Five Tough Guys (1974)

Directed by
Reviewed by Simon 4/2/2006
Reviewed by Simon on 2006-04-02

The relatively complex plot of political turmoil basically boils down to five tough guys transporting a general to his home province, whilst the government and various goons try to stop them getting there. A kung fu road movie of sorts, or a wagon train film (if that's a genre).

I do think Pao Hsueh-Li was one of Shaw Brothers' best directors - the former cinematographer at least produced some great work anyway, and could be quite innovative, especially with camera movements... so perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood, or perhaps this just wasn't one of his better jobs. The plot seemed like it could have been very interesting, but failed to engage me at all. The characters aren't particularly well defined and the context that drives it all is barely elucidated for an ignorant viewer like me. There's quite a lot of action, and some of it's good, but mostly it didn't seem... convincing? Exciting? And some of the camera work was just intrusive.

It definitely seemed like a film I should have enjoyed, but I can't say I particularly did. I'll watch it again some day and let you know if I change my mind ;)