Saturday, October 28, 2006

[1980] THE VICTIM: Another Sammo Hung movie! It's not as good as the unapologetically fun Spooky Encounters, but the straight-up martial arts action is better. Hung burdened this one with a lot more plot--he inserted himself for comic relief purposes into a battle between two brothers, played by Leung Kar Lan and Chang Yi, who are nursing a lifelong grudge against each other. (The battle between two brothers idea would repeat itself in Spooky Encounters, but in that film Hung remembered to make himself the focus of the film. In The Victim the brothers' quarrel is definitely the main story.) Sammo's trying to get himself apprenticed to Leung Kar Lan, you see, and he won't take no for an answer (and both takes and gives an impressive number of beatings in the process.) It's worth watching for the fights but I can't recommend it too too much as it doesn't resolve the various plot points that well, and frequently can't decide whether to break out the sentiment or ignore the sentiment. Luckily Sammo figured out how to do everything right later this same year, so we can chalk this up to a learning experience (and not a bad one.)

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