Boxer from Shantung (1972)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2000-02-12
Summary: Grim, gory and excessively violent
Chen Kuan Tai could not have wished for a better start to his film career. Shaw Brothers placed him into this introductory star vehicle with a big budget, and a storyline which focuses on him almost solely. His character's name is spoken more often than all the others combined. He appears in nearly every scene and nearly every frame. There are several fight scenes where he, alone, is pitted against many.
So, what of the result ? Well, it's a bit too long, and it's hard to like any of the characters. It's clearly based on films such as The Godfather, with the story of poor but tough young man using the criminal world to improve his fortune. The story starts quite slowly but, as the fight scenes pack in, warms up.
The climactic fight is one of the longest I've ever seen and, even for a HK film, has a ludicrous lack of credibility. The hero is attacked with an axe, which stays stuck in his gut for at least five minutes, while he continues to polish off opponents.
I really cannot recommend this film. Now, if even one of the characters had a sympathetic side .......
Reviewer Score: 3