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c (1980)
Coward Bastard

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 04/14/2012
Summary: studio standard: marginal result

A Shaw Bros. production from 1980, Coward Bastard features Yuen Wah in the title role. Production is studio standard with only marginal results. Director Kuei Chih-Hung was better equiped to working the horror genre where he had most of his work assignments and success. Best thing is the title really. It is the greatest insult one man can call another man, calling into question one's masculinity and family heritage in one devastating blow.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: kiliansabre
Date: 11/12/2007
Summary: Yuen Wah as the Coward Bastard

Master Jiu has been harrassing and humiliating restraunt owner Boss Su. As a result the delivery boy Qi (Mang Yuen-Man) suffers humiliation at the hands of Boss Su. After watching the cook Biao (Yuen Wah), Qi manages to pick up a few kung fu moves and defeats Master Jiu and his men. However Master Jui's criminal Uncles come to town and teach Qi a lesson, wanting to know where Biao is after the fact. As it turns out Biao is on the run from the pair of Uncles ever since he botched trying to arrest them earlier on. With Biao too afriad to fight, Qi takes it upon himself to find Biao's Uncle (Yiu Ping) to learn kung fu and take care of Biao's problem. When the time comes will Biao stand up and help him take on the two kung fu masters?

I have heard this compaired to a Shaw Brothers attempt at a Jackie Chan film, and though there are some similarities (goofy humor, an old drunken kung fu teacher, Mang Yuen-Man looks a bit like him), this film plays out nothing like Jackie Chan's comedies. Here the humor is silly and irrelevant for the most part. The fight scenes progressively improve as the movie plays out, but it is still mainly played for comedy and the silliness takes away too much from the action. The main villians never really come across as very threatening, I kept expecting their master to show up and wipe the floor with everyone, but the movie never goes that far. The best part of this film was seeing a very young Yuen Wah in such a prominent role. The best fight scenes do belong to him and though it is nothing mindblowing it is at least entertaining when he's involved.

Overall, a weaker Shaw Brothers effort, but they have done worse. At the very least it was entertaining throughout, even if only slightly so most of the time.

Reviewer Score: 6