The Fast Fists (1972)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2008-09-13
Summary: Jimmy Wang Yu slugfest...
In Fast Fists, Jimmy Wang Yu plays Hong Ching Pau, a notorious rebel who goes by the moniker "Red Lantern." On one of his raids, he happens across a traveling Opera group, led by the beautiful Madam Yu (Gwok Siu-Chong). Taken by her feistiness, he decides to accompany her to the adjacent town where she is scheduled to perform. Meanwhile, the local army captain, Fang Shin Yi (Paul Chang) has gotten word of the latest Red Lantern raid and dispatches his men to arrest him. At the performance, Madam Yu has also garnered the interest of two local gangs, one run by the Hu brothers (Lung Fei and Shan Mao) and the other by Master Chang (Tin Yau). She agrees to perform for them specially, but as expected, it turns into a huge brawl after Hong Ching Pau insults everyone and the army shows up. Ching Pau and Madam Yu escape to the mountains, where they start to fall for each other. Meanwhile, yet another suitor for Madam Yu has arrived in town, this time an army commander who comes to make sure everything is set before the Field Marshall arrives. When he hears that Red Lantern has taken Yu to the mountains, he gathers all available resources (the army and the two gangs) and sets out to rescue her. As it turns out though, everyone has different loyalties and some people may not be who they say they are.
I've only seen a few Jimmy Wang Yu movies, but if most are like this, he was truly the John Wayne of Asian cinema. He is a "man's man," always quick to settle things with fists instead of words. Scared of no one, but charming enough to woo the ladies. He gives a good performance in Fast Fists, but the plot of the film is a bit convoluted. There are lots of characters and they tend to get lost in the mix. The action is decent, with Jimmy, Lung Fei and Paul Chang engaging in lots of hand-to-hand combat. Karate seems to be the martial art of choice and all seem pretty proficient in its use. Commander Lu (Chui Fook-Sang) is a bit of an annoyance and a throw-away character, but luckily he doesn't appear in too many scenes. Overall a better than average film, but probably not one of Wang Yu's top efforts.

Reviewer Score: 6