Once Upon A Time In China V (HK 1994)

Rating: ***
Producer: Tsui Hark
Director: Tsui Hark
Cast: Zhao Wen Zhiou (Chiu Man Cheuk, Vincent Zhao), Rosamund Kwan, Max Mok, Jean Wang, Kent Cheng, Elaine Lui

Zhao Wen Zhiou returns as Wong Fei Hung with a much improved and more convincing performance. A softer Rosamund Kwan returns to the series as Aunt Yee and Jean Wang shows up as her sister, Aunt May (she confusingly played Aunt Yee in part 4). Kent Cheng also returns as Porky Lam from part 1. This time Wong Fei Hung and his troupe have to liberate a village that has been subverted by nasty pirates. (the head female pirate played by Elaine Lui is a true pleasure to watch) This film is a mixed bag. It looks great, of course, and Wong Fei Hung and his students get to dress up in a number of great outfits. Fei Hung as a bandit and Clubfoot in a top hat are priceless! Use and abuse of firearms seem to be a prevalent theme in the film, but unfortunately the super-fu and excessive wire tricks make the fight scenes more campy than they should be. There is also a considerable amount of inappropriate and awkwardly unfunny humor throughout the film which makes you think you're watching a Wong Jing picture, instead. Overall, great in parts and annoying in others.