Win Them All (HK 1973)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/3/20
Cast: Wong Yuen San, Hsu Feng, Yasuaki Kurata, Chin Hu, Tien Feng

"I'm a bad woman. How can I investigate a case with an officer like you?"

Chief security guard Kau busts a crooked casino for cheating and they send Iron Fingers Fan Shen (Yasuaki Kurata) to kill him. Since his death a year ago, Kau's daughter Fiery Phoenix (Hsu Feng) and a gold-digging con-woman (Chin Hu) have been searching for the killer and building their reputation as dangerous thieves wherever they go. Phoenix mistakes a police officer (Wong Yuen San) for being the killer due to the strength of his hands, but they eventually overcome their differences when they realize that they're both after the same guy. Much silliness ensues as all of the goofy sidekicks are kidnapped by crime boss Tien Feng, which ultimately leads to a deadly showdown between Kurata, Phoenix, and Wong.

Unfortunately, the film fails to live up to its potential and spends way too much time focusing on Chin Hu's sexy antics to publicly humiliate men and steal their money. Honestly, I just found her annoying and not alluring in the slightest. The lengthy gambling scenes, goofy sound effects, and other humor elements drag down the film as well. The kung fu doesn't fare much better and fights tend to drag on longer than they should. I'm a huge fan of Hsu Feng and she was the reason I picked this up. Sadly, she has very little to do in the film and only gets into a couple of fights. While her ferocity, form, and execution look great, she's easily outperformed by both Wong Yuen San and Yasuaki Kurata, and appears to be heavily doubled in her scenes with Kurata. Wong Yuen San displays excellent technical form, but his movements tend to be too soft, slow, and calculated to make any dramatic impact. Until he fights Yasuaki Kurata, that is... He really kicks it up a couple of notches in the final fight against Kurata, which makes the rest of the film seem like child's play. Kurata is the real star of the show and his performance is raw and brutal, if not a bit over the top. However, the climax is a bit of an endurance test to sit through as these two beat each other senseless, and the duration and lack of variety eventually wear you down and make you wish it would just end.

The film also suffers in its presentation and is a pan-and-scan disaster from the VHS era of the 1980s. The English dubbing is particularly bad, and even worse than the usual Ocean Shores crew. Yasuaki Kurata sounds like a little kid, while everyone else has a flat, forced, and awkward sounding Chinese accent. It's never clear what Fiery Phoenix's actual name is, as they pronounce it differently every time. Apart from a handful of pouty and forlorn gazes from Hsu Feng and a young Yasuaki Kurata making a name for himself as a go-to villain in the industry, there's little reason to check this film out.