Director: Sammo Hung
Writer: Sze To On
Producer: Raymond Chow
Cast: Casanova Wong, Leung Kar Yan, Sammo Hung, Fung Hak On, Lee Hoi San, Tiger Yeung Cheng Wu, Dean Shek Tien, Yeung Wai, Lau Kar Wing, Eric Tsang, Billy Chan, Peter Chan Lung, Wellson Chin Sing Wai, Chin Yuet Sang, Chui Miu Hung, Chung Fat, Lam Ching Ying, Meng Hoi
Running Time: 90 min.
Warriors Two is usually discussed alongside its “companion” film, the better-known “Prodigal Son.” Both movies were directed by (and co-star) Sammo Hung, and the same character is featured in each. In “Prodigal Son,” Chang (Yuen Biao’s character) is young and brash, and we see how he learned wing chun. In Warriors Two, however, Chang is an old, wizened teacher, and Leung Kar-Yan portrays him. The odd thing is, “Prodigal Son” was produced 4 years after Warriors Two, so I guess you could qualify it as a prequel. (As Homer Simpson once told Mel Gibson, “Everyone likes prequels!”)
Warriors Two is the more old-school of the two movies, with all of the fantasy elements and superhero kung-fu you’d expect from the genre, something that was missing in the realistic “Prodigal Son.” Warriors Two also has more goofy humor, most of it oddly-placed. This seems to be typical of Sammo’s work, as “Prodigal Son” also featured humor sequences that seemed out of sync with the rest of the film. (Such as the slapstick scene of Sammo doing calligraphy, placed right after a grisly murder). Warriors Two features more of the same, including Sammo and Casanova Wong joking over the corpse of Casanova’s sister.
Fighting-wise, the choreography is as good as you’d expect. I don’t think it’s as intricate or hard-hitting as that in “Prodigal Son,” but the fantasy elements add a nice touch. The final battle is the most memorable. It features a nice selection of colorful villains. There’s a pair of white-bearded, twin swordfighters, a couple stooges, and a Dracula-looking guy who uses a “floating in midair” style. Lots of great martial arts are on display, such as a shot of Casanova doing a super-impressive flying kick over a dinner table.
Warriors Two is another good Gold Harvest production, but I don’t rate it as highly as “Prodigal Son” or Shaw Brothers films from the same era. The fighting is great in it, but the goofy comedy and slapstick drag it down.
Final note: the DVD release sucks. There’s only one release out there, and it’s either from mainland China or Taiwan, because the only language featured is Mandarin. Luckily, English subtitles are included, but the menu options are all written in Chinese. The picture quality is nice, but the sound quality of the dialog is terrible, as there’s a terrible echo on all of the voices. It sounds like the voice dubbers recorded their parts in an empty theater. But still, this seems to be the only DVD release available, so if you want to watch the movie, it’s either this or a bootleg of a dubbed, pan-and-scanned, old video.
Joe909’s Rating: 7/10