Lady Is The Boss (HK 1980)

Rating: * (**)
Review Date: 10/17/00
Director: Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung)
Cast: Wei Ying Hung, Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung), Liu Chia Hui (Gordon Liu), Wang Lung Wei

A painfully embarrassing outing from master Liu Chia Liang during his period of studio imposed comedies. Totally unwatchable, apart from the blistering kung fu showdown during the last twenty minutes of the film (hence the optional two star rating). Liu Chia Liang is the strict and stuffy head master of a kung fu school with only five students. The grand master of the school decides to come for a visit, and everyone is surprised when he sends his spunky daughter (Wei Ying Hung) in his place. She turns the school upside down and recruits a bunch of new students from a shady nightclub. (why you'd want to train an army of bitchy bar hostesses and flaming homosexuals is beyond me...) Eventually her shenanigans piss off the wrong people and she gets kidnapped by the evil Wang Lung. It's then up to Liu Chia Liang and his original five students to save her in a remarkable display of martial arts mastery inside a gymnasium. Liu Chia Liang is still the undisputed master, and his fight with kung fu veteran Wang Lung is breathtaking. Gordon Liu also has some great fighting moments and even parodies the warrior monk persona that made him so famous. Wei Ying Hung gets in some good chops, but her character spends far more time being a loud-mouthed brat, and she sadly has nothing to do during the film's climax. Like so many attempts at kung fu comedy, the writing is weak, the humor is dreadfully unfunny, and the characters are buffoons, but the kung fu is damn good. Do yourself a favor and just fast forward to the end. You'll be glad you did and you won't have missed anything - I promise you.