The Desperate Prodigal (1981)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2005-12-21
Summary: Awful
A dreadful waste of a lot of talent. The story is muddled nonsense, and it wanders all over the place. Characters enter the story for no apparent reason e.g. the Japanese player Bayashi.

It's hard to believe I was watching the same movie as the other reviewer, but it certainly is the same (the Saturn Productions DVD entitled Equals Against Devils).

The brawl scenes border on amateurish, and there are few enough of them to really be worth the effort to watch. Most of the screen time is taken up by either goofy light dialogue between the four friends or nasty exchanges between the two sides (Black Sinner's versus White Cloud's), and even that simple dichotomy is muddled by calling Black Sinner's side white and White Cloud's side black !

The muddled-headed story gives proceedings an eerie surreal quality. Girls in bikinis and bunny outfits wander around for much of the time, for no other apparent reason than decoration. One of these ladies turns out to be White Cloud's mistress, who is also such a hot shot pool (referred to as "billiards" !) player that she uses the cue with the heavy end hitting. The theme is pinched from Rocky, apparently a reference to someone who challenges the lead character, Alan.

Half the characters have no real connection with whatever the main story may be. For example, what was Chan Hung Lit's pipe smoking sleaze doing ? The best guess I can make is that Tin Peng shot quite a long movie, then edited it down for length. Methinks he cut it too far. The DVD cover says this one runs for 89 minutes, but it only runs 73 minutes. Wong Goon Hung is given top billing, but he wanders in and out of the story pretty much at random, and is on screen for only about ten minutes.

So, even though it I'd say this film is not worth watching, at least it doesn't drag on for very long. I guess that counts for something.

But why oh why Tin Peng wasted so much fu talent, and even some acting talent, on a small grab of undifferentiated brawl scenes rather than the great fu they are clearly capable of is beyond me.

If you can get this one cheap, as myself and the other reviewer did, then it may be worthwhile. Otherwise, no way !
Reviewer Score: 1