Beautiful DVD transfer of a lesser kung fu film
Brian Camp | Bronx, NY | 12/31/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"CANTONEN IRON KUNG FU (1979) boasts an enjoyable central performance by second-tier kung fu star Leung Kar Yan (aka Liang Jia Ren, star of SLEEPING FIST, THUNDERING MANTIS, many others), who essays the role of "Iron Bridge Kun," a kung fu-fighting Cantonese laborer who fends off attempts by a corrupt merchant to take over his town in the 19th century. There are some rigorous training scenes and a couple of well-staged fights late in the film, although one has to sit through an underdeveloped plotline to get there. Also, aside from the star and shorter turns by Wang Chung and Kao Fei (aka Phillip Ko), the cast is largely unfamiliar, at least to this longtime kung fu fan.However, the original 35mm print from which this high-quality letter-boxed DVD transfer was made (courtesy of Crash Cinema's Pagoda Films Premium Collection) was in such pristine condition that it gives viewers a rare chance to see an old-school kung fu film in something approximating the way it was meant to be seen. While the film itself is no classic, it is well-made and entertaining enough to justify watching simply because it is in so much better condition than 95% of the kung fu films so far available in the U.S. My only quibble with the DVD is that it wasn't enhanced for 16:9 presentation."