Hitman in the Hand of Buddha (1981)

Reviewed by Stewie
October 25, 2013

 

MOVIE INFO
CAST
Hwang Jang Lee • Fan Mei-Sheng • Eddy Ko Hung • Tino Wong • To Siu-Ming
Aka
None
DIRECTOR
Hwang Jang Lee
CHOREOGRAPHER(S)
Chin Yuet-Sang • Corey Yuen Kwai • Mang Hoi
YEAR RELEASED
1981
MOVIE SOURCE
Version reviewed was a full screen, English dub via YouTube. Approximately 91 minutes in length.
Purchase & Info
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PlOT
Wong Chin(Hwang Jang Lee) is a truly law abiding citizen for a change, and when his brother in law(To Siu Ming) is badly beaten by corrupt rival rice shop thugs, Wong steps in to defend him with some nifty boot work,, only to chastise him for cheating on his wife at the brothel. When Wong begins working in the rice shop the thugs soon return to wreak havoc and are once again put in their place by Wongs superior fighting prowess. When the thugs are humiliated by Wongs beating they call on Mr Shen(Yeung Wai), the local Kung Fu expert and offer him a deal. On overhearing this, Shan Hao(Tino Wong)the real Mr Shen steps in to give the imposter a lesson he won’t forget. A deal is then struck for Wongs life and he’s invited by the rival gang to dinner, not knowing it’s his fate on the menu, he obliges and dispenses Mr Shens snake fist without breaking sweat, though a few chopsticks come off worse for wear. In a sub plot, Beggar Fan(Fan Mei-Sheng), leads a bunch of vagrant kids to a life of petty crime, robbing and stealing from whoever they can to fill Fans pockets. When one of the kids steals a snuff bottle from notorious badman Tiger(Eddy Ko Hung), Fan seeks to return the bottle using his wiley ways and Tiger retreats. True to countless Fu storylines, Tiger turns out to be Mr Shens master and Wongs cards are up as the two rogues seek him out, things not helped out by Shen raping Wongs sister in the process, who then commits suicide. In the melee that ensues Tiger gives Wong a good beting before Fan steps in to save the day, and Wongs neck. Fan sends Wong to the temple to learn Kung Fu in order to take on Tiger, and some training hi jinx unfold. Wong returns after the training with revenge on his mind and on hearing the news of his sisters demise goes all out with Shen and Tigers men, quickly disposing of Shen and giving Tiger a dose of full on revenge with a little help from Fan.
thoughts on the movie

Fans of Hwang Jang Lee will lap this up as not only being a great movie but as being one of his only good guy roles. Good fight scenes, good plot add up to some solid Fu and there’s little room for breathing space as the action never lets up. Beggar Fans humorous scenes add a little light hearted relief but overall its a showcase for Hwang Jang Lees talent.

was it funny?
Fan Mei Sheng provides some good humour and the temple training scenes have their moments but the action far outweighs the need for comedy interludes.
How was the Action?

The action was top notch and Hwang Jang Lees legwork was in full flow. The supporting cast gave as much as they could but this was a showcase

Standout performance(s)

Obviously Hwang Jang Lee but Fan Mei Sheng, Eddy Ko Hung and Tino Wong certainly did their bit. Au-Yeung Yiu-Yam also stood out as the temples comedy fill.

Buy or Pass
6 Reasons Why You Should BUY or PASS On This Movie
1. BUY if you’re a fan of Hwang Jang Lee, you need this in your collection.
2. BUY for solid bootwork and good Kung Fu action all around.
3. BUY for good plot story and characters made this enjoyable.
4. BUY to see Hwang Jang Lee in a rare good guy role.
5. BUY for nice supporting cast and production.
6. PASS for typecast background plot involving brothels and bullying.
FINAL NOTES

A great addition to any collector of Kung Fu and especially fans of Hwang Jang Lee, one of the greatest villains, here in a good guy role.

RATING