Plot: A group of chums on a diving trip encounter some bars of gold on the sea bed near an island. These transpire to be from Vietnam (you can tell because it says 'Vietnam' on them in English). The chums, possibly influenced by the movie 'A simple plan' (despite it not being written for another 25 years) decide to wait and see if pirates come back for it; and if not they will spend it. Of course, the greediest of the group simply returns later and blags it all for himself, and his chums find themselves to be hunted men once the real gangsters realise the gold has gone.
There are some great plot curveballs: at one point you think a traditional Kung Fu film has been spliced in, but just as you start cursing the distributor it turns out to be a working movie set. And one of the fights appears to be a random mugging with no plot impact!
Dialogue: Superb, with many sit-down scenes where the cast provide a Q & A for anyone who missed something (such as family members who have ambled in and decided to watch the film with you). Favourite part: the TV news announcement at the start reveals that the pirates have been smuggling gold using the codename 'auntie' to refer to the gold. Despite the fact that the code has been rumbled on the national news, we see various shady phone calls take place with 'Where's auntie'? being the main question. Very secret squirrel!
Fights: Furious, nasty and 'everything including the kitchen sink': as well as some well-executed combos and weapons work there are desparate scraps where each and every blunt object to hand is used. Bruce concentrates on kicks; some good pressing kicks to block followed by a swift turning kick/reverse turning kick combo is a typical combo. At points the fights look quite traditional ('courtesy kung fu') but a good pace is kept throughout. The other members of the gang rely on as many dirty tricks as they can muster against the barrage of lead pipes, machetes' butterfly knives etc.. And there's a cracking ruck with Philip Ko at the end, featuring an extremely nasty downward kick!
Overall: 3.5 out of 5, the plot never drags for too long and the high-energy, brutal street fights make up for some weak 'suspense' at points. Well worth the effort, just don't expect it to raise your spirits - very downbeat!