Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Movie Review: Eagle Shadow Fist

Another "not quite a" Jackie Chan film. In this one, Jackie plays the young sidekick during the Japanese occupation of China in World War II. He manages to stick around almost to the end of the film before the Heroic Sidekick Death scene, but here he mainly gets to show how well he can take a punch and spit up fake blood.

Oh, and the hero tells him not to cry when he leaves his family to join the resistance. So yeah...not his best role, and basically one that doesn't show anything of his future direction.

Otherwise, we get a fairly standard and fairly boring "evil Japs" movie, where all of the Japanese characters are sadistic, (raping the women, extorting money from the old men, and in one amazing scene at the end, tossing children onto rocks to kill them!), and the Chinese characters are split fairly evenly among collaborators and oppressed. Only a small acting group (including Jackie and the hero) seem to have any desire to even try to stand up to the Japanese.

The fight scenes are of the short but cheesily-brutal variety, and many of them are just not well done. I haven't watched a whole lot of low-budget martial arts films, but this one had the most obviously pulled punches of any I've seen. And of course, a few hours after being run through the heel by a sword, the hero is taking on six opponents at once, with no signs of his earlier wounds.

There's not really much to recommend here at all. For completists only. One star.

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