THE YOUNG MASTER (1980)

Director: Jackie Chan
Actors: Jackie Chan,Yuen Biao,Shek Kin,Lily Li,Hwang In Shik

This film blew my mind when my alien eyes first laid contact with her on WNEW’s Channel 5 drive in movie in the mid 1980’s! This was Jackie Chan’s 2nd directorial piece & it was truly a GEM in my galaxy! The fighting choreography in all its serious, & slapstick glory was nothing that I have ever seen before during my egg foo young tours. The movie was clearly Jackie’s comedic inspired kung fu flavored ramen oodles of technically sound choreographed action scenes that would make buster keaton clap silently. Don’t get me wrong, the plot of the story cannot hold a candle nor is as elaborate as some of the Shaw Brother pieces, but pound for pound the fight sequences in THE YOUNG MASTER single handedly put this film on my top 20 list of all time in the chi-neez variety! The all star cast included Jackie Chan himself, the grandfather of chinese cinema..drumroll…Shek Kin(other neophytes might know him as Han on Enter the Dragon), Lily Li, Yuen Biao, Lee Hoi San, & the real life Hap Ki Do master himself, HWANG IN SHIK! Master Hwang is one bad ass mofo! He accounted for 75% of what blew my mind when 1st watching this! It’s amazing watching a professional martial artist do his thing with a korean bon chon fling. It was truly art on the screen when watching this hap ki do master perform devastating kicks, joint locks, & punching combinations in some baskin robbins flavor that you have never tasted before. Jackie was very impressive as well. His acrobatic kung fu style is candy to the eyes while the character that he portrays is very playful & harmless, but deadly when provoked. Jackie’s expert handling of weapons like the chinese fan, the bamboo pole, a skirt, a smoking pipe, or basically anything that he lays his hands on is amazing! Yuen Biao added some nice spice to the film by providing some off the yin yang fighting himself. Hong Kong legend, Shek Kin does his thing with a comedic swing, but lets Jackie know that he can get as serious as a heart attack like Mr. Han Man if he has to! The action tid bits that really stood out to me in this film include the opening scene with the lion dance competition, the fight scene between Lily Li in her skirt with Jackie, the Jackie & Yuen Biao fight, the prisoner getaway scene, Shek Kin & Yuen Biao arresting Jackie, Jackie using a skirt to fight the bodyguards, & the final EPIC fight scene between Jackie & Hwang In Shik! Don’t get me wrong, this film isn’t for everybody. The fight sequences are long, there is plenty of humor, & the plot of the film is suspect. But, if you are a martial arts fan, you will undeniably recognize the fine wine associated with this film. Heheehee, this might be the 1st review of a movie to which no mention of a story line was given by the writer. What da, what?! Guess, y’all have to watch the movie yourselves to see what planet chocko sees! Only a true drunken master would understand! The YOUNG MASTER put Jackie on the kung fu map of stardom before THE POLICE STORY movies blew up! Oh by the way, depending on what version of the movie you see, the fight scene at the end with Jackie & Hwang In Shik is about 15 minutes long! Trust me it sounds long, but it’s martial arts at its best shakespearian format! Check it, check it out…y’all!

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