On a continent which reveres its martial arts, the director’s nickname is “Kung-fu Liang” – holder of a filmography unprecedented in its innovation of theme, ingeniousness of plot, and imagination of its astonishingly designed kung-fu. This production is clearly the culmination of his initial Shaw Brothers work – the film which he used as a showcase for his and his brothers’ – Chia-yung and Gordon Lui – skills. In the premiere, groundbreaking book on the genre, Martial Arts Movies, author Ric Meyers called it “the quintessential martial arts movie” and perhaps the greatest kung-fu movie ever made. Showing prescience customary with this visionary, the plot revolved around early 20th century pugilists vainly attempting to find a kung-fu which could defeat the bullet … years before the same theme would be used in Once Upon A Time In China. It also features the rarely dramatized magician-spies of China, who would ultimately inspire the Japanese ninja. But most importantly, it is a beautifully made action comedy featuring international fan favorite Alexander Fu Sheng and supremely brilliant kung-fu.
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