My Young Auntie (1981)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2009-05-17
Summary: Fun but uneven...
My Young Auntie, for which star Kara Hui won the best actress award in the inaugural Hong Kong Film Awards, is more of a comedy driven piece than a martial arts film, that is until the last third or so. The first two thirds are dedicated to the interaction of "bumpkin" Dai Nan (the gorgeous Hui) with overseas educated "Charlie" (Hsiao Ho). This results in a fair amount of verbal sparring and word play between English and phonetic similarities in Cantonese. Patriarch Jing Chuen (Liu Chia-Liang) stays out of the way for the most part until his expertise is needed in the end to deal with the evil Uncle Yu (Johnny Wang). Although My Young Auntie is an enjoyable film, much of it seems to over-the-top in terms of acting and the situations people find themselves in. Kara Hui deserves every accolade she received for this role as she moves between emotions of pride, humiliation and anger with ease. She does a very good job as a fish-out-of-water; someone from a traditional culture in the country being thrown into city life and having to deal with a new way of thinking. Hsiao Ho is good, but his character grated on me after awhile. He uses a distracting combination of English and Cantonese that gets to be a bit confusing and annoying. He also hams it up for the camera and as mentioned in another review, seems to be very similar to a Yuen Biao character in Jackie Chan's string of hits. Lots of exaggerated facial expressions and such. That being said however, the final 40 minutes of the movie, for a kung fu fanatic, are about as good as they come. Hui seems to fade from the picture a bit toward the end, but Chia-Liang and Hsiao match fist for fist with Johnny Wang, Yuen Tak and a host of baddies in an fantastic battle royale. Throw in for good measure battles with the incomparable Wilson Tong and strongman Kwan Yung-Moon and you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat throughout. Overall a somewhat uneven movie... at its worst it's slapstick and a bit tedious, but at its best it's fresh, exhilarating and top-notch.

Reviewer Score: 7