Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Fu Hung Cheng, Hui Lou Chen, Kuan Pao Chen, Alan Chui Chung San, Ke Chu
Director: Hsiang Fang
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Studio: First Look Home Entertain Release Date: 05/11/2004 Rating: Nr
Why wane in vain when there's "...Reign" to gain?
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 03/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Upon receipt of his doctorate in Kung Fu with a minor in Ming Dynasty Restoration, a man (Jimmy Lee) becomes "friends" with the ambitious 4th prince, son of the dying king. The prince is worried that his brother, the 14th prince, will be named the successor to his father's throne. Jimmy agrees to help him swipe his dad's will and change 14th to 4th, and in exchange, when he is king, the 4th prince will allow Jimmy to head up the army. Unbeknownst to the 4th prince, Jimmy is a rebel who has a coup d'etat waiting to end the repressive monarchy. But not before some spontaneous moustaches.
Though far from flawless, this film is pretty sweet. The fights are tip-top for an old school flick and the story is good and takes itself seriously. I was not familiar with any of the actors but they all do a good job. This movie should be in widescreen but the picture quality is excellent for a non-remastered DVD. It is English-dubbed only and the volume of the voices will often fluctuate at key moments in the story. I compensated by turning the sound up. It also starts out with interesting music and opening credits, but at dramatic moments, the score is lifted from Disney's "The Black Hole". Almost loses half a star for a less than satisfactory ending, but it's kinda different and still entertaining.
Does live up to its review
Brian P. Webb | philadelphia,PA USA | 04/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviews for this film were accurate this is a powerful movie it contains a decent plot and first class fight choragraphy, I was surprised to see Norman Chu in only one fight scene considering his fighting capabilties. I highly recommend this movie great action the ending is a little over the top but well worth it."
Old "Skool" Kung Fu!!
M. Beckford | Toronto Canada | 06/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After reading what my Amazon collague (Morgoth Dude) had to say about this flick,,,I must amit my curiosity grew immensely. I went out and purchased it, "Rebellious Reign". Respectively, I equally agreed with him,,,this movie I though was extremely powerful. It has been some time I've watched a kung fu flick, with such a powerful story base, the acting was convincingly good and the fights scenes fast paced and amazing. I have never heard of Jimmy Lee,,however, he reminds me of 'Chang Shan",,the villian from Shaolin vs Lama, the same villian from "Shaolin temple Strikes Back". As I was watching this flick, I found myself really, really interested in the story aswell,,,very, very, very powerful stuff. I said before,,I will say it again,,this flick is Tough, Tough, Tough!!! This flick is definately a Hidden gem, don't be fooled by any negativity,,, it is a must see!!"
4.5 for the movie, but it gets a 4 for the mustaches.
morgoth | omaha, NE | 04/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have never heard of jimmy lee and still don't recognize him except very faintly. What I found out is that he can seriously fight. He made norman chu look like a joke and this is one of chu's better performances. It also has the first bad guy at the start of the greatest fight in movie history in return to the 36th chamber. He also was the 2 kids teacher in hell'z windstaff, john liu's teacher in fighting ace, and the iron vest teacher in the little known classic My young auntie. Yeong-mun kwon is his name and you have seen his super kicking abilities in many movies.
Now if anybody saw my review on killer constable(sadly a.k.a. lightining kung fu), then some of you hand to hand junkies were probably like, this dude doesn't know fu. Not true, I do know it, and it was the story and grittieness that made that movie great. And it was also a nice swordplay movie. Well I would compare this with killer constable. Not near as dark and a story that has potential but doesn't explore all of it's options like a real movie. But this is kung fu and if the action's good, I'm willing to forgive lots of mistakes. But this movie has almost none. It has wonderful music, tends to be overdone, but good ORIGINAL score. Good royalty themes, with ming patriots of course.
Now to the action. Blazinly fast. I have to say that this is truly one of the greatest kung fu movies ever. It shows you what it is all about at the start. A young guy has to get tested before he leaves the shaolin temple, and man do they go at it. Next up, go and become a high ranking official so that you can help to restore the ming dynasty. So this young guy(jimmy lee) is watching a brawl and with the 14th prince standing next to him, he shows that he doesn't care about high ranking people and will put anybody in their place. So the 4th prince shows up to see what is going on and his bodyguard doesn't like this kids braid at all. He comes close to the prince and there is a reason I set up super kicker Yeong-mun Kwan. This is by far his best movie ever and really gets a chance to shine. All of the people you think are going to fight never really have that spectacualre battle you are expecting. But that's just because I thought the korean superkicker was going to have one of his ordinary henchmen roles, but he gets to put on more of a disppay then I have seen IN ALL OF HIS MOVIES COMBINED. Now this guy doesn't rank anywhere near Hwang Jang Lee, but in power he blows Hwang out, only shen chan I would put as a better kicker than both Hwang and this korean guy.
So like I said, the ending is pretty unexpected. But I would have to say the end is in the vein of killer constable. In terms of heroic deeds and drama, it doesn't compare, but I have to say that the final fight scene is truly one of the greatest all out war scenes of all time. Only movies like shaolin strikes back comes close to a war of kung fu like this does.
This is released by video asia and I have to say it is a really good release. The picture is kind of shaky which is kind of distracting, and teh picture is kind of faded. But overall, I will only rank south shaolin master as a better video asia release then this. It is full screened, but don't worry, you are actually not missing too much. Of course you will miss some thogh, but luckily the director kept pretty much everthing happening in the middle of the scene, it is only the war scene where it would have been nice to see all the great detail that was being put into that. No special features, but very good sound quality, good picture, and a video asia dvd that actually works, I hate that company, but have to recommend this to anyone who is a fan of good cinema.
FAVORITE PART OF THE MOVIE:
Jimmy lee meets norman chu(4th prince)and doesn't know that he is royalty. Norman takes him to his mansion. Jimmy seems worried, norman says don't worry. The main guy under the emperor says,to 4th prince "what happened to those 8 monks the emperor sent to you?" "They would not stand in line for me, so I killed them". Jimmy standing next to him almost has like an involintary puking moment but manages to pull himself together and kneel down to norman and say that he respects him still without showing that he like just left the shaolin temple after learning all he needed to. It was a good, not great acting moment where jimmy neede to keep his cool so that he could get his high ranking position. Once things evolve(too fast), the story gets weaker, but the fu gets stronger and stonger, and I honestly thought my tv was going to explode at the end of this movie."