Young MasterThis is one of Jackie Chan’s earlier films (1980) after finding fame as the man for Kung Fu comedies – it’s called The Young Master.

The movie starts as Dragon (Jackie Chan) and his fellow Kung Fu students prepare for a Lion Dance competition.  Going up against their rival school, they’re all feeling very confident as Dragon’s older brother Tiger will be controlling the head.  But Tiger proclaims that he can’t due to injury, so Dragon is forced to control the head.

The competition begins and we see thatTiger is operating the head of the rival clan!

Dragon loses to his older brothers superior skill, and discovers that Tiger was being paid to dance for the rival school.  After a prostitute is discovered by their master, Tiger leaves the Kung Fu school in disgrace.

We then learn that Tiger and Dragon were orphans taken in by their master, but the as time comes for Dragon to leave he also confronts his master, saying thank you but also pointing out the abuse he’s put him and his fellow students through.

Dragon then goes out to find his brother and bring him back. Meanwhile his brother is out with a criminal group and before long Dragon is confused as his criminal brother and must continue his search while being chased by local policeman Sang Kung (Shih Kien – who played Han in Enter the Dragon) and his son played by Yuen Biao.

Jackie Chan

More of Jackie’s top notch comedy

While the movie starts and ends rather seriously, the body of the film is still comedic in classic Jackie Chan fashion.

After being caputered by Police we see Dragon being tricked into quicksand by Sang Kung, before Dragon gets out and turns the prank back on him!  He then returns to a house he visited earlier and asks to use their bath, before long we realize that Sang Kung  lives at the house and some coincidentally evasive activity takes place before their fight it out wrecking half of the house.

This humorous tone is kept as Sang Kung and his son do their best to transport Dragon, before learning that he is innocent.  It’s all very slapstickand Jackie Chan ‘ish’.  It’s pretty entertaining.   The real winner of this film though is the action.

Yuen Biao

The Action & Martial Arts

There’s plenty of furious fight scenes that show off a lot of Jackie’s physical prowess, but also some humor!

During the fight scene in the house we see Jackie fight Sang Kung’s daughter as she throws around her long dress in a way that visually confuses Dragon before delivering a well disguised kick. Dragon then makes use of a similar piece of fabric in a later fight scene, wearing it like a dress and confusing his opponents in similar fashion, all while holding a hilarious and effeminate smile.

The other fight scenes are really among some of Jackie’s best.  There’s a fantastic fight scene with Yuen Biao as they use a stool in a variety of ways to fight and subdue each other.  Combined with the tremendously acrobatic movements they’re both known for, its visually outstanding to watch, a real trademark fight scene in my opinion.

The end of the film shows a very serious and vicious fight scene between Jackie Chan and Hwang In-sik, a Hapkido specialist playing the movies head villian.  This fight scene goes for a good 15 minutes and was the longest recorded kung fu fight scene in history upon release (coincidentally it broke Hong Kong Box Office records at the time also).  We see some terrific Hapkido style movements and even little Wing Chun from Jackie during this epic fight scene!

This movie stands right in the forefront as one of the most impressively action packed Jackie Chan movies released, along with movies like Police Story and Legend of Drunken Master.  If you’re a fan of Chan, this is an absolute must for you!

On DVD –

Region 1 (US & Canada)
Young Master

Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
The Young Master [DVD]

Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
The Young Master

More info on Movie Regions here.

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