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"I gotta agree with everyone. This movie is really good, and the fights are fantastic(ranking right along side Fist of Legend for pure brutality). The fighters perform their moves fast and realistic, like they're really trying to hit each other. It's not like other movies where it seems they are being too flashy showing off moves rather than actually fighting. You'll need the slo-mo feature on your dvd to capture all the cool choreography in this one. Also, i don't think people are stressing this enough; besides Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, and Lam Ching Ying, there is another great reason to see this...the incredible Frankie Chan! He makes a great and formidable villain(although he's not quite the bad guy that one would expect...he has respect for his opponents, which makes him a very cool antagonist in the film). ANY kung fu film worth its salt has a formidable villain(otherwise, how would the hero be able to show off his skills?). Also, if you're price conscious(as in cheap) and think all of us who are giving rave reviews are exaggerating, there is a new version that costs less than $10! For that price, surely you can't pass up a chance to see what may become your next favorite kung fu film can you? Highly recommended!"
One of the BEST!
BJ | california | 06/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No frills, no wires,no fancy film editing,just some of the flat out best hand to hand martial arts that you'll ever witness period.I just viewed this movie afer reading all the various reviews saying that this movie was so good even for being produced in 81' and was it ever.I must admit that I was a little sceptic myself,but after seeing it all doubt in my mind has been erased and then some.Never before or never again will such a movie be produced,so much work must have been put into the cheoreography that it would take an encyclopedia to remember all the various moves presented throughout the fight scenes(they get that intricate) this is definitley Sammo Hungs' absoulute best directorial edtion and can not be touched,while I must admit that I have already fallen too deep into the Jet Li "wire-fu" era(I've seen them all) to call this one of my favorite movies,it still brings me to owe more respect to this movie than just about all others production wise.For the time it was created this movie can definitley hang with the big boys of the 90s',do not write this one off as another "old school movie" and not get it,it must be in every serious Kung-fu collection out there.If you enjoyed Drunken Master 2,or Fist of Legend this one will amaze you as well with on the ground Kung-fu straight Wing Chun style that is as fast and furious as those two flicks(and made in 81',wow!)As for video transfer it was equally amazing,with the VHS transfer as good as I expected the DVD to be,and the DVD transfer beyond my imagination.This is also probably the only kung-fu movie that I ever learned anything from with some great training sequences.A classic forever and ever more,buy it today!"
About 2/3 of one of the best kung fu films ever made
blankpage | Los Angeles, CA USA | 09/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prodigal Son is about two-thirds of one of the best kung fu movies ever made. From the film's opening up through the arson and slaughter at the traveling Chinese opera troupe encampment (sorry about that spoiler), the story (about a spoiled kung fu wannabe and his very reluctant teacher) is involving and the action is crisp. The martial arts choreography, which accurately depicts the effective Wing Chun style of kung fu, sets a new standard for the genre. However, when director Sammo Hung makes his entrance as historical kung fu figure Wong Wah Bo in mid-film, the movie veers sharply and awkwardly into comedy and then falls flat. Prodigal Son bounces back a bit in the final reel for the obligatory showdown but with the marvelous actor Lam Ching-Ying having already taken an earlier exit, the film doesn't fully recover. However, Lam's performance as the historical Wing Chun master Leung Yee Tai and his spot-on fight scenes are just enough to earn Prodigal Son a five star recommendation.
Note: I strongly recommend watching this and any other Chinese films in the original Cantonese soundtrack (with English subtitles). English language dubbing is distracting and greatly detracts from the experience of viewing a good foreign film like this one."
An excellent Wing Chun, Gung-Fu movie
blankpage | 03/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have had this video for almost fourteen years and I have worn it out, that's why I just ordered a new copy of it. It has some(if not the most) realistic fight scenes I have ever seen. The skills of the Martial art actors, the Choreography, the fight scenes, level of skills, movement, techniques, and the use of internal power are all some of the best I've ever seen. I have over eighty-five Gung-Fu movies including most of the best ones ever made and this one ranks right up there with the best of them. Some of the movies I have include "Mad Monkey Gung-Fu, The Victim, The Eight Diagram Pole, Warriors Two, The Magnificent Butcher, Shaolin Vs. WuDang, Fearless Hyena, Drunken Master, Shaolin Vs. Lama, Etc". Hopefully this will give you an idea of what movies I am ranking "Prodigal Son" With. I have been seriously into REAL Shaolin Gung-Fu, Wu-Su for fifteen years and this is a serious, very well done Gung-Fu movie."
Another Sammo masterpiece!
blankpage | 10/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many people call this the greatest Wing Chun film ever made. It certainly is, but it's also one of the best kung-fu films ever. Sammo ranks as my all time second favourite film star (after Chan the Man) and this film gives evidence why. A strong plot is fleshed out by good characterisation and exceptional performances. However, it's in the action that this film really excels. Featuring the all time classic finale between the superb Yuen Biao and the underrated Frankie Chan, this is a real crowd pleaser."