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黑豹天下 (1993)
Warriors: The Black Panther


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 12/30/2008
Summary: ITs so bad its not funny

The movies is full of stars but thats about the only positive thing i can say about it. ITs so out of control, manic i couldnt stand it!! Tony Leung was so annoying.Alan Tang is always serious. The action way over the top and sped up, a modern day movie using magic swords energy, its just too unrealistic. The jokes are bad, i feel i have wasted time that i cant get back. ITs just not worth watching, avoid at all costs

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: unique and unsettling film

After a thirty year career in the Hong Kong film industry, actor and producer Alan Tang Kwong-Wing reunites with one of his former leading ladies, Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia, for his final film. Working again with director Clarence Ford after the success of Gun n’ Rose [1992], they cast Simon Yam Tat-Wah, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, and Carrie Ng Ka-Lai who are all at the height of their popularity to bolster box office receipts.

Warriors: the Black Panther is a unique and unsettling film that parody’s
every popular aspect of Hong Kong movies of the late 80’s and the early 90’s. It fits roundly into the square hole of the Fantasy Mission Force class of filmmaking. Mix in a small bit of everything, stir and hope for the best. Director Clarence Ford goes completely bonkers with action director Lau Shung-Fung using wires, explosions, odd angles, jump cuts, sparkle effects, and absurd gunplay to flesh out a who cares nugget of a story about a bad student who kills his martial arts master over a powerful sword.

happyfortune.org

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 06/10/2002

One of the most wanted titles by me, Black Panther Warriors was not going to sit in my collection once I got it. And guess what? I've seen (part of) it before - when I lived in China, about 8 years ago. Must have been when it came out. It all came to mind when Brigitte's master started fighting with his umbrella. Man, I was just thinking about that scene the other day, without knowing it was in this movie, of course. But holy cow, I can't possibly dislike the movie now (nostalgia, ya know)!

Well, I must tell you, the first couple of minutes are extremely confusing - and it doesn't get any better until the end. Granted, the whole film is fast paced, but the beginning was so fast that you couldn't make out who is who, what they're doing, or what's going on. This immediately disappointed me, and it was not until I realized that I had seen this movie that I became excited again. Overall, the plot is extremely confusing and out of place, so you will need to think and rewatch to understand. Either way, some of it just won't make sense, because you can't make sense out of something that doesn't make sense. And if anything, it's a campy screwball film, which is very out of place mixed with serious scenes. The trashy humor is at an all time crude, and it's pathetic. Dicky Cheung is always crying about licking boobs, so Simon Yam offers his breasts, and guess what, Dicky Cheung does it.

However, the fantasy action is most innovatively refreshing. If there is one reason to watch the film, it would be for the top notch action. It puts just about every other modern HK movie to shame in that respect. The beginning opens with great style and action, and although the story is crap, the action just about makes up for it.

One note about the languages. In the Cantonese version, Tony Leung backflips whenever somebody speaks Mandarin. Well, of course we can't have that in the Mandarin version, because then he would be doing backflips FOREVER since everything would be in Mandarin. So instead, he does backflips whenever somebody speaks (poor) English in the Mandarin version.

Also, this has to be the only movie in which the theme music is played about 90 times during the show; yet you still wish they played it more. It is that pleasing to the ear.

If this film doesn't amuse/intrigue you, then you haven't watched enough HK movies.

[8/10]


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 04/10/2002

This is one big mess of a movie. It makes most of Wong Jing's films look sedate by comparison. The plot has a group known as the "Black Panthers" (no relation to the militant African-Americans) sent by the police to retrive a box which contains their security software. However, the group has two problems: 1) they spend a lot of their time trying to get into bed with each other and 2) they're generally just stupid.

A lot of the movie's (thankfully short) running time is taken up with really bad jokes, where Clarence Fok tries to create a Stephen Chow-like atmosphere, with rapid-fire dialogue and lots of pop culture references. For instance, Tony Leung's character is a parody of Andy Lau in Saviour of the Soul, complete with a cheesy blue shirt that never manages to stay all the way on. The problem is that most of the jokes aren't funny and the actors seems to be trying way too hard to deliver the lines -- "restraint" is not a word in this movie's vocabulary.

You, however, should show some restraint and not waste your time with this clunker. It's a pretty big disappointment considering the talent involved. What was Brigitte Lin thinking? There's not even any decent action to keep the viewer compelled to watched. Like the rest of the movie, it's over-clocked and poorly co-ordinated.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 04/06/2002
Summary: Buy it... it's a work of genius!

