HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Postman Fights Back, The Stop!  Whoa, yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman
Year: 1982
Director: Ronny Yu
Stars: Leung Kar-Yan, Chow Yun-Fat, Cherie Chung, Guk Jeong-Suk, Eddie Ko, Fan Mei-Sheng, Yuen Yat Chor, Yeung Wai, Chiang Cheng, Lee Fat-Yuen, Kwon Il-Soo, Hui Ying-Sau
Genre: Martial Arts, Historical, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the early days of the Republic of China ambitious General Yuan Shikai has amassed an alliance of Northern warlords against its founding father, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. Struggling, martial arts-skilled courier Ma (Leung Kar-Yan) receives an offer from military envoy Hsiu (Eddie Ko) to deliver a sealed package to bandit leader Zhao Long, who holds the northern mountain pass of Laoma that could prove a strategic advantage to Yuan. Caring little about politics, at first Ma refuses but has a change of heart when his troublemaking pickpocket friend Yao Jie (Yuen Yat Chor) joins the mission for his own mysterious ends. Our reluctant heroes rope in portly explosives expert Bu (Fan Mei-Sheng) and are subsequently joined by a fourth man...

And he happens to be kung fu fighting man of mystery Fu Jun played by a young, uber-charismatic Chow Yun-Fat. Newly-graduated from television soap operas and art-house roles, Chow was four years away from his breakout role in A Better Tomorrow (1986) but despite playing second fiddle, steals the film away from ostensible lead and fan favourite Leung Kar-Yan. As the rakish Fu, Chow practices a unique style of scarf-twirling kung fu, hides a cool spring-loaded dart-gun up his sleeve and affects a seemingly shifty, amoral demeanour even though he often proves the first to defend anyone in trouble. Think Han Solo. Interestingly, The Postman Fights Back also marks an early role for Cherie Chung. She and Chow went on to become one of the era’s most popular screen couples, paired repeatedly throughout the decade until her retirement following Once a Thief (1991). Here Chung plays Ma’s winsome sister who tags along on the mission hoping to buy back their younger sister from sex slavery. Along their journey the group also encounter the enigmatic Miss Li (Guk Jeong-Suk) who strikes romantic sparks with handsome Fu but mysteriously vanishes when a couple of bounty killers arrive on the scene. And then there is the matter of the sinister ninja shadowing the couriers’ every move.

Unfortunately Miss Li’s secret agenda, Fu Jun’s backstory and Cherie Chung’s quest are among several undeveloped subplots that consign The Postman Fights Back to the rank of fascinating failure. Produced and developed by Yuen Woo Ping - who directed Miracle Fighters (1982) the same year which also stars his brother Yuen Yat Chor, here proving himself a fine dramatic actor - but directed by New Wave maestro Ronny Yu, of The Bride with White Hair (1992) fame and Freddy vs. Jason (2002) infamy - this wastes its fascinating historical setting as little more than a picturesque backdrop. However, Yu takes care to establish an ailing China on the cusp of slipping Dr. Sun’s reformist grasp into the hands of the autocratic Yuan Shikai. He crafts vivid vignettes establishing each character carries a personal dream swept away by a social system that robs peasants of a brighter future. Outstanding cinematography by Cheung Yiu-Jo, Lee Yau-Tong and Lai Shui-Ming brings a pleasing naturalism to the often outlandish action, but once the plot slides into familiar chop-socky territory Yu’s storytelling grows sadly slapdash.

Lifting motifs from The Guns of Navarone (1961), Seven Samurai (1954) and The Wild Bunch (1969), The Postman Fights Back offers a more character-driven variant on the classic men-on-a-mission movie. It is an angry, uncompromising film featuring scenes wihere captive prisoners hang from a wall and even small children are riddled with machinegun fire. At times its arbitrary slaying of characters seems like calculated cynicism yet the nihilistic violence does serve an underlining point. That is to galvanize the hitherto noncommital Ma to strike a blow against tyranny. Although tellingly, even when Ma springs into action he does so for the sake of his friends, not for any revolutionary cause. A taut finale pits our hero against outlandish ninja trickery, although an earlier sequence with the heroes surrounded by ice-skating masked bandits is equally memorable.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1837 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ronny Yu  (1950 - )

Hong Kong-born director of action and fantasy. Began directing in the early 80s, and made films such as the historical actioner Postman Strikes Back (with Chow Yun-Fat), Chase Ghost Seven Powers and the heroic bloodshed flick China White. The two Bride with White Hair films – both released in 1993 – were hugely popular fantasy adventures, which helped Yu secure his first American film, the kids film Warriors of Virtue. Yu then helmed Bride of Chucky, the fourth and best Child's Play movie, the Brit action film The 51st State and the horror face-off Freddy Vs Jason. He later returned to Asia to helm the likes of Saving General Yang.

 
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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: