Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Miracle Fighters (1982)

Former Royal Guardsman Kao was forced to be on the run when his superior couldn't tolerate him being a Manchu marrying a Han woman. A young prince was inadvertently killed when he kidnapped the boy to aid in his escape. 14 years later, Kao now a drunkard ridden with guilt, has been living with a young orphan by the name of Shu Geng. Before long, the old nemesis of Kao, the powerful Socerer Bat, found his whereabouts and killed him. Harboring evil ambitions, Sorcerer Bat forces Shu Geng to impersonate the belated prince, with the intention that one day he can ruled alongside the would-be king. (Imdb rating 7.2)

I'm as shocked as you are, an actual reasonable movie on this blog. But my thoughts on The Miracle Fighters are confused.

On one hand, it's a typical Yuen Clan martial arts movie. For those of you not in the know, Yuen Clan films are completely ridiculous. People flying around, fighting in what almost seems to be perpetual fast motion. There's also a lot of completely random insanity, music controlled frogs, rat-faced drunkards, men driving around little shoes, that type of thing. They also include a lot of toilet humour and slapstick. Anything that can happen usually will. In essence, their movies are extremely entertaining, and several are in my favourite martial arts movies.

And this certainly continues in The Miracle Fighters. There's a weird character that lives in a huge vase, his/her arms, legs and head popping out at certain times to fight other characters by rolling or other innovative maneuvers. There are pictures that drink wine and shoot out a torrent of water. Flying cooked chickens attack people. People pump themselves up (literally). People use a huge novelty sized axe to chop off their legs to fight better. And I have to mention, the fight scenes can't be described as anything other then crazy, in the best way possible.

Vase-Man will cut you with his paper sword

Unfortunately, this is part of the biggest flaw of The Miracle Fighters; there just isn't enough fighting spread throughout the entire movie. Before the end fight, there is maybe at most five minutes of actual fighting. The comedic hi-jinks stuff is funny, but after a while, you just want to see the awesome fights, not see two old people argue over whether the other person stepped on their side. The other Yuen Clan movies are more well paced then this, and it's a mark against it.

I'd almost throw it off as an average martial arts movie, if it weren't for the last 20 minutes. They almost saved the movie, in a way. Starting with the new challenge of reaching the end of the trials, versing many others, the main character has to get a key out of boiled oil, walk on a paper bridge over thousands of venomous snakes and fight a ten foot tall stickman made from pieces of wood, all whilst battling his main nemesis. Incredible is the only word for these scenes.

But really, in the end, while The Miracle Fighters is definitely worth a view, it pales in comparison to Shaolin Drunkard and other Yuen Clan movies. It's a bit too slow, and while it's epic last few minutes redeem it somewhat, there's wire fighters better out there.

Things I learnt:
  • Everything that comes out of your body will be subtitled as 'shit'.
  • You can massage the boobs on the head of a man to get sparks shot out of his mouth.
  • Using a talking fish is a terrible way to retrieve a key from hot oil.

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