A Bloody Fight (HK 1988)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/31/18
Director: Wilson Tong
Cast: Norman Chu (Tsui Siu Keung), Gordon Liu (Liu Chia Hui), Lau Kar Leung (Liu Chia Liang), cameo by Fung Hark On

Kang (Norman Chu) and Fai (Gordon Liu) grew up together as best friends and trained to be boxers. They drifted apart as adults and Kang became an assassin while Fai became a cop. Naturally, their paths cross again when Fai is assigned to a case that involves Kang, which turns both of their lives into a mess. Kang desperately tries to go straight, but there's no escape once you're a member of a crime syndicate. Eventually, Kang and Fai settle their differences and team up to get revenge for their shattered lives.

It's a typical Hong Kong action film in every regard, and the plot is so predictable that you don't even need to pay attention to the subtitles. Norman Chu does a good job as an emotionally conflicted killer and gets to flex his acting muscles a bit. Gordon Liu isn't overly convincing as a hot-headed cop, but it's wonderful to watch him in action. Not surprisingly, Lau Kar Leung steals the show as Kang's mentor, and his baseball bat fight in the warehouse is jaw-dropping. He's an incredibly skilled fighter who never fails to impress. The fight choreography and cinematography are excellent, and Leung really puts his stunt team through their paces. Unfortunately, apart from a handful of nicely executed fight scenes, the film is rather tedious and uninteresting. It tries to spruce things up with gratuitous sex and nudity, which comes across as jarringly out of place and derails the story. The production values are decent, although it was obviously shot on a tight budget. It also borrows music from a number of other films, and features an amusing Chinese version of Europe's "The Final Countdown."