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拳擊 (1971)
Duel of Fists

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 05/01/2006
Summary: Thai Travelogue

Fan Ke (David Chiang) is a Chinese Boxer and, erm, Civil Engineer. On his father’s deathbed, he learns that he has a half-brother living in Thailand. Nothing is known about him except a photograph of him as a young boy showing two tattoos on his left arm.

So, off to Thailand he goes. Along the way, he bumps into Wenlie (Ti Lung), a Thai boxer with a few problems with a gang lord and his group of henchmen and a vicious rival kickboxer who uses the ring to carry out hits on his boss’s enemies. Which will obviously include Wenlie at some point…

While the fights and the actual story in this film aren’t too bad, there are a couple of problems that drag things down in the mire. Firstly, there’s a bizarre habit of whenever anyone uses a mode of transportation (airplane, motorbike or car) the camera will follow them – for a bafflingly long amount of time and for no particular reason. For example, Fan Ke is in his car in one scene and sees Wenlie’s girlfriend a few feet away. Instead of getting out of his car, he turns it around and drives about 20 feet down the road and gets out – and it’s all there on film.

The second problem is that the project seems like a thinly disguised promotional film for Thailand. If you thought Way of the Dragon was at times like a home movie of a Roman vacation, I assure you this is ten times worse. There’s a scene where Fan Ke and his girlfriend drive (showing the trip in great detail – aaarrrgghhh!) to a hotel in Bangkok. There, they pick a flower. And then leave. You can draw your own conclusions from that.

On the plus side, seeing the cast in an, ahem, modern setting is a hoot. Particular mention must go to David Chiang’s attire for this one. I have a theory that there were two wardrobe assistants for Mr Chiang, and they competed with each other to get him to wear the most outrageous get-up possible. The winner? The cowboy suit he wears when he first gets to Thailand is hard to beat, but the one that gets him to wear a bright red shirt and matching floppy hat for the very last shot of the film takes the prize!

I would give this a paltry 5 out of ten, but the sheer audacity of David Chiang’s wardrobe pushes it up to 6.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 02/12/2000
Summary: Too dull

If you're a fan of boxing in general, or muay thai (kickboxing) in particular, you'll probably enjoy this movie. There are several long scenes where boxing matches are shown at length. And if you love Thailand as much as I do, you'll enjoy the many panoramic and scenic sweeps across Bangkok during the 70s. And there are a few good action (non-boxing) scenes as well.
However, when put all together, it was just too dull. The non-action scenes were filmed at a very leisurely pace, highly inconsistent with this genre, and there were too many of these scenes. I was also disappointed that the two great stars, David Chiang and Ti Lung, had not nearly enough time on screen.
Pass on this one.

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: sarah
Date: 01/25/2000
Summary: Thai dye

David Chiang is the son of a kung fu master in HK, who, on his dying bed, reveals the existance of a half-brother in Thailand and requests that David go and find him. He sets off to Thailand wearing the most outrageous seventies cowboy suit and as the movie progresses his outfits get wilder and wilder. All he knows about his brother is that he is a professinal kickboxer with a tattoo on his right arm. Thai boxing is accompanied by demented pipe band and the combatants do a ritual dance beforehand. They then commence beating each other senseless using every weapon except the head, and every target except the groin. As they fight the music gets faster and more intense and the crowd roars. It’s all very dramatic, especially as it requires Ti Lung to wear nothing but a pair of the most microscopic silk boxershorts.
The plot is the usual mix of triad baddies and brotherly bonding, but the stellar presences, the scenery and the costumes set this movie apart. The functional side of tight polyester flares is finally revealed!

Reviewed by: battlemonkey
Date: 12/21/1999

Something about Thai boxing