The Hand of Death (1976)
Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis on 2003-09-04
Summary: Not one of Woo's/Chan's best, but not that bad.
John Woo's first attempt at directing a motion picture with Golden Harvest proves to be an average attempt with Jackie Chan in his first credited role.

The Shaolin Temple is ambushed by the Manchus with all the monks killed under the order of the evil James Tien. The abbot of the Temple goes into hiding and trains the survivors so that they can overthrow the Manchus. Dorian Tan plays the most skillful of the pack and sets off to get revenge. He then meets a young woodcutter (Chan) who has been longing for revenge of his brothers' murder by the Manchus and a skilled swordsman vengeful for the blood of the woman he loved.

The plot is too basic-old-school, but the film on the whole was not too awful or that amazing. The fights were kind of slow and the martial arts performances from everyone were sloppy (apart from Jackie even though he was not the main character). Yet compared to 'Not Scared to Die' (a.k.a 'Eagle Shadow Fist') and other films that Jackie Chan had worked on with Da Di Productions previously, this film was well directed and the outcome was pretty enjoyable.

A worthwhile movie, I'd advise to watch it.

Reviewer Score: 6