Nuthin’ like some classic Austraaalian Koong Foo! Sort of. I’m an Aussie so I’m allowed to make fun of our accents!
Seriously though, this movie is an Australian / Hong Kong team up between Golden Harvest and The Movie Company (inventive name!) in which Hong Kong star Jimmy Wang Yu comes to Australia and fights crime – Hong Kong Kung Fu movie style!
The movie starts out with a chase – an Aussie copper and undercover detective chases Win Chan, a Chinese Smuggler played by Hong Kong movie legend Sammo Hung, up Ayers Rock – you know, were all good police chases take place!
He is caught and questioned, yet he doesn’t speak English and the officers don’t speak Mandarin (or Cantonese? not sure which language he is using). Naturally they need someone who can do the job, so they ask Inspector Fan Sing-Ling from Hong Kong to come on over and question him – coincidentally, right after an Australian woman landed her hang-glider in his Hong Kong Police training facility.
He heads to Sydney to question Win Chan, and also plans to meet the Hang Gliding woman whilst there. During this time he gets into a handful of fights, messes up the place and does his best to bring down the gang headed by Jack Wilton, played by Aussie actor and former Jame Bond, George Lazenby.
Chinese Action comes to Australia?
Very much so! This film was quite impressive compared to a lot of Aussie action films – especially considering the martial arts theme of the movie.
Wang Yu does a good job playing Fan Sing-Ling, and sells his cultural differences quite well (although some credit goes to his voice actor, who dubbed his English lines). On the other hand, George Lazenby makes for a good bad guy – much better than he does James Bond anyway! The two get off to a nice rivalry pretty early, meeting at a party and hiding no distrust between them.
This sets up the two quite well, and the movie kicks off with a nice pace as Wang Yu seems to just head about doing his thing with absolute confidence, trashing every room or area he sets foot into – I’m surprised at the end of the film when Sydney is still standing after the Inspector’s visit!
Unfortunately the same can’t be said for what went on behind the scenes. Although this has little to do the how watchable the film is, there were major trust issues between the Chinese and the Aussies in this film which made it troublesome to shoot. Arrogant and full of attitude, Jimmy Wang Yu would he even put flies in his mouth before kissing scenes with actress Rebecca Gilling to stir her up a bit.
But behind the scenes didn’t seem to affect the film, which wasn’t what the filmmakers expected but was successful before release after selling the rights internationally – making a profit before a single ticket was sold!
This is the first “Australian Martial Arts Film”, if you could call it that. It’s an Aussie film but the Martial arts aspect his heavily Hong Kong – but the flow and characters of the film are very Australian.
The action is packed – many fights are spread throughout the film and Wang Yu ‘s fight scenes are fantastic to watch – afterall, he was a big star in Hong Kong. I was also impressed with George Lazenby, as he used those skills he was taught by Bruce Lee before he died to sell a decent onscreen performance.
Poor George was lit on fire for stunt in this film and the flames simply refused to go out – luckily his suffering didn’t go to waste and the shot was used in the final film 🙂
The fights are shot reasonably well and seem to go on for a little bit of time. As far as any martial arts film goes, this one is packed with action. Gone are the overdone swings and far out movements of the older days of kung fu films, and more realistic strikes (in comparison) are shown. Of course – no wires!
Overall it’s packed with some entertaining fights, Jimmy’s character cops a bit of beating also as opposed to just being an unstoppable fighter. This is defintiely a film for any martial arts movie fan – especially if you’re an Aussie.
A bit of Australia mixed up with Kung Fu action works out pretty well, I recommend it to anyone looking for some cool 70’s kung fu action!