HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Long Road to Gallantry A hard path to follow
Year: 1984
Director: Lung Yi-Sheng
Stars: Kenny Ho, Kara Hui Ying-Hung, Rosamund Kwan, Lung Tien-Hsiang, Lily Li, Jason Pai Pao, Kwan Fung, Dang Wai Ho, Chen Kuan-Tai, Yuen Qiu, Yiu Man-Gei, Kong Chuen
Genre: Martial Arts, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Having mastered kung fu from his cave-dwelling teacher, Meng Fei (Kenny Ho) is sent into the wide world to “defend the poor and uphold justice.” So naturally when Meng spies the beautiful Li Sai Nan (Kara Hui Ying-Hung) being harassed by red pyjama-clad warriors working for the evil Thunder Gang, he intervenes. Only his heroism earns him a slap in the face! Turns out Sai Nan is super skilled at kung fu but wants to be kidnapped so she can infiltrate the gang’s headquarters. Years ago Chief Leng Tian Lei (Lung Tien-Hsiang) killed her parents and stole their precious “Ju Xian Force” kung fu manual. Now Sai Nan wants revenge. Together, Meng Fei and Sai Nan discover Leng is kidnapping girls because he lost his own daughter that fateful night and has since learned Master Ling Han Feng (Chen Kuan-Tai) of the heroic Dragon Sect raised the infant as his own. That girl is Mu Wan Er (Rosamund Kwan in an early role long before she became one of the biggest Hong Kong film stars of the Nineties), a lovely, sweet natured swordswoman whom Meng Fei met earlier and was instantly smitten. When her true identity is exposed all hell breaks loose.

Chinese wu xia (“swordplay”) novels were noted for taking satirical jibes at some of the more hypocritical notions prevalent in their native culture. These questioning attitudes were equally present in some of the better movies they spawned. Long Road to Gallantry rightfully skewers the antiquated idea that the sins of the father are borne by his offspring. As soon as Mu Wan Er’s true parentage comes to light she is expelled from the Dragon Sect. Even Mu’s adopted father refuses to defend her and presumably her lifetime of good deeds count for nothing! The film gains added layers of complexity in its third act where filial duty (very important in Chinese culture) clashes with moral conscience. Chief Leng tries to persuade Mu Wan Er to turn on her friends. Meanwhile, Sai Nan’s vengeful uncle (Jason Pai Pao) urges her to kill Mu, even though the two women have grown to respect one another. Caught in the middle is Meng Fei, charmingly played by Kenny Ho as a happy-go-lucky hero whose naivety is both his weakness and greatest asset. Both women are in love with the lucky guy. His desire to do right by each leads to an attempt at a peaceful resolution, only the elders will not let their feud die. A fatal showdown seems tragically inevitable although things do take a turn for the surreal when one crazed villain is attacked by living statues.

Long Road to Gallantry was one of only two films written and directed by action choreographer Lung Yi-Sheng. On the strength of this and his completely bonkers children’s film Demon of the Lute (1983), he should have made more. Born in Vietnam, Lung was a martial arts aficionado since childhood and came to specialize in the “Praying Mantis Fist.” Upon moving to Hong Kong he joined the film industry as a stuntman and actor but was quickly promoted to choreographer. Lung worked on some amazing films, including The Sword (1980), Ambitious Kung Fu Girl (1981), Buddha’s Palm (1982), each of which runs on the same demented energy as his directorial efforts.

A great cast spearheaded by Shaw Brothers’ kung fu queen Kara Hui Ying Hung, whose acting talent matches her martial arts prowess, latch onto their roles with great gusto. Lung Yi-Sheng laces the breakneck action with wit and ingenuity while the scrappy relationship between Meng and Sai Nan is well drawn. They squabble like a couple of kids (at one point Sai Nan chucks a lizard down Meng’s pants while he is flirting with Mu Wan Er) which makes the abrupt shift into outright tragedy a gut-wrenching surprise.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3809 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: