The Dragon, The Hero 1979 Review: Lots of entertaining fights and training sequences

John Liu, the legendary Northern Kick expert and master of the strike rock fist is sent to investigate an antiques smuggling gang working out of Canton. Meanwhile another descendant of the stike rock fist also seeks John to face him in a death duel.

The Dragon, The Hero (Tao Gia Cao Thu) stars superkicker John Liu as a government agent who goes undercover to thwart an antiques smuggling ring. He’s also a master of something called the “strike rock fist”. Which proves a bone of contention when he finds himself obliged to team up with Tino Wong. The villains are led by wheelchair-bound Peter Chen Lau, whose strange malady is only partially explained halfway through the movie; his henchmen include the rancorous Phillip Ko (with whom Liu and Wong square off in the film’s climax) and. In a pointless but mildly amusing cameo, Bolo Yeung.

Lots of entertaining fights and training sequences, along with some nice outdoor photography. The entire cast performs well. Even cornball Bruce Lee imitator Dragon Lee in a relatively minor role as Tino Wong’s buddy. As other reviewers have noted, this is Godfrey Ho’s best film by a mile; though he receives sole director’s credit. I’d venture to guess that he had some assistance, given the superior choreography and Taiwanese shooting locations. The print featured on the Crash Cinema DVD has burned-on English subtitles which are difficult to read. But it’s a clear, strong widescreen print that allows you to see all the action.

Author: Duong VR

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