Film Review: Gang Master (1982) by Tsui Siu-Ming

With the quantity of movies Shaw Bros had been producing till their decline, a quantity had been sure to stay out of date, significantly those who didn’t embody any type of (massive) star solid. “Gang Grasp” is a type of titles, though its high quality isn’t a lot totally different than the typical of the martial arts entries of the corporate. 

The Dragon Gang is a tribe who’s charged with kicking the Mongolian rulers out of China, with its members being extremely skilled (and somewhat long-haired) warriors. When the chief of the clan dies, his adopted son, Fu Chung-Yuan, is the obvious candidate for the place, which he gladly accepts. Nonetheless, simply earlier than the tip of the ceremony, Madame Shih, the widow of the earlier chief, bursts into the room and divulges that Fu’s actual household are literally Mongols. The younger man is perplexed, however the proof the Madame and her helper present are non-disputable, plus the latter eats the doc earlier than Fu manages to examine by himself. The younger man quickly finds himself beneath persecution by his former clan, whereas the individuals round him, together with his preliminary foster household, are quickly discovered lifeless. Li Ta-Hung, the person he used to name brother till that time, tries to assist however can be reluctant, and Fu’s scenario worsens by the day. In his effort to disclose who’re the members of the clan that need him lifeless, he discovers plenty of secrets and techniques, together with some about himself. 

Tsui Siu-Ming follows the Shaw Bros martial arts recipe to a T, with the motion ranging from the primary second, channeled right into a story that appears intricate however basically isn’t, till a collection of fights that result in an imposing one and a somewhat abrupt ending, conclude the movie. The twist right here, nonetheless, is considerably fascinating, since plenty of individuals concerned look shady, except for Madam Shih, who’s, effectively, a complete bitch from the start (and Alice Lau nice in her hyperbole within the half). The “man on the run” facet doesn’t work significantly effectively, since Fu appears to have the ability to get into the gang’s premises each time he desires to, whereas the messianic idea of his ancestry is as anticipated as it’s preterit. 

However, the story serves the motion scenes properly, permitting for a lot variety in that regard, even when the rhythm is because it at all times is in Shaw Bros productions. Using a wide range of weapons, swords, spears, arms and even flags helps probably the most in that regard, even if the film isn’t significantly violent. The final scene, which unfolds in a 2 towards one Mongol common Mang Yi-tu vogue, is the place this facet finds its apogee, as a lot because the motion choreography by Yuen Cheung Yan, which is on the common excessive degree of comparable productions. 

Additionally as standard, the artwork path is high notch, with the numerous interiors thriving by way of an intricate maximalism and intense colouring, courtesy of each artwork director Chen Ching-shen and Huang Wen-Yun’s cinematography. Chiang Hsing-Lung and Liu Shao Kuang’s modifying permits for a frantic tempo that manages to cover the plot holes to some extent, however works fairly effectively for the motion scenes. 

Austin Wai as Fu Chung-Yuan is kind of good, succeeding in highlighting a minimum of a number of the dramatic parts of his character, whereas Kuan Tai Chen as Mang Yi-Tu and Jason Piao Pai as Li Ta-hung maintain the subsequent finest components. 

“Gang Grasp” is something however authentic, however is enjoyable to look at, and one other title that can fulfill all followers of Shaw Bros traditional motion pictures. 



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