Ti Lung, Alexander Fu Sheng ,Ku Feng, Dick Wei
Directed By :Sun Chung
Copyright ©1978 Shaw Brothers Studio
Spring of Shaw Season Review - Film 6
The Avenging Eagle – 1978
Film six in our Shaw Brothers special , this time we look at a classic from 1978 starring the formidable Ti Lung ,Alexander Fu Sheng and Ku Feng.
This Wuxia films story may seem familiar to many avid film watchers. The reason is the story ,if your a fan of the films like ''Nikita'' ,The Assassin or Naked Weapon your know where I'm coming from.
Of course this being made in 1978 it came first ,so much for Luc Besson's Nikita being original as many thought.
The story is of course set a Wuxia setting , Ku Feng plays the head of a gang of robbers , Yoh Xi-hung.
He recruits orphans from a young age and trains them to be the best fighters , he trains them to not have feelings for the poor ,woman or children. . No matter who stands in their way they should set about their mission ,which for most part means robbing and killing anyone that stands in the way of Xi-hung getting richer by the minute.
Over the years many of the orphans have either been killed or died through no being able to cope with the demands Xi-hung puts on them.
But out of his trainees ,thirteen of them become the most feared fighters and killers .
Ti Lung plays Black Eagle Chik Ming Sing ,a master of the Three section staff , a weapon Ti Lung throws around as if it where a extension of one of his limbs.
The film starts with Chik on the run ,for why we don't know , he gets stranded in the desert only to be saved by a wanderer who introduces himself as simply 'The Homeless'' ( Alexander Fu Sheng) , not convinced by his new found friend Chik makes a play for his saviours horse and escapes only to be found by the same wanderer a time later.
Reluctant to get personal with him ,it becomes apparent to Homeless that Chik is need of some help .
Things start to unfold as the people Chik is running from turn up at the deserted Inn they are sheltering at.
It's also apparent that Chik knows these men very well and that they have been sent to bring him back to their Godfather, Xi-hung.
A battle ensues and Chik is forced to kill his own brethren ,Homeless also battles one of the men and ends up killing him ,which in turn angers Chik.
Avenging Eagle plays out in flashbacks as to how Chik has come to where he is. For a man that has only known bloodshed and death all his life he finds himself at loggerheads with his own feelings .
He ends up explaining to Homeless how on a routine assault he got injured ,only to be saved by a family . After two months Chik returns back to Xi-hung to regain his position, but his mindset has changed and has conflict with what he has been doing.
When a new mission comes up and it ends up being the very family that helped him he turns against his own brothers to save the family to no avail. .
This in turn torments him which results in his abandonment of his own upbringing.
What makes this film stand out are the intricate plot twists and some fine weapons action on all parts . Also director Sun Chung chooses some dynamic camera angles for some of the action ,Shaws where known for their long shots and wide angle views and long takes, but here mixed in with these are long distance shots ,some from a aerial view , also much of the action is shot in close quarters ,fighting inside buildings and forests , there are some cool angles of the action from a lower angle ,with the camera shooting up from the floor , something your find in many later Hong Kong films and many of the 80's Jackie or Sammo movies.
There's also a good use of freeze frame for some of the action to.
What's more each of the Eagles has a unique weapon ,apart from one Eagle played by Dick Wei ,who has a axe ,well he has a few axes on his belt..
The final showdown shows Xi-hung(Ku Feng) is not left out in the fancy weapon department ,though I did think that Alexnader Fu Sheng's characters weapon was not very dynamic compared to his acrobatic ability .
Also I thought Fu Sheng looked fuller in the face compared to most of his films ,as if he had put weight on for the role.
One thing for sure the final showdown is worth it as Chik and Homeless attack the home of the Eagles and must face Xi-hung and his many men .
Avenging Eagle is another top classic from the Shaw Studio and was loosely remade in 1993 ,when the New wave of Kung Fu films took Hong Kong by storm,it's title was ''Thirteen Cold Blooded Eagles''.
Of note it's reported that Celestial and the Weinstien company where in talks about a official remake in 2013.
But if you want to see a classic film with a array of weapons showcased by experts ''The Avenging Eagle '' won't let you down.
Score out of Ten = 8
Review Date : April 28th 2014
Reviewer Sertes Nake
Version Reviewed : Dragon Dynasty Region 1 with Mandarin and English soundtracks.
|Directed by||Sun Chung|
|Produced by||Run Run Shaw|
|Written by||Ni Kuang|
|Starring||Ti Lung |
|Music by||Frankie Chan|
|Cinematography||Lam Ngai Kai|
|Editing by||Chiang Hsing-lung |
|Studio||Shaw Brothers Studio|
|Distributed by||Shaw Brothers Studio|
|Release dates|| |
September 13, 1978
Cast and Characters
Ti Lung as Black Eagle Chik Ming-sing
Alexander Fu as Double Sleeve Knives Cheuk Yi-fan
Ku Feng as Yoh Xi-hung
Eddy Ko as Blue Eagle Wan Da
Austin Wai as Owl Eagle Cao Gao-shing
Bruce Tong as Eagle
Lam Fai-wong as Eagle
Dick Wei as Eagle
Wong Pau-gei as Eagle
Peter Chan as Soaring Eagle Wang Tao-sang
Yuen Bun as Eagle Yau Koon-hung
Chui Fat as Eagle
Jamie Luk as Eagle Lin Gin-ming
Cheung Gwok-wa as Eagle Fan Lun
Shih Szu as Siu Fung
Yue Wing as Devil's Plight Wang An / Jiang Shun-kwai
Tong Gai as Golden Spear Tao De-biu
Yeung Chi-hing as Se-ma Sun
Ou-yang Sha-fei as Se-ma Sun's wife
Jenny Tseng as Se-ma Yu-chin
Yau Chui-ling as Se-ma Sun's second daughter
source : wikipedia