Again, set in Ming Dynasty China, this film sees the plight of Mousy (Biao), who happens to be a very shy, in-confident, and even cowardly laundry worker. His nature is revealed when we witness him trying to collect laundry debts from various townspeople - they push him around and give him nothing.
All the while, an evil and eccentric killer "White Tiger" takes pleasure in terrorising anyone who happens to be around, and, unfortunately for Mousy, he seems to be high on Tiger's list. But, again, like most Kung Fu films, it's not so much what is done, but rather how they do it. Thankfully, Dreadnaught does well in it's direction and choreography, but it does not excel.
Credits list Biao as the star, but I believe Leung Ka-Yan (who is Mousy's older brother in the film) deserves equal billing - they certainly have equal screen-time. "Foon", played by Ka-Yan, is a more well-rounded martial artist, and a student of the legendary Wong Fei Hung (played brilliantly and hilariously by Kwan Tak-Hing a la "Magnificent Butcher). The scene involving a rather violent tailor is worth the sitting alone.
Dreadnaught seems more of an unfocused film as compared to Woo Ping's other work(s). "Drunken Master" for example had a clear, snappy and balanced screenplay. We knew where we were supposed to be at in terms of all the plot elements. Dreadnaught fails on these grounds, and it's action sequences do not mesh pleasurably with the dialog as they do in Drunken Master.
I was expecting a "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" for Yuen Biao, but rather, I see this film as three main action sequences starring various cast, tied together with the broad characterisation of Mr. White Tiger. It is by far one of the better Kung Fu films out there, but I'm afraid Yuen Woo Ping's other works do the same thing but better.