Apparently Jackie himself, merely 17 when this film was made, says to stay away from this movie. I shoulda learned that earlier. It's at least two movies Frankensteined together, and new footage (with the old master beating up the flamboyantly gay landlord, farting in his face and avoiding his Popeye-themed attack (complete with Popeye's theme music - calling all lawyers)) was added years later to complete the "film", such as it is.
Plot? Barely there. Jackie plays an evil warlord who kills one of his men (who squirts blood out of his mouth in an unintentionally hilarious scene reminiscent of Monty Python's Black Knight),whose young son (Jackie again) is raised by another former henchman, who does not want Jackie to be a fighter. "You want to destroy life? Well, kill flowers!" he yells, tossing potted plants at his wayward stepson. However, Jackie's been training in secret with a crazy old guy in the woods since he was 6 (in a series of disjointed and somewhat creepy flashbacks),and there's only so much he can take before springing into action, especially since people attack him and his sister on a daily basis. He fights through a bunch of generic thugs as the camera whips around randomly, the canned soundtrack saws away pompously and dubbed threats ("I will take care of you now! Hum!") assault the viewer's ears. Characters mostly pop up to get killed (foster dad, a young pickpocket),or disappear after a few scenes (Jackie's uncle and sister).
The editing is such a mess it's usually impossible to tell exactly what's going on. When Jackie's pickpocket "friend" (I put that in quotes because they only met three times beforehand) is threatened by being tied up high on a pole, Jackie fights off the thugs around him. We cut to a thug falling into the water, and then the pickpocket just falls from the pole he was shown to be snugly tied to (shown by a dummy falling towards the camera),a musical sting, and Jackie looking... kinda bummed. "Goodbye, my little friend." Then a suddenly shirtless Jackie points at the villain (actually, he points at the camera - most of the dialogue scenes are played in separate shots) and declares "YOU killed him. YOU are responsible for his death." I dunno, Jackie. Was he the one who made the ropes magically disappear?
The dubbing is horrid, the characters either having British accents or Brooklyn accents, neither of which match the tone well at all. It sure is weird hearing Jackie's voice dubbed over by somebody else, and the endless "Ho! Hah! Huuuh!" during the fights is the fine line between hilarious and unbearable. Every blow, even light smacks, get a loud *CRACK* sound effect, and at one point Jackie holds a conversation with a villain while we hear a hilarious number of loud *CRACKS* in the background!
And then there's the final battle with the warlord, now elderly and played by a tall actor who looks nothing like Jackie (same dubbed voice, though) and a fat guy who follows the Way of the Fish, which Jackie easily disposes of, Old Master cheering from the sidelines. Jackie and the warlord blindfold themselves, which is cool, but it mostly is a desperate attempt to hide the fact that even Jackie is played by a different actor now. The bad guy whips around and whinnies like a horse. It's that kind of movie.
Don't fret though, fans. Pseudo-Jackie beats the villain by knocking him over, breaks his neck by turning it slightly to the right - complete with spaceship sound effects - and Old Master says Jackie has earned the right to carry a blue flag. Jackie waves it triumphantly, the movie ends five seconds later, and the soundtrack grinds to a halt.
Only for people who want to see Jackie's first starring role. Other than that, you won't find any of the elaborate choreography and set-pieces you'd expect from Jackie, although some of the hand-to-hand stuff is pretty well done, from what you can see of it through the insane editing. You'll likely have more than a few laughs as well, albeit the uneasy kind.
Rated R for God knows what reason. The violence, save the blood squirt, is clean, there's no swearing, and a really cheesy attempted rape scene involves a fully clothed couple wrestling while the woman screams. Norway banned it, although in retrospect that was a really good idea.
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Young Jackie was intrigued by Kung Fu since an early age, but his father strictly forbade its practice. One day, he meets an old beggar who offers to teach Jackie how to fight. Jackie grows up to be quite good, though he keeps his knowledge a secret until he is forced to fight by an extortion ring that's putting the squeeze on his uncle's restaurant.
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