The VictimToday? Another Sammo Hung Kung Fu Comedy called The Victim or Lightning Kung Fu!

Sammo Hung plays Fatty Chan Wing, who seems to be on the road searching for fights.  Why?  Because he promised his dead relatives that he would find someone who could defeat him in a fight and then become their student.  So after winning a few fights quite easily, he starts to think there is no one in the world who can beat him, until he sees some fancy physical work by a man named Chun Yau played by Bryan Leung.

Chun Yua is powerful martial artist who is challenged by Fatty Chan Wing, whom he defeats rather easily.    So in a very annoying fashion Fatty (lovely name), asks him to be his master and refuses to take no for an answer!

Fatty follows Chun Yau and meets his wife, constantly trying to persuade Chun Yau to take him on as his student.  But before long Chun Yau’s past catches up with him.  After massive family troubles from his older brotherafter he tried to sleep with Chun Yau’s wife on their wedding night.   Chan Yau is treated like less than a brother since he as brought into the family as an orphan.

Chun Yau is forced to return home when his father dies and thus his older brother, Chang Yi, has his men attack him.  His wife, Yu Ti, eventually gives herself to Chang Yi to protect Chun Yau from further harm, and commits suicide shortly after.  It is then that some twists and turns present themselves and your typical Kung fu revenge story unfolds.

 A few twists? (spoilers)

So at the very beginning of the movie we hear a conversation between tow men, as one is hired to kill Chun Yau.  But it’s not until after Yu Ti kills herself that this conversation seems to be followed up on.

Bryan Leung

We learn that Sammo Hung’s character is the one hired to kill Chun Yau, under instruction from Chang Yi.  After delviering Chang Yi’s body, we learn that it’s all a deception and Chun Yau fights his brother for revenge.  Chang Yi kills Fatty, yet at the very end of the film Fatty seems to survive.

It’s all a lot of deceptive little plans being put into place and it keeps the movie just a little bit fresh as you don’t really know what to expect.

In terms of the originality of the story it’s pretty standard.  I didn’t foresee Yu Ti killing herself, and it definitely seemed to me that she would be rescued before then.  For an old Kung fu movie the story seems to be not quite as predictable as most, but it’s still pretty straight forward.   I’d have to say thought that the strength of this film is the choreography.

The Martial Arts

As with most of the movies I review from the late 70’s / early 80’s – the fight scenes are very much with the time.  Even stop-go-stop-go rhythm with some impressive movements thrown into the mix.

Sammo Hung vs the Abbot

But toward the end of the film everything is revved up to another level!

Bryan Leung fights his character’s brother played by Jo Wing, in a furiously paced match which is pretty damned impressive.

The length of the fight and the shots showing incredibly long and complicated exchanges between each fighter showcase a level of athleticism I challenge any onscreen martial artist of today to match.  The two men do a little back and forth and even exchange similar blows.  All the while they keep an inhumane level ferocity right up until the final strike – it’s really well done!

This final scene is what made the movie for me and I think it stands as one of the more progressive movies of the time that helped pioneer some of the faster fight scenes of some of the movies that have been made since.  Well worth the watch!

On DVD –

Region Free (PLays in All Countries)
The Victim (Region Free DVD)

More info on Movie Regions here.

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