How do you review a movie so completely demented that it makes EAGLE SHOOTING HEROES look like ASHES OF TIME?

Clarence Fok/Ford has had a pretty hit & miss career as a director. When it all comes together for him, he produces some amazingly inventive and stylish low-budget movies. When it doesn't, he produces something *completely* stupid. BLACK PANTHER WARRIORS must surely be the pinnacle of his career - a movie that is both so completely stupid and so mind-bogglingly inventive that we probably need to define a new word just to describe it.

The movie is a manga-esque modern-day wuxia piece, sharing some similarities of style with SAVIOUR OF THE SOUL and HEROIC TRIO. Black Panther (Alan Tang) brings together a party of superhero-esque criminal types (Brigitte Lin, Leung Ka Fai, Simon Yam, Carry Ng, Dicky Cheung and some lass called Jennifer Chan) in order to pull off a job set by Melvin Wong. Their task is to steal something from a police station that has just had a new hi-tech security system fitted - ostensibly to test the system for the police (but I'm sure nobody believes that for a second). After setting this up, the movie pretty much abandons the plot for most of an hour in favour of comedy/action setpieces that fly by at such a relentless pace you can barely blink. The DVD has absolutely dreadful subtitles - at the bottom end of HK subtitling even - yet you can't help feeling that the best subtitles in the world still wouldn't make any sense out of the movie.

The movie is basically absurdist, and you have to be in the mood to just go along with it and laugh to appreciate it I guess. It is also one of the most insanely inventive movies Hong Kong has ever produced, and very stylish despite the obvious budget limitations (any movie that lists 6 cinematographers - including Jingle Ma and Arthur Wong - has to look good). The comedy and the action are both propelled along like a nitro-fuelled juggernaut, a virtual assault on the senses. It's not enough that in every scene the characters seem to be wearing completely different and inexplicably outlandish costumes - there's also barely a moment when they aren't flying & spinning around the room or blowing something up with playing cards... or breakdancing, or sucking on Simon Yam's nipples or whatever fits the moment. There is an absolute ton of action here, with crazy wirework & stuntwork that has to have been pretty much the pinnacle of HK's early 90's delerium. Mind boggling, and nicely done. The gunplay is absurd too, with thousands of enemy goons meeting their end under Leung Ka Fai's sprays of bullets or Brigitte Lin's general ability to make everything around her explode. This is the kind of movie where somebody sweeps a sword and an entire building explodes.

I dread to think would cocktail of drugs Clarence Fok must have been on to come up with this, and to actually see it all through to completion - must have been exhausting. He deserves a medal, as do the crew who managed to carry off such an insane plan. The cast all do a great job - good comic performance from Leung Ka Fai, smooth gigolo performance from Simon Yam, sexy temptress by Carrie Ng and tragic grace from Brigitte Lin. Alan Tang is pretty cool as Black Panther (Black Cougar in the subs, duh!) too, though he's the least interesting of the characters. Yuen Wah has a small but interesting role as... well, I'll let you guess whether he's a hero or villain :)

It's all low budget, it makes little sense, but it's an undeniable sensory and psychadelic experience where 'anything goes' is putting it mildly. One of those movies that only early 90's Hong Kong could produce, the type that made so many of us fall in love with HK movies in the first place. Definitely recommended!

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 03/18/2002
Summary: Skip it..it sucks!

The first minutes are pretty cool and the women are fun to gawk at but it is still too painful to sit through. Really was a big mess..comedy bits are not even funny..they're just stupid! Fast forward to the last 5 minutes and you've got a decent 10 Min. short! Or..skip it all together..really sucks..sucks..SUCKS!!!


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 03/18/2002

I fell in love with HK cinema mainly because of the visual and kinetic energy and and creativity that permeated much of what was coming out of the former Crown colony during the industry's heyday. Filmmakers managed to take some wires, some colored smoke, some flowing textiles, lots of expressionist lighting and create mindboggling visual spectacles that were first and foremost driven by the movement of human bodies. Nowhere else could I find something that would even come close in terms of pure adrenaline and excitement. By way of comparison, Hollywood never understood this - their concept of spectacle has always been focused on scale rather than on the action itself, and consequently, their big moneyshots often end up feeling like a static tableau, whereas HK was able to generate a hundredfold more excitement with no budget and a few courageous stunt people.

So what has that rant got to do with Black Panther Warriors? Well, BPW exemplifies everything I love about HK movies from that period. The film has a plot that's full of holes with only the slightest semblance of a logical story, the atmosphere and tone meander constantly between melodrama, low-brow comedy and everything in between, the cast of characters seems to have sprung from the imagination of a slightly inebriated uber-geek who's read too many comic books, and the whole thing makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - but in terms of visual spectacle, this movie delivers in spades! The film has a highly stylizied feel reminiscent of Japanese mangas, similar to movies such as Saviour of the Soul, Crystal Fortune Run and Wicked City. Of those films, SOTS is by far the best one in every aspect, and while BPW gives SOTS a serious run for its money in terms of visuals and action, it never quite reaches the same level as a whole, simply because it lacks the emotional resonance that SOTS was able to generate by focusing on three main characters and adding a strong romance element to the usual revenge-driven plot.

BPW is in essence a wuxia film transplanted to a modern day setting. Hence you have a backstory about a sword, about revenge for the murder of a sifu, and all the usual conventions so familiar from period films. You also have the large cast typical for these movies - and what a star-studded cast it is: Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Yuen Wah, Carrie Ng, Alan Tang, and did I mention Brigitte Lin?! Their characters are essentially all caricatures, and are played mostly for laughs. The story doesn't really matter (and the film itself never pays more than cursory attention to it), but it's about Black Cougar (Alan Tang), who pulls together a colourful band of characters to steal a silver box from Police headquarters. Of course there's also a villain (and if you look again at the list of actors above, you know who it is), and soon the film jumps back and forth between the stars doing silly comedy routines and breath-taking action that involves anything from grenade launchers to swords to flying cards to fantasy-style kungfu.

To give a few examples of what to expect: Brigitte Lin first appears in a flowing red gown and looks great wooshing those ultralong sleeves around. Next scene, she's wearing a dress and hat/wig contraption that would not look out of place in a 17th century French court. Makes no sense, but looks cool. Next scenes she's in a tight black suit with black beret. But that's nothing - poor Jennifer Chan runs around for most of the movie in a miniskirt and some weird bandana thing that makes her look like a pirate in a miniskirt. And Dicky Cheung is forced to play a character who can only act normal while having a pacifier in his mouth. This is all totally ludicrous, of course, but it's also great fun as long as you accept that everything in this movie is exaggerated and styled for effect. That applies not just to costumes, but to the action as well: when the mansion our heroes are staying in gets assaulted by hundreds of Ninjas (because that's what happens in movies like this), the Ninjas don't just drive up to the mansion in cars like you and I would - half of them somersault, the other half slides though the air on wires.

I found this movie truly enjoyable. It's colourful, it's bizarre, it's completely over the top, and it features some stunningly gorgeous action setpieces that take the best elements from diverse genres such as gambling movies, modern gunplay and wuxia films and mixes them all together into a surreal feast for the eyes. Recommended!

The Megastar DVD is anamorphic, and while the source material shows some wear and tear, the overall presentation is pretty good. The optional subtitles are very readable, and come pretty close to being proper English.


Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

Clarence Ford is an exceptional action director with a uniquevisual style, but like many other Hong Kong directors he has a lot of trouble to find decent scripts. This movie looks gorgeous, but is padded out to distraction with lame "comedy". The story concerns a gang of super-thieves who test a building's security system, plus a few confusing subplots. If the good parts of this movie had been coupled with decent plot and characterization, it would have been great, now it requires a lot of patience to get through.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Its a shame that with such stars, they could not have made a better movie. I wish I could put my finger on it, but the movie is just missing something. The fist half of the movie was almost completely pointless. The second half made up for it with some good action sequences. Its about a super thief, Black Cougar who gets paid to steal a file from the police and assembles the black panther warriors for some help. The funniest scene in the movie was when Tony Leung dresses up as a woman (he looks totally absurd in that blonde curly wig!- its a riot). The movie is worth a look as long as you don't expect too much.

(2.5/4)



[Reviewed by Adam Scott Pritzker]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Actually I thought it was quite funny. over the top, yes, but still a fun HK take on Sneakers.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

The only thing interesting about this movie is the trouble with it. The first two cinematographers walk out and is replaced by a third. Director Clarence Fok threatened to walk out himself. The six stars had problems showing up together on time. My nomination for Golden Banana movie award of 93.

(3.5/10)



[Reviewed by Christopher Fu]


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

Simon Yam handles playing cards like lethal weapons; Leung Ka Fai is superfast at the draw, and flips somersaults whenever anybody speaks Mandarin; Brigitte Lin is an invincible kung fu master who makes all the guys drool. And they're all Black Panther Warriors, whose adventures and dialog fly by so fast that even speed-reading Caucasians like me found it a chore to keep up. They save their best slice-and-dice job for the subtitles, which only approximate English.

(2.5/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6