Director: Ching Gong
Writer: Ching Gong
Producer: Run Run Shaw
Cast: Yueh Hua, Chin Ping, Wong Chung Shun, Lisa Chiao Chiao, Wong Hap, Cheng Miu, Lee Kwan, Yeung Chi Hing, Ku Feng, Goo Man Chung, Fan Mei Sheng, Gam Gwan, Go Ming, Hsu Hsia, Hung Lau, Jeng Man Jing, Kok Lee Yan, Law Hon, Lee Wan Chung, Liu Wai, Poon Oi Lun, Shum Lo, James Tien Chun, Yuen Woo Ping
Running Time: 102 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
General Yao Fei and his brave army have successfully held back Tarters, who are trying to invade China. But now, Prime Minister Chin Hui, an evil traitor, has another idea. He plans to have mercenaries deliver a series of 12 medallions, which are embedded with imperial orders that will put an end to General Yao Fei’s actions and have him executed.
The last hope lies in the hands of Miao Lung (Yueh Hua) and various freedom fighters, who aim to intercept the bandits and stop the medallions from reaching their destination before it’s too late.
THIS is a f*cking movie, guys!
I swear, if every Shaw Brothers flick was this good, I’d have to get every single one. But that’s what’s so exciting about taking a chance with different titles, stars and directors: you’ll go through 2 or 3 films, maybe one that’s average and two that just plain suck – but at some point, you’ll hit gold! (No pun intended)
What I like most about 12 Gold Medallions is the fact that there’s not one dull moment in the movie. Whether it’s a unique sword fight, an introduction to a new character or some mini-situation going on, there’s always something keeping the entertainment level steady.
The next best thing about 12 Gold Medallions is the presence of Chin Ping. Don’t get me wrong, Yueh Hua is a bad ass, but Chin Ping is who makes the movie work for me – both in the importance of her character and the brilliance of her acting range. She plays a complicated patriot named Jin Suo, who goes through all-known moods a human (or should I say ‘woman’) could possibly go through – and the camera loves every second of it!
The movie is filled with inventive action sequences. Many of them are bloody and brutal (you ever see someone’s blood sizzle in a cooking wok?). As like most films of the late 60’s/early 70’s, some of the action/and angles are a little dodgy the effects are cheesy; but if you have any sense of time, none of this should bother you.
If you’re expecting top notch martial arts choreography, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking to watch a perfectly-paced Shaw Brothers classic with a great story and memorable characters, you’ll dig it for sure!
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 9/10