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摩登如來神掌 (1990)
Kung Fu Vs. Acrobatic

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/03/2008
Summary: modern buddha's palm...

when fai (andy lau) and chi (nat chan), two bumbling advertising agents, get sent to an extremely rural location in the mainland, they decide to pick up some fake antiques for their friends. unfortunately for them, the people they meet are trying to sell them genuine national treasures and the authorities soon turn up. whilst making their escape, the two fall into a hidden chamber, eat a magic pill that will give them incredible martial art powers and discover princes yun (joey wang) and her hand maiden, hsiao mun (cutie mui), who they revive from a seven hundred year sleep. the four decide to make their way back to hong kong and various comedic situations arise but, with fai and chi having also woken the evil tien chian (yuen wah) from his sleep, it looks like the laughter may be about to end...

well, the first thing to say is that there are no martial arts, to speak of, in this film; sure, there's plenty of posturing and some classy eighties hong kong effects being thrown about. personally, in the context of the film, this doesn't harm it too much. sure, yuen wah certainly has the talent, and andy lau can look pretty good fighting on screen, but this film is more about silly fun, than anything else. luckily, it has silly fun, in spades...

nat chan plays the comedic side-kick, to lau's straight-man, quite well and cutie mui (great name) does the same, next to joey wang's loveliness, but, strangely, it is wah who out sillys everyone. wah's portrayal of tien chian, as a fairly psychotic killer, woken from a seven hundred year long sleep, is great; his obsession with tv and his inclination to see adverts as speaking directly to him and offering genuine advice, is probably my favourite aspect of the film.

daft fun, and little more...

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/28/2007
Summary: Wow !

This was the first ever HK film I saw in a cinema, and under less than ideal conditions. NO subtitles and dubbed into a foreign language in which I'm far from fluent, so I missed quite a lot.

Notwithstanding, this is THE film which started me on the road of serious HK movie fandom. I went in wondering what on earth a film with such a title could possibly be about, and came out knowing even less.

What I could gather of the plot: Two HK advertising guys go/are sent far into the Chinese hinterland, go caving, each eat half of a long brown disgusting-looking object which imbues them with some sort of special powers. Upon their return, a lovely ghost (Joey Wong) and her maid assume human form and move in with the two guys. The ghosts cook a banquet for the guys, using everything to hand (including soap in the soup), and make wild outfits using the guys' underwear. A bad guy then enters the plot. The lady ghosts have some association with him (what, I have no idea). Bad guy boards a train and tracks down advertising guys. He finds them by seeing a tv advert, in which ad guys appear as historical flying-people flogging hamburgers. In a hilarious sight-gag, bad guy knocks on their apartment door, carrying a huge stack of hamburgers, shouts "hamburger" (in English) and commences to wallop the ad guys. A long series of spectacular fight scenes ensue, which also include flying around high-tension powerlines and hundreds of police.

It blew me away.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/01/2006
Summary: YIKES

Starts off well with a few laughs but turns just plain silly!! The old looking special effects dont help this movie that just about goes nowhere fast!! Yueh Wah character is just over the top and Andy, plays Andy!!

Disappointing to watch

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 01/26/2003

Taylor Wong must be fascinated by the black and white Buddha Palm movies. Apparently directing the 1982 SFX fare "Buddha's Palm" didn't satisfy his craving, so he did it again by teaming up with modern HK stars to make this movie about Buddha's Palm (and time travelling).

This is a perfect example of a bad movie. The actors didn't seem any less bored than I was, with the possible exception of Natlis Chan, who is always a pleasure. The script sucks from the beginning, and the transition between scenes is at an all time worst. If there was anything of interest, which there wasn't, then I might have recommended it.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/31/2002
Summary: Pretty stupid

[Kung Fu Vs Acrobatic]

You would be forgiven to think you were watching another film when seeing this, as this has nothing to do with Kung Fu or Acrobatics. In fact, even its Chinese name (a reference to the old Buddha Palm kung fu series) is as confusing, as you would expect at least a spoof of the series, if not a remake, but it’s neither.

Andy Lau & Nat Chan play crooked salesmen, who whilst on a trip to the mainland stumble upon a cave where they discover 2 mysterious women (Joey Wong, and Mui Siu Wai – remember her?). They are not sure at first what is going on, because they have been dead (or asleep?) for 700 years. As they leave, they teach the men magic and go to cause havoc and mischief on Hong Kong. The rest is a comedy, but those who know Wong Jing films will not laugh much, followed by a final stand off with villain Yuen Wah. The special effects are very poor in comparion to other films made in the early 90’s. Martial arts fans should avoid this like everyone else, as there are far more unfunny jokes than any kung fu.


