Vengeance! | Chicago Reader

Vengeance!

The urgent title says it all. This 1970 Hong Kong fist-and-dagger saga delivers 103 minutes of gory, nonstop, elaborately staged manslaughter as one man (David Chiang) hunts down the gangs responsible for the murder of his brother (Ti Lung, later a star in John Woo's action epics), a Peking Opera acrobat with an unfaithful wife. This film helped to establish Chiang and Ti as a popular buddy team and broadened the martial arts genre with themes of male bonding and political corruption (the film is set in the lawless underworld of 20s China). Director Cheh Chang goes for the jugular with nostril-flaring dialogue, 60s jazz, and a whole lot of red on the screen. Much of the acting is hysterical in both senses of the word. In Mandarin with subtitles.

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