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The Grandmaster of Kung Fu

Textual content © Richard
Gary / Indie Horror Movies, 2023
Pictures from
the Web, until indicated

Grandmaster of Kung Fu
(aka The Grandmaster of Kungfu)
Directed by Cheng Si-Yu

Zhonglele Photos; Nicely
Go USA Leisure; Hello-YAH!
75 minutes, 2019 / 2023
@WellGoUSA; #TheGrandmasterOfKungFu

Most of the Chinese language kung
fu/martial arts movies of late that date again to a dynasty interval, even a later
one, are usually stylized to the purpose of artwork, akin to Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon
(2000). It is a pure development of the previous Shaw Bros
movies of the Nineteen Seventies-‘80s, however you might marvel no matter occurred to the down and
soiled combating of these good previous days?

In Mandarin and
Japanese (with English subtitles) comes this little ditty that’s comparatively
new to the canon, however has that previous time really feel, with out being VHS blurry photographs that
all of us needed to get used to once we rented them from the native video retailer. The
interval during which this takes place is the tip of the Qing Dynasty, which was primarily
throughout World Conflict II, when Japan invaded China and decimated lots of the individuals
and cultural icons. It’s also the main focus of the story, as Japan tries to take
over Tianjin, a metropolis devoted to the martial arts. If the town is worn out, there
are much less warriors combating for his or her dwelling turf.

When Japan invaded
China in 1931, it lasted till the autumn of the Japanese Empire in 1945. Japan’s
brutal reign over China was short-lived, however was changed by so-called
Communist China in 1949, and was modernized underneath a special brutal regime. This
can also be the time interval of Ip Man (2008, additionally launched by Nicely Go USA
Leisure). However sufficient with the contextual historical past lesson.

The protagonist of
this story is Huo Yuanjia (former World Wushu Champion Du Yuhang (aka Dennis To).
He’s a lowly porter (with a big home, for some cause) with a spouse (Mei Xue)
and younger baby. After all, he’s a grasp at a selected kung fu, which isn’t
acknowledged by the official wushu (an umbrella title for a type of kung fu; the
different being kuoshu) affiliation of Tianjin, and its new president, Zhao. His changing into
the pinnacle of the group is the opening sequence of trial by fist and ft. Nonetheless,
Huo manages to get a single disciple, Chen Zhen.

In comes the Japanese,
led by set off completely happy Commander Yoshida Masaichi and his Aikido sword wielding superior
Colonel Takeda Kamesaburo, who takes over the affiliation’s constructing to open a
forbidden Japanese martial arts faculty. After all, simply minutes in, it’s simple
to inform that sooner or later it will likely be a battle between Yuanjia and both Masaichi
or Kamesaburo in a match of Chinese language kung fu vs. Japanese budō. Following the
narration of practically all these sorts of movies It is a Chinese language martial arts customary,
and rightfully so.

Du Yuhang may be very
likeable, and his type is paying homage to Donnie Yen (Ip Man). It ought to
come as no shock that he performed the Ip Man character a yr later within the
prequel, The Legend is Born: Ip Man (2010). So far as the opposite actors,
apparently, the Japanese are performed by Chinese language actors, and the Japanese
language is dubbed in. The movie additionally stars Gao Xuemei, Yang Yongfeng, Li Ruoxi
and Zhuang Han, however I have no idea who performed which function.

The movie depends on a
few cliches, such because the championship match, Japan’s overreach and malevolence,
the ultimate battle, and the one-against-many opponents (together with Ninjas!).
Due to this there are some formulaic narratives, however hell, we watch this
stuff for the, nicely, Hello-YAH! high quality. On this case, the motion is each
well-choreographed and shot/edited. There’s a bunch of wirework, as is par for
the course, however no ridiculous flying via the air or leaping from one roof
to a different. Whereas apparent, it’s completed solely inside fights and never over-emphasized
(e.g., no leaping from the bottom to the highest of a constructing).

My one grievance is
that typically the subtitles roll by too quick for my aged eyes. However what the
hell, it’s the motion sequences which can be the spine of any martial arts
movie, and this positively delivers.

That is director Cheng
Si-Yu’s first movie and has since made the likes of Land Shark (2020). I’m
hoping he goes on to do against the law drama, or one other martial arts launch set within the
Feudal interval. In the meantime, there may be this gem.

A Hello-YAH!
unique, the movie is offered on the Hello-YAH! martial arts streaming service (hyperlink
above), as nicely on Blu-ray and DVD.

IMBD itemizing HERE


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