The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993)
Reviewed by: Waiguoren99 on 2002-07-10
Summary: Hysterical parody of just about every martial arts/fantasy swordplay film ever made
Folks, there is no way I can give any kind of plot summary for this utterly loony flick. Made by the majority of the cast (and much of the crew) of Wong Kar-Wai's ASHES OF TIME during its interminable filming, this movie is both a crazed inversion of that film and a parody of just about every martial arts/fantasy swordplay film ever made. There is multiple cross-dressing (both ways), rampant gender confusion, bathroom and vomiting jokes galore, a trio of human - sized rubber - suited monsters (gorilla, macaw, and dinosaur), gratuitous CantoPop numbers, rubber centipedes, multiple hallucinations, and much, much more. It's obvious the actors had a great time parodying the usual characters, and Sammo Hung's deliciously deliberate take-off of every cliched kung-fu and wire-fu move is both frenetically - choreographed and deliberately undercranked far more than the usual 2 or 3 frames less per second (often used to make the action look faster and more powerful), giving the action a ridiculously speeded-up look. It's fun even if you're a Hong Kong movie neophyte, but it's best if you've seen LOTS of HK and martial arts flicks. There are tons of in - jokes and allusions to characters played by the actors in other movies, particularly the aforementioned AOT -- for example, Leslie Cheung relinquishes the lead part of Ouyang Fong, "Malicious West" to one of the Tony Leungs (Chiu-wai) from Ashes, playing instead a comic Huang Yao, "Evil East", the part played by the other Tony Leung (Ka-fai) -- while that Tony Leung plays ... well, you get the idea. I did take off half a point because there are a few short sections of dialogue with no subtitles at all (???), and the only song that is subtitled is done only in Chinese, and thus some jokes are lost on us Westerners -- too bad. However, there was still so much that I alternated between shrieks of joyous disbelief and fits of raucous laughter throughout the entire movie. Don't miss it! ****1/2 out of 5.
Reviewer Score: 9