Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CINEMA CORNER: Hapkido (Hong Kong, 1972)

Hapkido @ IMDB

Fun/Pointless kick-chop-punch-fest with (hold your breath ladies) a young Sammo Hung fighting in full-on-Bruce-Lee-shirtlessness (apparently there was a huge sector of HK females that love the chubsters).  As with pretty much any movie I've seen so far, Japanese men are always sinister sex-pests who laugh maniacally as they oppress China.  Plotwise, China and Korea are portrayed as natural allies against the pernicious foreign influence--although this mainly seems to be to justify the film's title--but the plot is mostly people knocking the crap out of each other because someone kicked the crap out of them earlier in the film.  (That is to say, a school led by a Japanese guy versus The Real Chinese, or something like that.)

I suppose this begs the question, "Why the title?" The answer might be, "You can only have the words kung fu in so many titles."

The action scenes are terrific, though (why the hell else would you watch it?) and I daresay Angela Mao Ying's fight scene wherein she takes on the Japanese school is by far the best sequence in the film--kicking ass so fast it's hard to believe that undercranking was not involved.

So if you want to see an Asian hottie beating the crap out of other Asians, this is your movie.

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