The Young Tiger (1973)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2000-12-28
Summary: Not bad actioner
Mang Fei has made dozens of swordfighting films, but here he uses no weapons, and does quite well thank you. Although this is certainly not non-stop action, there's enough fu and fisticuffs to keep most action fans happy. There is a lot more fighting, and of better quality, in the second half.

My main complaint is the story. Yes, it's true that an action film doesn't need to be thought-provoking or sensible, but this one really is more than a bit hard to take. The guiding principle seems to be this - each character thinks "what is the most stupid, lame-brained thing I can do next" and then does it. Try this test - as you watch the film, see how often, and for how many characters, for which this guiding holds true. About the only one who gets out of this is Tiger's mother, and that's because all she has to do is look ashamed and read a letter. However, I will concede that Little Tiger is a hot-headed braggart who tends to jump into fights without caution, and this principle eminently suits him !

The lead actors are far from great at acting, but the support cast is a damn good bunch of veteran support actors. Stanley Fung is just mean enough as the blackmailer, and even gets to take a few kicks from Mang Fei in the climax (although he clearly uses a stunt double for the serious stuff !). The wonderful Wong San makes the best of his limited role of the "police captain" (actually a CID Inspector). Dean Shek did his then-regular shtick as an irritating pest with no talent. And stuntmen Mars and Fung Hak On are nicely menacing as thugs.

The actress who plays Mary (name unknown, possibly Nina Li ?) contributes a brief nude scene which, despite being shot from behind, is quite revealing ..... and a youngish Yip Wing Cho is pleasant as ever as the businessman enjoying Mary's body, then paying a very high price indeed when the photos arrive.

Try to ignore the lame-brained plot, and you'll get spend a fairly entertaining 80 minutes or so.
Reviewer Score: 6