Return of the Chinese Boxer
Tony Williams | Carbondale, Il United States | 06/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film naturally appeared when its leading star was beginning to pass his prime. As the star of ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN, GOLDEN SWALLOW,RETURN OF THE ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN, THE CHINESE BOXER, and ONE ARMED BOXER, Wang Yu actually revolutionized the martial arts genre along with the Shaw Brothers film of Chang Che. But after leaving Shaw Brothers to branch off on his own as actor-director, his career gradually began to slide until his work appeared formulaic. RETURN OF THE CHINESE BOXER reprises one of his major hits as actor-director. But, as one reviewer notes, it is episodic. Apart from the opening credits showing him in training (a common feature of these 70s films), Wang Yu does not appear until 20 minutes into the film. Obviously much of his energies went into directing the various martial arts scenes with Japanese actors. However, despite the developing puffiness of his face and a music score which borrows parts of Morricone's score from THE EXORCIST 2, this film is not without its pleasures. Wang Yu again uses the Thai boxer duo from ONE ARMED BOXER and brings in new elements such as the zombie martial artists who form a major challenge to the hero. Also, Wang Yu uses his own version of the mirror sequence from THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI when the villain enters a warehouse to find an array of dummies all resembling Wang Yu and challenging his perception. Although far from being his best work, RETURN OF THE CHINESE BOXER is much better than later films such as THE DRAGON SQUAD. Although the star has seen better days, his charisma and martial arts prowess still makes the film fascinating despite its narrative discontinuities."
A confusing patchwork!
Tony Williams | 05/07/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A very confusing movie, which seems to have been hastily patched together. At times, it seems that the editors assembled footage from different films, with little attempts at continuity.The fight scenes are largely drab and unexciting, there's no character development to talk about. There is a plot, but given the muddled nature of the film, it's near impossible to follow - nor does it seem worth following.On a positive note, the transfer is pretty good: video and audio are fine, accurately reproducing a low budget, low quality HK film from the 70's.Supposedly, the star of this film was the king of Kung Fu films before Bruce Lee came along. This film, then, shows what a vital service Bruce did for the genre."