Legendary Weapons of China | Chicago Reader

Legendary Weapons of China

Hong Kong action director Lau Kar-leung usually neglected plot and character development; his films are series of breathtaking kung fu sequences, and the pacing suggests a musical whose song-and-dance numbers continually threaten to interrupt the story. Taking place shortly before the Boxer Rebellion, this 1982 feature concerns an elite order of Chinese fighters being trained to repel bullets; after one fight master realizes the futility of this and disbands his unit, he's accused of disloyalty and forced into hiding. The climax showcases a staggering array of 18 traditional weapons, to dazzling if ostentatious effect. Lau wrote the script, choreographed the fights, and costars with Ho Hsiao. In Cantonese with subtitles. 101 min.

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