Hapkido (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hapkido (1972)





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The early '70s martial arts feature Hapkido (also released in some English-speaking regions under the title Lady Kung Fu) marks one of the few films of its genre, from that era, to sport a female heroine. Angela Mao stars as Yu Ying, one of three students of Master Han Jae Ji (the real-life architect of the titular Korean fighting method, playing himself). Yu trains in this branch of martial arts, along with two male counterparts, Kao Chang and Fan Wei (played, respectively, by Carter Wong and future superstar Sammo Hung), and subsequently returns with them to mainland China, where each student attempts to set up his or her own hapkido school and becomes acquainted with the resident Chinese martial arts experts in the area. The neophytes are soon thwarted, however, by the presence of the Japanese-run Black Bear school, whose proprietors sink to dirty and uncouth levels to send their new competitors scurrying from the area like cowardly curs. Their plan, of course, backfires when the attempts at intimidation draw wave after wave of formidable hapkido violence from Yu, Kao and Fan. Feng Huang directs, making full use of the widescreen format to stage and choreograph action sequences (and minimal use of the rapid-fire editing that would later dominate martial arts pictures). ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi


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