It may have come to your attention by now, but I like Kung Fu movies. As a matter of fact, I love them. I love all the cheesy, epic, glourious, laughable, jaw dropping, awe inspiring, heartwarming, heart pumping beauty of the genre itself. Directors like Yuen Woo-ping, Chang Cheh, Lau Kar Leung, Corey Yuen, John Woo, Tsui Hark, Tong Gai, King Hu, Sammo Hung, and everyone in between and beyond. But most of all, even beyond the mood, the fondness for the sets and the actors and the directors, the thing I love most is the fights.
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.