Great cast, great waste of time.
Mantis Lake | Detroit, MI USA | 01/01/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Disappointing, to say the least. A wonderful cast that includes Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng, all 6 Venoms, and a bunch more Shaw Brothers' performers that you aficionados will recognize. Then why is it not very good? The characters are annoying (especially Fu Sheng), the fights are slow (though plentiful, and they do eventually get better), and it really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. After it was over, I was like, "huh?" They introduce character after character, and then get into fight after fight, and keeping up with it becomes rather arduous.
It is interesting that most of the Venoms play against type, at least at first. Lu Feng, Wei Pai, and Sun Chien become friends with Ti Lung. Then Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, and Lo Meng are all dished some red herring and try to harass the good guys. There is also a group of young men that frequent the pawn shop that Ti Lung owns, who have a big fight at the end. No, our heroes don't fight during the film's climax, these kids do.
The version I have is distributed by Bonzai Media and is beautifully restored and remastered. Yet still no one has touched "Kid With the Golden Arm"! I should probably give this another shot, but it bothers me that I feel that I should. I can't recommend the movie as a whole. However, near the end, there are some particularly good fights. Maybe if you tried turning down the sound and synchronizing music to scenes and dialogue a la "Wizard of Oz/Pink Floyd", that could be worth an extra star. 2 or 3 if it works.