A good new wave movie if i ever saw one! This is a shaw brothers outing from 1997, way after the studio had been shut down and it really does make you ask the question why did the studio die out all them years ago.
A solid cast steer the way fro what is a pretty solid action flick. Takeshi Kaneshiro plays Ma Wing Jing, a poor youngster who has just moved to Shanghai from Shangtung with his brother, hoping to become rich and happy within the city. When Wing meets up with top British backed mobster Tam See, played exceedingly well by actor Yuen Biao, Wing quickly climbs the ladder of the triad world, mainly thanks to his increadible kung fu skills.
Things start to heat up when rival police backed triad Yang Shuang (Yuen Tak), tries to take back the turf which was stole from him. Throw in Valerie Chow as the deadly femme fatal Yam Yueng and things really begin to boil.
When Both Tam and Wing are set up and nearly killed they have to take back Shanghai once and for all from the grip of Yang.
This movie definately prospers from a strong script. And some solid action by director Corey Yuen. The early 1930's settings go down a treat, seeing that triads dressed in traditional American gangster gear of the era and locations full of arty deccor. The film itself is somewhat of a remake of Chang Cheh's 1972 classic Boxer from Shangtung. The films main highlights come form Yuen Biao who as ever is on top fighting form and really pulls out the punchs, his alley way brawl against a gang of killer axe men is tighly put together and fun scene and the movies finale with its mix of gun action and acrobatic fighting is a scenes that offers some cool thrills for new wave and genral movie junkies alike. The violence is pretty intense at time with lots and lots of blood sprays and nasty weapon wounds.
Definately a top movie and this is coming from someone who isn't the biggest new wave fan. The elements of Heroic bloodshed wash up nicely with this solid title.
4 out of 5