"Wei Pai stars as a master swordsman who loves his sister and always tries to help people in need. Damian Lau (Duel to the Death) stars as a drunkard who's sword skills are at least equal to Wei Pai's. A man named Master Kao is looking for men to revenge his family who were killed at the start of the movie. Master Kao gets the 2 swordsmen to help him out, but he seems to be hiding what his plan really is. I thought I knew exactly what was going on, but I got a major surprise during the last act of the movie. The story is good for the most part, but the action is definitely the best thing about the movie.
If you have seen The Hand of Death, then you know that John Woo was a good kung fu movie maker. Last Hurrah for Chivalry is his masterpiece. There are plenty of heroic moments, and it gets pretty bloody, but John Woo's style is very unique. The story is told well, the 2 heroes have some good comedic exchanges, and the villains are all extremely tough. It covers all the essentials. 110% effort was put into every part of this movie, including the sets. Golden Harvest tried hard to rival the Shaw Brothers sets, and their hard work really pays off. The sets never feel cheap, and the outdoor locations are also stunning. The cinematography always feels alive and makes scenes better than they would be just sitting idle. You can see why John Woo moved onto bigger and better things not long after making this.
The action is top notch. The choreography isn't the absolute best you will ever see, but the directing and editing are superb, and the action scenes are very intense. Fung Hak-on (the fight choreographer) has the best fight of the movie vs. Wei Pai, and all of the other fights are good. This is the best physical performance I have ever seen from Damian Lau. His sword skills are of course excellent, but his athletic skills also impressed me. Lee Hoi San is great as the main villain, but Chien Yuet San steals the show as the Sleeping Wizard. I have seen the sleeping style used in 4 or 5 movies, but this is by far the funniest version. And the action is not strictly sword fighting. There is a great hand to hand match with Lee Hoi San, and even during the sword fights there are a lot of punches.
The picture quality is too bright and there is some speckling, but the picture quality is still pretty good. Sound quality is perfect. The English dub is hard to listen to, but luckily the original Cantonese track is included. Subtitles are well written.
Special features include a great commentary from Bey Logan. He is a very knowledgable Hong Kong film expert, and he gives tons of interesting info. This is one of the better Dragon Dynasty commentaries I have heard.
In the 9 minute interview with Fung Hak-on, he talks about how he came to work with John Woo. He also talks about having to film 100 strokes in a single take. This might seem unbelievable, but he says that he messed up on the 99th stroke and had to film it over again. It ended up taking too long, and John Woo had to edit it. Filming fight scenes in great kung fu movies did not take a day or two, it could take half a year, or sometimes even longer depending on how many action scenes are in the movie. He also talks about his assistant Chien Yuet Sang and his crazy sleeping style. And it seems that this movie is where that style came from. Fung Hak-on is definintely among the best ever fight choreographers, and it is always a joy to hear every word he has to say. The great thing about the Dragon Dynasty DVDs is that they always get new interviews with the actors. It is really a kung fu movies fan's dream come true.
The 11 minute interview with Lee Hoi San is great. He talks about his long friendship with Fung Hak-on, his role in the movie, and other things.
The 11 minute Legendary Weapons featurette is another Dragon Dynasty exclusive. It is hosted by Bey Logan and he gives short descriptions of the weapons used in the movie, and also gives demonstrations. Then some Chinese guy gives a more full demonstration. Yet another excellent special feature from Dragon Dynasty.
I am stuck between whether I should give this movie a 4 or a 5 star rating, but the special features easily bump this disc up up to a 5. "
Maimm Adventure...Get the DVD
raymundo66 | CONCORD, CA United States | 10/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Martial arts mayhem, with a touch of humor in the tradition of the Shaw Brothers productions, but produced by Golden Harvest studios. Themes include honor, loyalty, betrayal and subterfuge. Much better production than the Jackie Chan films from the same time period.Last Hurrah for Chivalry is even better in DVD. This widesrceen production is a "10" in terms of picture quality! The Mandarin dubbed version of the movie is especially good. Excellent color and focus are good adjectives to describe the video portion. I believe the video has been reworked, because for a film that was originally released in 1979 the video still seems fresh.The audio quality is equal to the task. The producers have spared no expense and have transfer the original soundtrack recording to Dolby Digital 5.1. I assume it was remastered to make the conversion, because it doesn't say so on the box. Not many studios now adays will go to such expense to update a movie over 20 years old.By the way this DVD has the original Cantonese version with English subtitles, or you can watch the film dubbed in English or Mandarin, with a choice of English, simplified or traditional Chinese subtitles. I have the original video of the film as well and noticed the English translation is some instances is different than the DVD, but the video quality on the DVD just blows the video away. If you have a DVD player...get the DVD... You won't be disappointed.This is my favorite John Woo film. It's better than the latest films he has produced here for the US market, including Broken Arrow etc.."
A super action-packed film with a cool storyline.
raymundo66 | 09/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wrote a review for the subtitled version of the movie but it was misplaced under the dubbed version. Check it out. Another thing I'd like to add, however, is that this movie, unlike many other old KF pictures, has really good picture quality--the colors are rendered so beautifully--not faded like in many of the older films. And why would you buy dubbed when you could buy subtitled?? Tsk tsk."
Flawless John Woo Film
MMAfan | USA | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the director of Hard Boiled and The Killer comes this dazzling, brilliant, flawless Kung Fu flick called "Last Hurrah For Chivalry". The one thing that stands out from everything else is the acting and the fighting. Damian Lau and Wei pai take not only the sword fights to another level but also a brilliant team of acting. I loved how they combined the sword fights with hand to hand combat, the transitions between the two were awesome!. I was amazed with every minute of this film. If you dont have this yet, get it right now! Dragon Dynasty is one of the best places to get your martial arts films, classics and modern kung fu flicks. Don't miss this one!
Special Features include: Pray For Death-Interview with Fung Hak-On Deliver Us From Evil-Interview with Lee Hoi-Son Legendary Weapons of China Featurette Commentary by Bey Logan Trailer Gallery"
One of the most classic Kung-Fu films
TrezKu13 | Norfolk, VA | 11/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Last Hurrah for Chivalry" has a large amount of perhaps one of the most lacking concepts in your average Kung-Fu title: character development. The two main characters, Cheung and Green Shirt, have their own personality, their own issues, and their own life story. When they begin to fight the bad guys you know what mettle of men they are and feel for their quests. You can also feel the partnership between them.When I first saw this film I was expecting casual Kung-Fu fair along the lines of the "Wu Tang" titles, but I was pleasantly surprised. The action is well choreographed and almost realistic (with some stylized exceptions), and most of the fighting is sword-play, not chop suey. Sword fighting fanatics take heed!The subtitles for this really helped, too, in clearing up some points that I didn't understand in the English dub. Ever wondered what was written on Prey's fan? Now you do. You also hear the lyrics of the main theme, and it makes all the more sense when you know what the singer is saying. Besides, a film as grand as this really doesn't deserve being dubbed."