Eighteen Bronzemen (HK 1976)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/12/00
Written And Directed By: Joseph Kuo
Cast: Tien Peng, Carter Wong, Polly Shang Kwan

A young boy is sent to Shaolin Temple to hide from the evil Chings who murdered his family. He grows up to be Tien Peng, and spends the next twenty years learning Shaolin kung fu. When his grandmother finally sends for him, he decides to take the challenge of the eighteen bronzemen in order to leave the temple. He and Carter Wong spend the first forty-five minutes of the film training to beat the bronzemen, and they both finally succeed. Once they make it to the outside world, Tien learns the truth about his parents and his lineage - he must take revenge for his father's murder! While searching for the killer, he and Carter run into cute and spunky Polly Shang Kwan (disguised as a man, of course) and she tags along with their quest. Even though she's given star billing, she doesn't show up until an hour into the film and doesn't have much to do. Tien soon discovers that she's a woman, and it's revealed that she is actually his future wife. Finally, the three of them face the evil Ching leader and manage to defeat him in a choppy and confusing kung fu battle.

An enjoyable kung fu romp, if for nothing else just to see the silly bronzemen sequences. The kung fu is good, and it's always fun seeing Ms. Kwan in action. Unfortunately, it's a pan-and-scan disaster and the continuity is pretty poor. (and why is Tien Peng the only monk in Shaolin Temple who doesn't have to shave his head?) Also, Chang Yi's name showed up in the credits, but I never saw his face in the film. Hmmm...