Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Killer Meteors|
Actors: Jackie Chan, Yu Wang, Liu-li Lan, Ling Lung Yu, Hui Lou Chen
Director: Wei Lo
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Mystery & Suspense
A 1976 novelty item for Jackie Chan completists only; he plays one of his rare costume roles, and his only bad guy. The star is Jimmy Wang Yu (One Armed Swordsman) as Hero Mei, a freelance warrior whose top-secret weapons ... more »
Don't listen to the Jacky fans.
Marc Alain Ferriere | Manchester, CT | 11/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Quite simply, this is not a Jacky Chan movie. Don't buy this expecting to see Drunken Master style farce. Jacky is evil. Really evil. In fact, he's a total loser. Hence the scores of negative reviews from people unwilling to watch any old Hong Kong flicks that do not involve Jacky's whacky acrobatics. The star of this movie is JIMMY WANG YU. Wang Yu is more of a Clint Eastwood type. He rips one liners and literally wrecks people. There are no fart jokes and no peeing, just well paced action and likeable heroes. For the price, it's a capable transfer of an aged movie."
I like it
Ryan | Long Island, NY USA | 08/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good Kung Fu flick. I enjoyed it. Great fights and the Killer Meteors are awesome. Jackie Chan plays the bad guy which I like because I'm use to seeing him as the good guy. I don't regret buying this movie at all."
Jackie Chan as a Villain!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Evansville, Indiana | 05/11/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
""The Killer Meteors" provides further evidence that producer/director/hack Lo Wei had no clue as to Jackie's real potential. Lo Wei built several "Bruce-Lee-alikes" around Chan in the early '70s. Despite the fact that the "chop-socky" had ran its course, Lo Wei blamed the lackluster commercial performance of these movies on Chan. One result of this problem was "The Killer Meteors," an early Chan film, featuring him as the villain! Chan delivers a spectacular performance, as always. Unfortunately, he only appears in the last third of the movie. Also, Chan as a villain becomes somewhat difficult to swallow, considering his lovable, down-to-earth personality depicted in the vast majority of his films. Overall, one of Lo Wei's better films, but it suffers from too little Chan."
Wang Yu Vs. Jackie Chan
Shawn McKenna | Modesto, CA USA | 03/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes if an actor has not had a successful run as a lead then it behooves him or her to take a supporting role. After the box office failings of New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men, Lo Wei decided to cast Jackie Chan as a villain in a secondary position to the lead of Jimmy Wang Yu (who starred in many popular pictures as a one-arm martial artist and many not-so-popular films as a two-arm martial artist.) Wang Yu's stardom was slowly fading at the time of this picture, but he had a much more recognizable name than Jackie's. Useless tidbit: according to Jackie, he made 12,000 HK dollars to Wang Yu's 50,000. The Killer Meteors was based on a Gu Long novel and it was the first of two films to be shot in Korea (To Kill with Intrigue was the second.)
Jimmy stars as Mi Wei the Killer Meteor, a sarcastic master of Kung Fu who know no equal. He is so feared and admired that criminals will cut off there fingers in repentance rather than to face his possible wrath and master martial artists serve underneath him. I like Wang Yu's performance with his cocky panache (he even keeps track of his enemies all 491 of them) and glib humor though his character is a bit too "strong" for there to be any real conflict in this film. Also, his weakness at martial arts is very noticeable because of the direction and his slowness (Master of the Flying Guillotine is a good example of where he is choreographed well.) But who needs adroitness of movement when you carry a cool weapon like the Killer Meteor. Only three people have seen this weapon and two of them are dead. Most of the time he uses it as a club on the criminals who are undeserving to die by it's true form.
Wei is approached by Qing, the famous Blue-Robed Swordsman who must bring him to the Celestial House of Hua the Hearty (Wa Wu Bin in some translations/dubbings) before July 15 (according to subtitles) or he will die. Mi is intrigued by this, for he is always looking for a challenge worthy of him, and goes with Qing. When he meets Hua (Jackie Chan) he finds a sick man who needs the Killer Meteor's help. Hua was poisoned by his wife in his Ginseng soup (otherwise a normally healthy soup) and she gives him a yearly dose of antidote. Hua does not like this arrangement and wants his wife dead and the antidote all for himself. Wei accepts this challenge though he learns of the four feared bodyguards of his wife: Blazing Star whose weapons are the Plum Blossom Needles (always a favorite of mine, though for weapons so small they always seem to be caught), Killer Hands with fierce suction grip (like GI Joe's Kung Fu grip with vacuum power), Black Lama whose good at black magic and Taoist Ghost (Lee Man Tai) who is good at tricks. Now these characters sound good, but there use in the film is less than desirable.
Unfortunately the plot is weak. There are too many twists and turns that negate previous plot points and characters who are not whom they seem to be. Or are they? My notes on this film is huge but explaining even half of them would be tedious. Generally if plots become overburdened then you can fall back on the martial arts in the film. With Jimmy being the lead character and unless he was being doubled for flips the martial arts are too slow and the action too pedantic. Also there is not a lot of fighting. There are two main fight scenes between Jackie and Jimmy. The first fight scene is the best while the finale is a bit disappointing. It takes place on wooden poles with stakes on the ground - resembling an action scene from Jimmy's earlier film Master of the Flying Guillotine and a bit like Yuen Woo Ping's Iron Monkey, though both are much more interesting. Luckily for the viewers Mi Wei shows off his killer weapon.
The Killer Meteors was a failure at the box office and did not help either Jimmy's or Jackie's career. Along with the confusing story and mediocre action scenes there are too many problems with this film ranging from the overuse of the "lifted" King Kong score to really cheap costumes. Yet, I cannot say I wholly disliked the film. I liked Jimmy's performance, Jackie's "bad guy" performance, some of the story, the beautiful scenery and the titular weapon. Since there is a plethora of better Jimmy Wang Yu and Jackie movies there is no reason to recommend this film unless you are into watching all of Jackie's or Wang Yu's films - like me.
DVD Notes: the two editions of this film I own are the Columbia version and the Simitar Platinum Series version. There is very little difference between the two. Both versions are full-screen (with the credits running letterboxed), both have Mandarin dialogue (though for some reason the Simitar version says Cantonese which is wrong), both have the same dubbed version and both have the same running time (104m). The Columbia version does have English subtitles though.