Legendary Strike (HK 1978)

Rating: **
Review Date: 1/29/00
Alternate Title: Iron Maiden (Xenon re-issue)
Cast: Angela Mao, Carter Wong, Lo Lieh, Mars

A classical tale of deception and betrayal as numerous factions try to get their hands on a priceless relic (you can tell it's priceless because of the silly chimes that play every time it appears on camera). The villainous Carter Wong initially steals the relic and sells it to the Japanese, with the intent of killing the courier and taking it back for himself. But soon his plan becomes more complicated as more people get involved, and they all want the relic as well. Pretty soon the film becomes a giant game of capture the flag, and with so many secret identities and divided loyalties it's impossible to tell who the good guys are supposed to be. And the dangling ending is bizarre because it doesn't resolve the conflict (like a case of "oops, we ran out of film"). Fortunately, within all of this insanity is angelic Angela Mao, who seems to be the only one of the bunch who can throw a decent kick. She's not as fierce as usual, but she's still thrilling to watch. Mars gets in a good sword fight early on, but then spends the rest of the movie as a corpse (which he does quite well). Other than that, the film is pretty routine and not all that interesting. Worth checking out if you're an Angela Mao fan.