One of my favorites of Jackie's earlier movies
Yoshitsune | Planet Earth | 07/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Half a Loaf of Kung Fu" is probably one of my favorites out of Jackie Chan's earlier movies. There are several funny fight scenes, and the actual Kung Fu is pretty decent. The movie is not at all serious as it is poking fun at movies in the genre that came out around the same time. I would definitely recommend this movie to any fan of Jackie Chan."
ORIGINAL VERSION IS ALWAYS BETTER~!!!
Tradeand5 | Planet Z | 02/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If you want UNCUT ORIGINAL version, ALWAYS look for ORIGINAL LICENSED Production. NOT US Release. Its a foreign film, it should not be US version to begin with~! HELLO!!!?? Why settle for LESS with US Version where they edit and cut so many excellent scenes especially with Jackie's Fighting Scenes. And US Release ruins the speed and sound as well. I have been collecting Jackie Chan's movies both HK and US Release Version for quite some time now. I found HK Version to be MUCH MORE in enjoyable, and HIGHER in Quality. American Market always like to "Americanize" and "Control". Regional Code Regulation thing is one of the example to CONTROL the Market. Why not let everyone enjoy the same HK Original Release move the same way ENTIRE WORLD enjoys it ?? No one makes Hollywood American movies to "French version" or "Chinese Version" ~! This what Americans are doing~! Well, enjoy the cheap "American version" then~! LOL"
If I'm lying I'm a son of a ...
Shawn McKenna | Modesto, CA USA | 11/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frustrated by the weak box office returns of New Fist of Fury and Shaolin Wooden Men, Lo Wei gave Jackie Chan creative control over the slapstick comedy Half a Loaf of Kung Fu. With Chan's friend Chen Chi-hwa as director (Snake and Crane Arts of Shaolin), Jackie wanted to make a film that was the antithesis of the current martial art dramas that were being shown. Jackie called this movie a "ninety-minute-long practical joke," but Lo failed to find the humor and decided to vault this film and created his own comedy for Jackie the insipid Spiritual Kung Fu. Half a Loaf of Kung Fu would remain unwatched until 1980.
One of the most interesting segments of the film is the beginning which parodies the normal use (at that time) of the main actors showcasing their martial-art ability. He spoofs the Zatochi series, he tries to catch arrows but fails and there is a great scene that has him using a fighting dummy for practice only the have the camera pan away to reveal a mini dummy. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is not as inventive as the starting sequence, though there are many good scenes. The problem is that the plot is not that different from many other films that Lo Wei has done.
Jackie plays Gon Tou, a wandering hungry man in search of a job. He eventually gets a housekeeper position for Mr. Man who houses the witch Lady Mui. He spies on her while she was doing a poison experiment, inadvertently gets his new friend San killed and narrowly flees. After his escape he came across a fight between Se Tai Chung and Lao Yung Lung - the man with the whip. This battle resulted in the death of both and Gon assumed the identity of Master Lao to collect the bounty on Chung. Now Gon is mistaken for a man with fighting skills even though his combatant acumen is very small. He gets beat up quite a bit.
He stumbles across a flatulent beggar (Dean Shek) who teaches Jackie such moves as "Lady Draws Arrow" and the ever impressive "One Finger Stops Mountain" (guess which finger.) Dean is funny in this Cantonese comedic role. Gon is then helped by another beggar (Lee Man Tai) who prevents Lady Mui from killing him. At first the beggar does not want to help Gon anymore, but he acquiesces and will help him if he takes something to Fong Wan. He later meets him at Fung Yu's Stone House with his daughter (Doris Lung) and friend (James Tien.) Together they are protecting the "Thousand Year Jake", which cures any poison, and "Potion of new Life" which is the fountain of youth. Since these are so powerful and priceless many criminals such as Lady Mui, Iron Hand Lui and The Man of a Thousand Faces (Kam Kong) want these. Gon helps Fong while learning more and more Kung Fu.
The plot is a bit chaotic and it ultimately fails as a spoof because so many martial art films have had plots much more ridiculous then this movie. But, it is an important film in Jackie's career because it is a turn from the grim-faced stoic hero that Lo wanted him to be. It is also a funny film with many inventive, though sometimes broad, scenes such as a dream sequence with Jackie becoming Popeye or Jackie reading a manual while fighting. It is also hilarious when Jackie knows that the flatulent beggar is approaching before we even see him. There is also a great reference to Bruce Lee when Jackie uses a wig as nunchucks while making Bruce-like sounds.
The fighting of the film is much more traditional, with the exception of the nunchuck wig, than Jackie's later films. But there are some good shots, especially the ten-minute ending fight scene. There is also a nice teaming of Dean and Jackie towards the end that was fun to watch. Overall, I like the film. It was better than the early Jackie Chan movies, though not as good as his later films. If you are a Jackie Chan film and have not seen it, then there is a good chance you will like it -- as long as you like flatulent beggars and goofy plots.