¾_| (1972)
The Hero


Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 05/04/2010
Summary: More Wang Yu, more bashing...

A kung fu school's master is killed by a disgruntled former student and now casino owner (Sit Hon), and the master's children seek out the help of Tiger Wong (Jimmy Wang Yu) to get revenge. Unfortunately, Tiger's mother (Cheung Bing-Yuk) constantly reminds Tiger of the promise made to his father that he would not utilize kung fu against people anymore. For some reason the casino owner, with the help of some mean-spirited Thai boxers, are relentless in their pursuit of the master's kids, and it eventually leads to them killing Tiger's mother while he is away doing errands. Tiger returns to find his mother and, forsaking his father's wishes, sets out to massacre the everyone associated with the casino.

The Hero is for the most part a pretty typical Jimmy Wang Yu film. He plays the righteous hero who is pushed to the limit despite wanting to avoid trouble. The fight scenes are straight basher with maximum body count. Some unintentionally funny scenes are the result of the handling of the Thai boxers. They initially show up in what look to be outfits worn by strongmen in circuses. Tight, high spandex shorts and diagonal half-chest wifebeaters are not flattering to anyone. The lead boxer, Tin Yau, is further humiliated with a ridiculous Cleopatra-like wig that he wears for the first scene. The three back up boxers, including Lung Fei, essentially kill their Chinese challengers and show no remorse for their deeds. The baddies are typically bad and the good guys typically good, there is no blurring of moral lines here. Unfortunately, whoever was consulting on Thai boxing techniques had absolutely no clue what they were talking about. Their fight scenes are absolutely painful to watch and threaten to bring the movie to a grinding halt. Thankfully, Jimmy finally gets to wreak havoc on the casino employees and does so with a pair of long knives. Tons of people are skewered and Jimmy winds up challenging the Thais to a final duel on the beach. This final battle is lackluster save for another unintentionally funny part when Jimmy turns one of the boxers into a human fence post. The Hero doesn't set itself apart from other Wang Yu films, and therefore remains mediocre in my eyes.

5/10

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/06/2007
Summary: YIkes

Do i dare say the word SPOILER now because a lot of WAng yu movies are the same, and what happens here is every good person dies before Wang Yu goes on a killing massacre of the bad guys!!

There are many things wrong with this movie, with poor camera work (a good example is when the good master is being beaten at 3 angles by the thai's, did u see how funny it was to see those little jabs to the face!!It looked liked it was from a comedy show!), bad dialogue but that could of just been the bad english dubbing, and to have the main bad guy where a stupid wig at the beginning, and really short short red pants and a yellow spandex shirt, can you really take this guy seriously?

The action at times is suprisingly brutal, especially the two holes in the guys neck but the action is stock standard for 1972.

Also the slow pace of the movie just annoyed me!!

The reviewers below me paid MONEy for this, you poor people, a watched this for free but still felt i didnt get my monies worth!!

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 09/06/2005

Parts of a few decent movies are embedded in “The Hero” (or “The Rage of the Master”) but none of them are sufficiently developed to amount to much.

The last half hour—actually a bit more, from 57 minutes to just over one hour 29 minutes—is several fight scenes slapped together with almost no transition other than those in involved in the various battles. The sequence begins in a boxing ring, with two Thai boxers giving a demonstration of their skill. The winner then challenges those gathered to fight. Several do, each using a different type of kung fu—each fight ends with the death of the challenger. The scene shifts immediately to the home of Tiger Wong’s mother. She has been harboring Miss Fung and Fung Li, the daughter and son of a slain kung fu master. Old Mrs. Wong is very ill, all but bedridden and, as it turns out, quite the fighter herself. A band of thugs, sent by the villain who killed the senior Fung attacks the house. She kills the first one through the door with a pair of scissors hurled from across the room. She then uses her cane as a lethal short pole against other attackers. The Fung kids arrive with their servant and the four of them put up a valiant but ultimately doomed fight against overwhelming odds. When it looks as if they might be victorious Nai Mi, an extremely deadly individual, intervenes. Despite their heroic defense all four are killed.

After a very short interlude in which Tiger Wong, who has left to get medicine for his mother, finds the bodies, Wong arrives at Nai Mi’s headquarters. He literally cuts his way through the entire gang, killing about 30 of them with thrusts and slashes of his two knives after uttering the immortal line “You killed my mother, now you will pay with your blood.”. To the extent that a knife fight can be boring, this one is. Finally confronting Nai Mi, Tiger kills him and chops his head off, telling Mi’s confederate that he will place the head on his mother’s grave, then return to finish off him and his Thai boxers. That confrontation occurs on the beach with four more added to the body count. This entire sequence started with the Thai boxers killing Chinese challengers and finishes with the boxers being killed by Wong.

The only really interesting aspect of the fight choreography and editing is the occasional use of extreme close-ups during the battles—although, given the dreadful panned and scanned treatment on this disc, they may have been more extreme than in the theater. The close-ups did add something a bit different to the otherwise pedestrian action scenes.

The scenes earlier between Tiger Wong and his mother were like something out of Eugene O’Neill on a very bad day. They live in a small house in a rural area. Tiger spends his time doing things like splitting firewood with his hands since, as his mother constantly reminds him, his father’s dying wish was for him to abandon his martial arts training and do only manual labor. It is a very odd relationship and could have been the basis for a Chinese gothic horror story.

There is absolutely no character development—at one point Chow Chang and his father perform an astonishing act of self sacrifice but it isn’t very moving because the audience hasn’t been given much reason to care about them. The editing is quite choppy and the aspect ratio changes a number of times. As has been mentioned the dubbing is atrocious and the words put in the mouths of the characters are often ridiculous. A typical example is when one of the Thai boxers attacks Tiger Wong saying “Let me show you me thunder kick,” and then spends the rest of the fight throwing punches.

The only reason to own this disc is if you simply must have the entire works of Jimmy Wang Yu. Not recommended for any other reason. I got it as part of a four movie set for five dollars at Media Play so I didn't really overpay for it.


Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: jackfu01
Date: 01/07/2003
Summary: Wang Yu fan, but this one's weak

This film is also known as Rage of the Master(s). I'm a big fan of Wang Yu, but this one is really weak. Tiger Wong (Wang Yu) is a kung fu master who lives with his ailing mother. He has taken a vow to his dead father to never use his skills to kill. When a local thug recruits five Thai Boxers to kill Mr. Fung, the thug's former Sifu (who had banned him from the school), the Fung family asks Tiger Wong to help them avenge the crime. His mother won't allow it. Eventually, the killers attack Tiger's mother and he goes after them. The dubbing in this one is probably the worst ever. The dialogue makes little sense and is contradictory in some places. Wang Yu's fights, which are normally innovative, are uninspired and boring. I paid $2.95 for the DVD on E-Bay, so I guess it was worth it, but overall I found this film disappointing.