Monday, January 25, 2010

Kung-Fu Zero: Challenge of the Tiger

Who here is fluent in Bruce-ploitation stars?  If you are, then the name Bruce Le will still barely register to you.  He does not have the fame of Bruce Li, nor does he have the dubious notoriety of Bruce Liang.  Hell, even Dragon Lee got more press than this guy!  Hell, the first time I reviewed this movie, I thought he was Bruce Li!  Regardless of that, he got to direct and star in his own movie.  What's it about?  Would you believe an evil plot to unleash some dubious McGuffin against the world?  Man, you're good!  The movie also co-stars Richard Harrison, the man whose career was torpedoed by Godfrey Ho- but that is a story for another day.  Harrison stands out like sore thumb in this movie, especially considering that he is about 6'5 and Le is considerably-not!  The movie is honestly not terrible, but it is plagued by many problems, especially pacing of certain scenes and a lack of a decipherable plot.  Who cares about that?  More kicking, I say.  This is...
Challenge of the Tiger
To be completely honest with you, a plot synopsis will not do you a lot of good here.  The film is almost completely a set of seemingly-unrelated scenes that either involve shooting, fighting or nudity.  If you want something that involves the two latter things, check out Crying Freeman.  To make this more palatable, I'll give you the gist of it and some great scene highlights.

Some criminals break into a laboratory and steal some sort of chemical.  It is going to be used in a bio-weapon that will be very deadly.  As such, all of the criminal gangs in Spain- yes, that Spain- are battling over it.  In the middle of this, Bruce Le and Harrison try to save the day.

-Bruce has a kung-fu fight in the streets of Rome and is saved by Harrison, who proceeds to talk big about it and mug for the camera.  Get used to those two things, true believers.
-Harrison's introduction involves a long shot of his palatial estate (maybe in the 1970s...) and his randomly-topless woman.  If you want a scene that tops Baywatch's entire gimmick in five minutes, check out the tennis scene.  Woman with enormously-large chests (although they pale in comparison to Chesty Morgan) playing slow-motion.  It must be seen to be believed.
-Harrisons' main skill: seduction.  This leads to two different 'whoopee' scenes that go on about two or three minutes too long.  Hold something back, Rich!
-Le gets in a fight near an arena made for bull-fighting, which leads to him falling a pit with one of the animals.  In an effects shot the predates Romeo Must Die by at least twenty years, he punches the thing and crushes its skull in a weird, cartoon effect.
-In the end, Bruce Le fights all three of the movies lead villains, while Harrison fights a small group in a warehouse.  Thanks for the help, buddy!
This movie is not all that good, but it is interesting to look at.  Much like a clown car crash, it is just hard to look away.  The plot is weird, the acting is bad and the direction is nothing to write home about.  It is a decent action movie, but has to constantly accommodate Harrison's lack of fighting talent and obsession with mugging to the camera.  He looks at the camera more than Dead Lerner on Garth Merengi's Dark Place- which is meant as a joke.  As far as its place in action movie history, it will go down as a ho-hum action movie with a Bruce-ploitation star that happens to feature a lot of nudity.  You know what else can say that?  The Clones of Bruce Lee!  Is that the kind of company you want to keep, movie?  On the plus side, this comes on a DVD with a much more fun movie.  Stay tuned for that later this week.
Up next, Jim Wynorski brings us a film about cops that take an extra step in order to enforce the law: lycanthropy.  That's commitment!  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment