Shing Lung is our main man in this movie, played by Chan. Shing Lung lives with his grandfather Chen Peng-fei (played by James Tien) practicing his secret form of Kung Fu. Shing Lung isn’t really that interested in Kung Fu however, but he does use it on the street to defend himself when he gets himself into mischief.
Of course Chen Peng fei isn’t too impressed as he must keep his style secret. Sick of Shing’s antics he send him out to get a job and pull his weight. After a brief stint at a crooked coffin shop, he finds a job through some guys he beat up earlier in the film. The idea being that he will fight any challengers to the master of a martial arts school, to sell the effectiveness of their style – yet the school has little to no real martial arts to teach!
Posing as an amatuer Shing Lung fights off challengers and eventually renames the school, which attracts the attention of a dangerous man named Yen Ting Hua.
Yen Ting Hua eventually puts the pieces together and tracks down Shing Lung’s grandfather, who he’s been after for sometime, and kills him. We learn that Shign Lung’s grandfather was looking for a man named Unicorn, who is also a target of Yen Ting Hua.
Unicorn happens ot show up and stop Shing Lung from fighting Yen Ting Hua, saving his life. Shing Lung then trains his ass off in order to confront Yen Ting Hua and get revenge for his grandfather’s death.
Old Skool Jackie Chan!
Jackie’s earlier sucesses were pretty unique! They revolved around the typical Kung Fu setup – begin defeated before training a new style of technique to come back and defeat their opponent. The added twist is the comedic element Jackie brings to his characters.
Shing Lung ends up pretending to be hopeless at fighting and dresses in a number of different and ridiculous costumes, bringing some weird wonderful personalities to match. He even dresses up as a woman at one stage!
But things do become more serious as he tries to defeat Yen Ting Hua. This whole formula is easy to follow and makes for a relatively funny movie with some cool Kung Fu & stuntwork. it reminds me a lot of Drunken Master from 1978 (only one year before this film).
The Action & Martial Arts
The action is standard but has the unique twist of Jackie’s physical comedy mixed into it.
The same impressive movements and acrobatic ability that Jackie usually displays can be found here, with the fights being performed relatively well – all with that classic 70’s kung fu style. Jackie stays fliud and constantly moving with precision, which is something I’ve always liked about his movies.
The title ‘Fearless Hyena’ seems to refer to the style Shing Lung is taught to use at the end of the film (another similarity to Drunken Master), he jumps around making crazy animal noises, confounding his opponent before finally getting more aggressive.
The action is more comedy then adrenaline pumping, and makes for a good light hearted watch.
A classic of Jackie Chan’s, but it is definitely dated and would be appreciated mainly by fans of 70’s kung fu movies. Newer martial arts movie fans may not like it, but give it a shot anyway!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
The Fearless Hyena
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Fearless Hyena [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Jackie Chan ~ The Dynamic Collection (15 Disc Box Set) (PAL) (REGION 4)