Some 300 years ago, Fong Sau-Ching (played by Yuen Biao) is a royal guard at the palace. Fong also has a brother named Fung San (Wah Yuen) who has been practising martial arts for 25 years and is sick off living the hard life, so he’s taken it upon himself to do what he wants – torturing and raping women.
Fong Sau-Ching, being part of a family that has brought shame to the dynasty, has 20 days to capture/kill his brother. The two met and have a good old flashioned kung fu battle in a snowy mountainous area. The two take their battle over the edge of a cliff and end up being dieing in the snow and freezing.
300 years later, they are discovered. Preserved perfectly, they are accidentally reanimated (by electric shock) and return to their normal selves – only they’re in 1989 Hong Kong. The two adjust to life in the “future” until F0ng Sau discovers that his brother is alive in the future (past / present / whatever ) with him. He then sets out on his mission to stop his brother’s torturous activities and end his life, bringing him back to the past using the ‘Wheel of Buddha’.
A More Serious Role for Yuen Biao
I’m used to seeing Yuen Biao in heavily comedic movies, but this movie tends to focus more on the serious nature of the story with little comedy woven throughout – with the first joke being made by the scientists who uncover their bodies, one on top of the other proclaiming that ‘we have proven that homosexuality existed even back 300 years ago’.
There are a few other funny parts of the film, but it revolves more around Yuen Biao’s character as he becomes a slave (more or less) of a young woman named Polla (played by Maggie Cheung). She takes advantage of Sau Ching’s lack of knowledge in the modern world, and we see a somewhat internal struggle with Sau Ching, before deciding he is a man of prinicple and won’t be subject to these conditions. Coincidentally she gets mixed up with Fung San and the direction of the movie changes a little bit.
It’s a nice simple plot but doesn’t have any really deep themes to it that I could recognise. But instead is a good entertaining movie with a little bit of action. The adjustment that Sau Ching has to make for the 300 year difference is pretty interesting though.
The Action & Martial Arts
There is a bit of action but nowhere near as much as you see in Yuen Biao’s previous films. The story is sort of ‘sandwiched’ by the action – with the best being at the start and very end of the film.
The action is quality though, a little less slapstick and more serious, making it a pretty decent Kung Fu flick. Yuen’s performance is always pretty good but this definitely isn’t his best – but it’s still entertaining.
It’s good but not great. I recommend it to just about anyone but it’s not list topping material in my opinion.
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
The Iceman Cometh
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
The Iceman Cometh [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
The Iceman Cometh on DVD