Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 01/13/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
""The Young Avenger" is a surprisingly interesting kung-fu movie. In many ways, the movie is sterotypical of kung-fu films from the mid-to-late seventies that pop up now and then as a late night movie on local TV. The actors all sport long, 1970's Beatles haircuts. With even the slightest motion or lightest strike, a sound effect blares from the soundtrack. The English dubbing is hilariously bad. And the plot of revenge is nothing new. As an added agony, the film was shot in widescreen, but the DVD is full screen without even bothering to pan and scan. As a result, there are ocassional moments when two characters are talking, and you may only see their noses poking out from the edges of your screen! Still, I have to say that this was a fun movie to watch. Wong is a slacker who works for a mortuary, but gambles all of his money away. To help get by, he robs graves in his spare time. One night, a ghost appears. The ghost was formerly a security guard, and was eliminated so the other guards could steal the loot they were transporting. The ghost scares young Wong into carrying out revenge on those who killed him. Wong learns better kung-fu from his ghostly master, and goes to take on the bad guys one at a time.There is a surprising amount of broad comedy, but it doesn't get in the way of the drama or action. There is a great comedy scene during the showing of a blue film, with a funny narrator describing the action happening in the theatre. Nothing graphic, but a good laugh nevertheless.The fighting is very stylized. First, one man will grab his opponent's wrist. The opponent blocks. Antother wrist grab, a counter-grab. A strike. A block. A grab. A counter-grab, and so on. This goes on forever, until one finally gets in a good kick or strike to force the opponent out of arm's reach. Then he comes back, and it starts all over again. The technique is both tedious and exciting, but it seems to work. The best part is when young Wong faces weapons. There's a great combat sequence where Wong fights a swordsman using bricks. The climax involves a long fight with the head bad guy, and both he and Wong use weapons. The swords (though obviously dull stage props), are used to maximum effort. Many moments are breathtaking, both in spite of and because of the overall fighting style mentioned above. With the rapid-fire, close-quarters swordplay, you really get the sense that the actors could have gotten hurt, even with stage weapons. While not the greatest kung-fu film in history, every kung-fu fan should still see this one at least once!"
A decent effort from director Wilson Tong
morgoth | omaha, NE | 05/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Wong Yue stars as a young man who meets a ghost and is forced to kill the ghost's enemies. The story develops into a little more than that, but it's all pretty boring. The only reason to watch this movie is to see the fights at the end with Wilson Tong and Norman Chu. I thought Wong Yue vs Norman Chu was the best, and the end with Wong Yue vs Wilson Tong is a bit disappointing. Still a good fight, it just felt like it could have been a lot better. The comedy is not too bad, but the movie is really really boring. There's 4 or 5 quality fights, but nothing else worth watching.
Picture quality on the Tai Seng DVD is decent. English dubbed and full screen, just like all the other "Martial Arts Theater" releases.
And one more thing. Some bad news unfortunately. I recently found out that Wong Yue died a few days ago at the age of 53. I am very sad to hear about this, as Wong Yue has been in countless movies that I enjoy. He will be greatly missed."