Tag Archives: Bruce Leung

Kung Fu Theater: Fight! Dragon! (aka Tatakae! Doragon!)

Two rape faces, and what appears to be the opening to Japanese "Little House on the Praire".

While roaming the aisles at an FYE I frequent, my eyes came upon a most curious little treasure. A kung fu television show. Now, of course, such an idea is not unheard of. The classic David Carradine TV show aptly named “Kung Fu” is one of the most popular examples. And other shows like “The Green Hornet” had elements of Kung Fu in them, with that show having a pre-stardom Bruce Lee. But this item was different. It was a genuine production from Japan, and starred people who were (gasp!) actually Asian. The box proudly proclaimed that it was “available for the first time in the U.S.” and that it starred Bolo Yeung (most well known as Chong Li in Bloodsport) and Yasuaki Kurata (numerous Shaw Bros. movies and probably known to more modern audiences as the Kung Fu master Fumio Funakochi in “Fist of Legend“). After seeing that I could get my Kurata on, and that it cost only twelve dollars, I bought the show immediately.

Getting home, I realized a few things: First, the box art was…odd. It had a picture of Bolo, true, but it was one of him from Bloodsport. And there was some random dude who was not Yasuaki Kurata posing behind him. Moving on from that, I would find out that Bolo’s character lasts a mere 2 episodes of this 26 episode show. Despite these early issues, I can gladly say that “Fight! Dragon!” is one of the best investments I ever made, and is a grand example of schlocky, Kung Fu action at its best.

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Kung Fu Theater: Gallants (2010)

Yeah, these are our heroes. AKA the coolest old people you will ever see.

Note: This review will contain minor spoilers. Nothing you couldn’t see in the trailers, but if you want to be completely surprised by what you see, then don’t read until after you have watched the film.

There’s an old, very popular saying :”You can never go home”. For those who are extremely thick or just don’t want to think too hard about it, the quote is (for my purposes) talking about the unstoppable march of time, and how no matter how much we might want to return to certain periods in our life, we cannot, and must simply accept that.

Even sadder, this refers to the mundane as well as the temporal. In gaming, I’m sure everyone reading this has had the experience of trying to play an old favorite, anticipating a repeat of that glorious initial rush, and were crushed to find that their rose tinted memories were nearly incommensurable with what was before them. Sure, it was probably still fun, but was still a mere shadow of the ecstasy they once provided.

This proves true of movies as well. For the purposes of this review, let us talk about how it affects Kung Fu flicks. Now, it is true, Kung fu movies actually can weather the test of time better than most. Good action choreography is still good whenever it’s watched, and the classic stories and character types still provide just as much joy as they did in the lost days of yore. But despite the well aged aesthetics, the soul that was so paramount to these movies, that impalpable enthusiasm and spirit, faded with the mid-80’s.

So what does this have to do with Gallants? Because, of all it’s many achievements, the best thing it did for me is showing that, even though you can’t go home permanently, you can still visit a lost time, if only for a few hours.

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