The Buddhist Fist
"A must-see for all fans of terrific old-fashioned fight action! "
The Buddhist Fist (1980)
Director: Yuen Woo Ping, Tsui Siu Ming (deputy director)
Producer: Leung Wing Yin, Yuen Woo Ping
Writer: Lam Chi Ming, Wong Jing, Tsu Siu Ming
Action Director: Yuen's Clan
Cast: Yuen Shun I (Yuen Shin Yee), Tsui Siu Ming, Simon Yuen, Fan Mui Sung, Chan Siu Pang, Chan Lung, Lee Hoi San, David Wu, Yuen Cheung Yan, Yuen Chun Wai
Running Time: 90 min.
Plot: The tale of two orphans, trained by a Shaolin master in the deadly art of the Buddhist Fist. Separated by fate, they are finally reunited after a series of diasters in lethal combat
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: This hurts. It really does. The Buddhist Fist is a groan-inducing experiment by Yuen Wo-Ping to duplicate the success of Snake in the Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master without Jackie Chan's charisma to hold the nonsense together. I don't think I've ever tried to hide the fact that I have a low tolerance for these comedic martial arts films where the good guys are clowns who embarrass the villains instead of truly fighting them, and this one is no exception. (See also: Magnificent Butcher, Fearless Hyena, Dirty Ho, etc.) The story about a guy looking for his uncle (I think...it's usually an uncle, isn't it?) while his childhood friend, a Shaolin monk who is obviously hiding a big, dirty secret, meanders like an arthritic dog chasing its tail for an hour or so before anything noteworthy happens. After too many playful "fights", there are two REAL ones that don't do a great deal to shake off the stupor that the preceding silliness has left you with. Well, left ME with, I guess I should say. A lot of people seem to like these non-violent martial arts scenes involving chess boards and so forth. I can appreciate the complexity and discipline required to pull them off, but still, to me, they're about as much fun as watching an arthritic dog chase its...oh, wait, I already used that one. Sorry. You see? This movie make brain hurt. I go lie down. Bye.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 3/10
PERKELE'S REVIEW: There are two names that rise above the others when we talk about the mid-70's to mid-80's kung fu films. The other is Sammo Hung and the other Yuen Woo-Ping. Yuen became famous with his directing debut "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" (1978) and it's sequel, "Drunken Master" (1978), both starring Jackie Chan. He then went on to direct such classics as "Dance of the Drunken Mantis", "The Magnificent Butcher" and - "The Buddhist Fist." It's hard to find anything bad about this movie. Well, the plot was worthless but otherwise, it's superb fun! We got lots of excellent fighting scenes, crazy characters [like the gyonshi-like hunchback assassin, who's speacilized in the Holy Ghost Claw style], great musical score [no joke!] and amusing comedy. There's way over 10 fights in the film [at least it felt like so] and they're all choreographed brilliantly by the Yuen Clan. The performers are in top form, with Yuen Shin Yee making a convining hero. A must-see for all fans of terrific old-fashioned fight action!
PERKELE'S RATING: 8.5/10