death-defying stunts in The Young Master as the emphasis was on the combat, of which there was so much that it came across as if ninety percent of the plot involved people trying to beat up Chan's character, and him retaliating in kind. After a spot of lion dancing that was not merely decorative but had a narrative point, there was some establishing to get through as Dragon loses for his school, but discovers he was bested by Tiger who set up the entire scheme so as to join the rival school by getting himself in their good books. Quite why he thought it was a great idea to sabotage and reject the school that brought him up is odd, though the bad attitude of his teacher is presumably something to do with it.

Anyway, Tiger leaves and Dragon, whose faith in his brother remains unwavering, goes after him to bring him back it he can be forgiven, the whole making the Prodigal Son see the error of his ways, or a variation on that theme at least. This was where the action truly began, as everyone Dragon met was an antagonist, or so it seemed, leaving Chan open to staging the most powerful martial arts sequences that he could, yet mixing them with his now trademark comedy, something that set him apart from the more serious-minded Bruce Lee, whose mantle as best ever he looked set on adopting for himself. That’s an argument that will likely never be resolved, everyone has their favourite, but seeing Chan work with various props to enhance his masterful stylings proved he was the more innovative performer.

That was more or less down to his sense of humour, and comedy became a large aspect of his work; there were some very decent laughs in The Young Master, and though they were fairly broad, that's what went over well with his target audience of... well, everyone in Hong Kong and its surrounding territories. With setpieces thrown up every ten minutes, there was no chance of this flagging in its energy, even if Chan was exhausting to watch as he chucked everything but the kitchen sink in there as far as his fighting went, from a fan battle to an intricate attack and defence dance with his old pal Yuen Biao and a footstool, plus a touch of the feminine as he adopted Lily Li's long skirt style for his own ends. But it was the epic finale battle that proved Chan didn't know when to quit, as he takes on the big baddie Tien Feng for a punishing confrontation that must rank as the finest example of the underdog getting his ass handed to him then turning it all around in martial arts movie history - it wasn't an original twist by any means, but the sheer physical aggression of the scene was something to behold. Chan never looked back.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2263 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: