The Killer In White (HK 1980)

Rating: **
Alternate Title: Shadow Ninja
Review Date: 3/27/10
Cast: Roy Chiao, Wei Tung

A terrible action comedy that's redeemed by some incredible fight scenes. Roy Chiao is a veteran police officer who is reluctantly teamed up with a young rookie officer (Wei Tung). Tung is an expert fighter, but he's hot tempered, impulsive, and naïve, which tends to get him into trouble. When Chiao's wife loses a bunch of money at the local casino, Tung gets revenge and then becomes a target for the town villain. At this point, the goofy comedy abruptly ends and the film becomes a dramatic tragedy as Chiao and Tung fight for their lives. The comedy is intolerable, but the action scenes are superb. Wei Tung is an extremely quick, agile, and graceful fighter, and he's poetry in motion. The choreography is very tight and complex, and all of the stunt players are excellent. The last thirty minutes are a tour de force for Tung, and feature some of the best ground based kung fu I've seen in a long time. If only the rest of the movie weren't such a chore to sit through... On a side note, the soundtrack features bits of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," which is bizarre and sounds really out of place.