The Young Master (1980)
Reviewed by: dragyn on 2001-03-24
Summary: The Young Master Indeed
"The Young Master" is a classic vintage Kung Fu movie, but the presence of Chan puts an unusual twist on the genre, adding more comedy and drama than is the norm.

This film is really two movies in one: the first half is an intense, angst-ridden drama, while then second is a sunny Kung Fu comedy.

As is usual with most Kung Fu movies, the best thing is not to think too much and just sit back and enjoy the show. And what a show Chan makes it! Every fight in the movie is breath-taking, particularly the fight in which Chan flips and throws an ornamentail Chinese fan, using it effortlessly as both defense and weapon, and the comic encounters between Chan and his opera school "brother", Yuen Biao.

It is interesting to note that while Chan began filming "The Young Master" with a traditional, stylised approach, by the time he got around to shooting the end fight with Wang Inn Sikk, he had begun to choreograph much looser, more natural and less traditional fights. This experimentation led to what we now take for granted in any of Jackie Chan's more recent movies: free, easy, natural, realistic fights that contrast strongly with the stylised, slow fights that he filmed up until "The Young Master".

The end fight in "The Young Master" is extraordinary - Chan pits himself against Korean fighter Wang Inn Sikk once more, and this time he takes as much punishment as he gives. He hits the floor countless times during the twenty-minute long fight extravaganza, and keeps coming back for more. He is truly elastic and rubbery next to Wang Inn Sikk's harder, more-grounded action.

A really classic Kung Fu movie - in my opinion, it is one of the best purely Kung Fu movies that Chan made before he moved on to make his cop and robber flicks. The end fight is really worth it, if only for its sheer length.

(8/10)