Rivals Of The Dragon (HK 1980)

Rating: *
Review Date: 2/18/13
Cast: Yuen Tak

Deplorable action comedy starring Yuen Tak as an irresponsible prankster. The film opens with a completely pointless highlight reel of black and white boxing footage that has nothing to do with the story. Perhaps it has some sort of cultural importance? Then we find Dr. Chan practicing kung fu in his back yard and lamenting the fact that his son (Yuen Tak) is a shame to the family. Some of Yuen's friends decide to get rich by stealing a map from some dangerous criminals, and somehow Dr. Chan gets framed for the botched attempt. Naturally, the only way to resolve such a misunderstanding is to beat the hell out of each other. The good guys finally prevail, I guess...

The film is terrible on all accounts and the goofy humor is downright painful. It takes place in America for some reason, and the very worst set piece involves Yuen and his buddies trying to pull together enough cash to have sex with some American hookers that have taken over a cheap hotel. As if that weren't bad enough, Yuen then decides to play a prank on his father by tricking him into visiting one of the flaming gay gigolos in the same complex, resulting in a silly misunderstanding between "acupuncture" and "hand job." Seriously? Who writes this crap? The American locale also provides other humor elements, like a caucasian karate master who likes to kill his opponents, some rowdy black guys who cause a bar fight, and a bare-footed Mexican villain who wears a sombrero. Just awful. The final kung fu showdown between Dr. Chan and the bad guys is slightly entertaining, but certainly not worth watching the whole movie for.