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 02/28/2002

A silly title, and star Andy Lau Tak-Wah not taking off his shirt once? What kind of a movie is that? Well, actually it's a rather endearing hommage to the b/w swordplay kungfu movies of the fifties and sixties, complete with special effects done in the same style. The movie indeed opens with b/w clips from those old films, where magical kung fu heroes would wave their hands and some charming, hand-painted type effects would signal to the viewer that they were watching mysterious supernatural kungfu power in action. We're talking FX here that were surpassed by what you can see in the Flash Gordon serials of the 30s... Rather silly looking for anyone not familiar with these films, so be warned, don't watch this movie expecting any true Martial Arts action or even any of the fake stuff familiar from movies like Storm Riders. In fact, Storm Riders, Legend of Zu etc. are a modernization of the same tradition, except that they try very hard to employ impressive FX, whereas Kung Fu vs Acrobatic goes the completely different direction - nothing about these FX is impressive. They are plain silly, albeit in a nostalgic, charming way.

The story is set in modern day HK, where two bumbling advertising execs (Andy Lau and Nat Chan) are sent off to some remote location in mainland China to gather some artifacts to be used in an ad campaign. They accidentally discover an ancient tomb where Yuan dynasty princess Joey Wang awaits in suspended animation. They revive her, swallow some kung fu pill that gives them magical powers and then flee the scene, as Yuen Wah, the villain who's been after Joey, awakes as well. From here on in, the film alternates between fish out of water comedy (we've seen this done much better in movies like The Iceman Cometh) and magical kung fu action (complete with all the required mumbo jumbo). All the familiar elements are there, including the worm-swallowing/drum-beating scene (similar scene was in Eagle-Shooting Heroes). It's all presented in a relaxed manner, none of the fights try to create tension or any sense of true danger, and Yuen Wah, who can play the menacing villain better than anyone, actually cracks a smile every now and then. Lots of parodies of TV commercials that may hold more significance for anyone living in HK at the time, and some decent performances, including a supporting turn from the under-rated Lau Shun. Joey looks lovely, but doesn't get to do much (at least she's not a ghost this time around), and Andy and Natalis chew up the scenery with their semi-funny antics.

One last word on those FX - imagine Andy striking a pose, and then little hand-drawn hearts and/or feet streaming out of his hands to strike his opponent. You really gotta see it to appreciate the humour in this. And I'm glad I did, if only because it reminded me of the long FX tradition in HK that eventually led to such modern adaptations as Legend of Zu, Storm Riders, Avenging Fist etc.

Marginal Recommendation.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 08/02/2001
Summary: Mostly Harmless

KUNG FU VS. ACROBATIC: Andy Lau & Chan Pak Cheung are unhappy with their jobs, so they decide to smuggle antiques from China whilst on a business trip. In the process they discover an ancient tomb where Joey Wang and her hand maiden have been sleeping for 700 years, and somehow awake them. They also wake Yuen Wah in the process, who was frozen in the tomb at the same time and who wants to kill them. They take the girls back to Hong Kong where they think they'll be safe, but Yuen Wah is not a villain who gives up easily. Joey teaches Andy some mystical kung fu that he might save them all.

The film is vaguely reminiscent of Iceman Cometh with a bit of role reversal going on. The plot leaps about with little attention paid to where it's heading, although this could be a subtitle issue as is so often the case. Probably not though :-) There's some fish out of water, with Joey's hand maiden being the main fish. Joey herself adapts quickly. Andy & Chan are an unlikely pair of heroes, both being quite selfish and unpleasant for the main part. There's absolutely zero kung fu in the film, but quite a lot of PEACOCK KING style special effects that are quite well executed. There's some very amusing bits - mostly from the handmaiden (Mui Siu Wai), who I have to say steals the show when given free reign.

Yuen Wah is demented as the villain once more, demonstrating acting skills that make it clear why he's never had a lead role. He also did the action choreography, but there's not a lot of it really. Neither kung fu nor acrobatics.

Overall, it's a fairly jumbled and mixed up film that doesn't live up to the title, but provides some pleasant amusement regardless. There's a time I would have loved it for the sheer amount they try to cram into the run time, but I guess I tend to look for a bit more these days

Reviewed by: Brad.Daniels
Date: 12/09/1999

Fun modern-day flying people movie. Two men from Hong Kongfall into a cave and share a pill which gives them each 50 years of Chi. A princess, her servant, and a bad guy come back to life after spending several hundred years in suspended animation. The women teach the men to use their powers to defeat the powerful villain.

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

A couple of pals journey into deepest China for some black market trading, but stumble upon a cave where Princess Wendy (Joey Wong), her handmaid Mandy, and evil kung fu master Tin have been in suspended animation for 800 years. The good guys escape to HK, only to be followed by Tin, who demands Wendy's hand in marriage. A very smart, funny comedy with deliberately primitive special effects recalling the olden days of kung fu cinema.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 7