Secret Rivals (HK 1976)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/3/17
Cast: John Liu, Wong Tao, Hwang Jang Lee

Master of Southern Fists Shen Ying Wai (Wong Tao) and master of Northern Kicks Hsiao Yi Fei (John Liu) both have scores to settle with the sinister Silver Fox (Hwang Jang Lee). They also compete for Ting Tsing-Tsing's affections, although her heart clearly belongs to Shen. It's a convoluted revenge tale with a lot of meandering details, and both Shen and Hsiao need to put aside their petty differences if there's to be any chance of defeating their common enemy.

Wong Tao is in top physical form in the film, and his fighting is superb. John Liu is pretty much a one-trick pony with his fantastic right leg, but his lack of stylistic variety hurts his performance. Master Hwang Jang Lee is amazing as always, and it's a total treat to watch him in action. The climax is an exhausting three-way battle that's very satisfying and makes the whole film worthwhile. Unfortunately, everything leading up to that tends to be slow and uninteresting.