Operation Scorpio (HK 1991)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/14/01
Producer: Samo Hung
Director: Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung)
Cast: Chin Kar Lok, Liu Chia Liang, Yuen Jan, Wu Fong, cameo by Yuen Tak

Underrated kung fu actor Chin Kar Lok is Yu-Shu, an ambitious artist who wants to draw kung fu comics, but is always getting into trouble and is constantly bullied. One fateful evening he meets a very pretty maid who is about to be sold into prostitution, and he decides to rescue her. As a result, he is expelled from school, his father (Wu Fong) is crippled, and the three of them are forced to take refuge in their friend's noodle restaurant which is run by a quiet and reserved Liu Chia Liang. Liang subtly starts teaching Yu-Shu kung fu through the fine art of cooking, as only the masterful Liu Chia Liang can. Unfortunately, Yu-Shu continues to stir up trouble and the bad guys want their pretty maid back. Liang's restaurant gets trashed and set on fire, and that's when Liang shows his true colors... He and Yu-Shu go to the bad guy's house to free all of the maids and to kick some serious ass. The main villain (Sunny) is a master of scorpion style kung fu and a spectacular fight goes down before he finally falls.

Like many of Liu Chia Liang's later efforts, the plot is thin and the humor is forced and unfunny. Most of the film is tedious and boring, but the fight scenes are riveting. Liu Chia Liang is a master at staging and filming fight scenes, and he is spectacular as always. Although he takes quite a beating, Chin Kar Lok also gives a fantastic physical performance. However, the highlight of the show has to be Sunny (Yuen Jan in his debut role) who is probably the best leg fighter I've seen since Hwang Jang Lee. He is simply amazing to watch! Like many kung fu films, it's best to just fast forward to the last thirty minutes in order to catch the majority of the thrills.