Deadend of Besiegers (1992)

Directed by
Refreshing, quite a gem
Reviewed by Simon on 2001-06-13

First things first... eh? The name of the movie means nothing in English, and even less in context. That said, it is a marvellous film. Yu Rong Guang stars as a Japanese swordsman who travels to China to learn the Dog Fist style of martial arts. Unfortunately, the place where he lands is suffering attacks from Japanese pirates, so the local populace take him as one and aren't best pleased to see him. The exception is a young girl (played by a great child actress, really charismatic) whose life he saves, and who befriends and feeds him, and teaches him some Cantonese. Kind of like ET, but less extra terrestrial. Cynthia Khan stars as the girl's sister, an expert in the Dog Fist style.

The film is in the "hidden gem" category, though it's becoming quite well known these days so it's not so hidden after all. It is a good film, featuring some fantastic fight scenes. Yu gets to show his stuff much more than in Iron Monkey, and he is *good*. Really fast, agile and with good forms. Much respect... I wonder why he hasn't had more success? He also choreographed the action, very well. The fights use very few wires and little speed up, and hence feature some of the best hand to hand and weapons fight scenes of the period. There's lots and lots of fighting, and it's all good. Cynthia Khan is also pretty good, though more as an acrobat than a fighter... her fight scenes tend to be a little too sped up. Her solo demonstration of the dog fist style is excellent though.

There's quite a bit of fish-out-of-water comedy, which I'm not a fan of but which isn't too offensive here. Despite the film seemingly wanting to take a more fair stance in its message, the overall feel is definitely anti-Japanese... and even more anti-gweilo in the one instance a white guy appears. Quite justifiably though in this case, as the actor/fighter concerned is an incredibly stupid looking man :-)