The Man From Hong Kong (Australia 1975)

Rating: ***
Alternate Title: Dragon Flies
Review Date: 8/22/12
Directed By: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Martial Arts Choreography: Samo Hung
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, George Lazenby, Rebecca Gilling, cameos by Roger Ward, Samo Hung, Grant Page

A super fun, kung fu action cross-over from Australia's The Movie Company and Hong Kong's Golden Harvest. A Chinese drug runner (Samo Hung) is caught in Australia, causing Inspector Fang Sing Ling (heavily dubbed Wang Yu) to come from Hong Kong to extradict him. But Fang is more interested in his boss, crime lord Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Despite protests from the local police, Fang conducts his own investigation and leaves a trail of dead and battered bodies in his wake.

A by-the-numbers action film with outrageous 1970's sensibilities, but genuine and relentless in its presentation. The action scenes are excellent, and even though the kung fu is a bit tame by Hong Kong standards, it's plentiful and well executed. Samo Hung makes the best of what he has to work with, making Wang Yu look capable and George Lazenby look surprisingly agile. The high-speed car chases are superb and insanely reckless, which is always appreciated. There's some additional dangerous stunt work by the legendary Grant Page that's also worth calling out. Both Yu and Lazenby do most of their own stunts, which is refreshingly honest, and Lazenby is even set on fire at one point. The film only falters during an extended romantic interlude at the one hour mark, which serves no purpose other than to get Rebecca Gilling naked. But otherwise, it's a non-stop thrill ride, highlighted by some outrageously corny dialog from an unconvincingly romantic Wang Yu. A few choice gems include:

Caroline: "What's so special about the special branch?"
Fang: "Permit me to show you..."
     (followed by a scene of them having sex)
Caroline: "Tell me, Inspector, do you often take white girls to bed?"
Fang: "Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

Angelica: "Do you think you've recovered enough for me to make love to you?"
Fang: "I think I could stand the pain."