The Buddhist Fist (1980)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2005-07-27
Summary: Too sloppy to recommend...
Yuen Wo Ping's The Buddhist Fist follows the lives of two boys that grow up under the tutelage of a Buddhist master. Their lives take them in different directions, with Shang (Yuen Shun Yee) becoming a barber and Si-ming (Tsui Siu Ming) taking to the life of a monk. Si-ming grows unhappy with his life, and a moment of indiscretion leads to him being blackmailed by a shady businessman. Si-ming is forced to become his accomplice in his scheme to steal a precious jade Buddha, as well as eliminate those who may be on to the racket. Unfortunately, one of those to be eliminated includes Shang s grandfather, leading Shang to become involved in the mystery and down the road of revenge.

The Buddhist Fist is not a terrible movie, but it simply doesn't have enough redeemable features to make it one to recommend. Although the fight choreography was done by the Yuen clan, and is admittedly good, it can't make up for poor acting and a sloppy plot that involves too many twists and turns to be effective. The most enjoyable scenes in the film are when Si-ming and Shang battle for the final time, with Si-ming using some great styles, including shades of Drunken Boxing and the exotic Buddhist Fist. Both men are accomplished martial artists and their true abilities shine with the crisp choreography and inventive set pieces. Being one of Yuen Wo Ping's earlier films, it seems as though he hasn't nailed down his directing style, but his fight choreography mastery is evident.

Reviewer Score: 5