The Peking Man (1974)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-09-11
Summary: Heaps of action, but ..........
A great film this ain't. Most of the first half consists of a nearly endless and slow-motion cat and mouse chase on a train. This scene could have been condensed to under a minute, with no noticeable effect on the story.

And there's a startling anachronism which makes it all the worse. The cars in this film are of 1970s manufacture. Considering that the film is set in 1929, this is more than just a minor weirdness. Think about it. There is a long and very leisurely train journey, where the chase happens, but both the villains and the bad guys have modern and powerful cars to chase each other with. Dear dear. Worse still, the English dubbing is done by the "speak four or five words then pause, regardless of punctuation" method. Ugh.

Things improve in the second half, most of which is taken up with an incredibly long fight scene. I think it takes up about the last half-hour. The fight choreography in the first half was simply awful, but things gradually warm up in the second half, especially after they get the story out of the way and get seriously into thumping the living daylights out of each other.

I know nothing about the two leading men. I can trace "Luslie" Sun to only one other film, and Yeung C Lee to none. Veteran B-grade action man and meanie Yee Yuen has a pretty easy time here, doing nothing much except looking mean and growling at people. Getting a thorough workout is another veteran, Choi Wang.

The films starts out being dull, dips quickly to dreadful, warms up around half way and just struggles up to average by the end. There's plenty of action in the second half, if you've enough patience to last that long.
Reviewer Score: 4