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I May Destroy You
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A very funny Jackie Chan Kung fu movie. You can see the start of the Jackie style taking shape in this film but it still has that 70’s Shaw brothers Kung fu stylized choreography. All in all an entertaining film.
Considered one of the better entries into Jackie Chan's early collection of kung-fu films, The Young Master sounded like it promised old-fashioned martial arts fun.
Low-budget Kung Fu films are a huge market in their native land, so there is a huge quantity of competition that a production like The Young Master is going to face. As a means of becoming memorable, such a film must offer something to separate itself from the crowd. The Young Master has the potential to achieve much more due to the presence of notorious star Jackie Chan, but that proves to be wishful thinking in the end. The Young Master easily falls into the same category as countless other low-budget Kung Fu films of the era. The problem however is that it fails to take an individualistic stand. The film has the better and worse elements of the majority of generic films that it matches up to, but the problem is that it lacks any kind of special distinction. There is no kind of clever hook in The Young Master, no distinctive style of comic relief or differential fighting style exhibited, it is merely the same basic story and decent martial arts choreography burdened by the many flaws that befall essentially every film of the same basic style.
For one thing, the feature is no great visual experience. One common trope among low-budget Kung-Fu films is a flaw which burdens them all: poor resolution. The Young Master is not an exception to this issues and so the film looks rough and has a monochromatic colour scheme which seems to have a grim edge of sepia to it. It's bad enough that the potentially appealing scenery of the film has its life and colour removed as a result of this. Yet the action is not too much of a visual experience either.
Many shots in the action scenes make use of slow-motion which proves to benefit them as it makes things that are occurring significantly more clear. The choreography doesn't churn out any specific techniques or fights that stand out in memory, but it is decent and the slow-motion ensures that it is captured as best as possible within its limitations. However, it does not match Jackie Chan's iconic style of fighting. In contrast to a martial artist such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan's technique is to fight at a fast rate yet take a momentary pause after each technique as if he is presenting his fights as a kata. The slow-motion in The Young Master proves to work against the action scenes in multiple ways, and it ultimately leaves the viewer to be stuck with more time in front of the screen. Considering that the action should be the one thing that makes The Young Master worth watching, the fact that it has this many problems even though it has Jackie Chan to headline it really takes the film into an extremely low standard of territory, beyond the limitations it was already facing to begin with.
The way that the intended drama of The Young Master translates into its English-language dubbing makes the pretentious nature of it seem all the more ridiculous and as a result everything is a lot funnier. The attempts by the film to take itself seriously simply get in the way of The Young Master's potential to be a fun action experience and drags the film on for a lot longer than is necessary. The story is clearly a very generic one which the dialogue is not capable of saving, but that hardly matters since the film doesn't intend to be an insightful exploration of martial arts. It's just another half-assed feature which lightly touches upon familiar themes explored in essentially every Kung Fu film. And like the action, the script works against Jackie Chan's natural performance style because he has a talent for performing in Kung Fu films which he gives a humourous edge to, yet he is forced to take this one completely seriously despite the fact that there is nothing all that intelligent or challenging about The Young Master. The only humour in the film comes from the quality of the dubbing which is surely something that the filmmakers had not intended. It turns the melodrama of the film into ludicrous camp which effectively adds ridiculously over-the-top comic relief to the film. It would almost make the feature slightly more entertaining if it wasn't such a problematic production in the first place, but it just doesn't have the power to do that. The Young Master is not so bad it's good, it's just such a generic and cheap production that fails to capitalize on the talents of its star and falls into cliche story points and production flaws everywhere.
Really, the problems in The Young Master centre around the fact that it does nothing to live up to the credibility of its main star, Jackie Chan. The accomplished martial artist many credit as filling the void left by the untimely death of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan has the legacy of starring in many kung fu films such as Snake in the Eagle's Shadow (1978) and Drunken Master (1978). Both these films predate The Young Master by two years and provide a powerful showcase for the true talents of Jackie Chan, but the difference is that he is in the director's chair this time. His debut as a director was the preceding year with The Fearless Hyena (1979), a mediocre story made unforgettable by its distinctive style of action which included a fight scene executed entirely with chop sticks. The Young Master is a step down for him because it is far more conventional and lacking in any of the man's distinctive charms. By the point of The Young Master, Jackie Chan is yet to define his path as a film director.
The Young Master offers a lack of distinction among a crowd of low-budget Kung Fu films: poor quality resolution, generic choreography, a weak story which takes itself too seriously and minimal use of Jackie Chan's distinctive charms.
It was weird watching this film again because it brought back old childhood memories. I remember the epic ending completely amazed me and I thought that the whole thing was real. The movie came out on VHS when I was 7 so I didn't get to see it until I was around 9 years old so I really thought that Jackie Chan was in pain towards the end. Anyway, this is definitely what I was looking forward to when I started this Jackie Chan season because it's extremely authentic and full of epic action. In some of the scenes it did seem like they were fighting for no reason and the plot did get a bit confusing in the middle but the epic showdown near the end was excellent. Watching Chan take some formidable punches whilst gearing up to kick butt near the end, still gave me goosebumps but like most of his movies, he just has to add a comedy element to the intense situation. For that time, the stunts were amazing and the choreography was spot on. I just hope that the rest of his earlier movies are just as good. Great Film!
This movie was also directed by Jackie Chan, who gives you an in depth insight into his methods behind the camera, on the bonus features of the DVD, which are definitely worth a watch. I must admit, I did miss all that "You Killed My Master" type of concept but it's still worth a watch if your into you vintage Kung Fu movies.
I recommend this movie to people who are into their action/adventure/comedy, Kung Fu movies, which came out on VHS during the 80's. 7/10
mais uma daquelas master-pieces do inicio de carreira de Jackie Chan! Comédia de enganos com umas coreografias ao mais alto nivel!
I own this on DVD in a seven movie pack along with:
* Shaolin Wooden Men (1976)
* The Fearless Hyena (1979)*
* Battle Creek Brawl (1980)
* The Young Master (1980)
* Dragon Lord (1982)
* Project A (1983)
* Project A Part II (1987)
Often Cedited As Jackie Chan's Directorial Debut (Which Was Actually Fearless Hyena), The Young Master Is An Excellently Chroeographed Contemporary Classic Comedy. The Films Plot Is A Simple One, This Opens The Film Up To Show Us What The Actors Can Really Do When It Comes Down To The Martial Arts. Leung (Chan) Is In Search Of His Brother Keung. Keung Gets Caught Up In A Crminal Gang While Leung Tries To Find Hom To Stop Him. The Police Identify The Wrong Man And Take Leung In. He Escapes To Go After The Real Band Of Crminals. this Is Thrown Together NIcely, With Yuen Biao And Wong In-Suk Making Excellent Opponents For Chan, A Well Thought Out Film That's Certainly Worth A Watch.
The Young Master martial arts directed and starring Jackie Chan also starring Biao Yuen. The film was co-written by Jackie Chan and King Sang Tang; it's the first film that Jackie did for Golden Harvest. Film spawned a indirect sequel by Chan called 'Dragon Strike/Dragon Lord/Young Master in Love (informally).
Two orphan brothers Dragon (Chan) and Tiger (Wei Pei) live in a school. After receiving defeat in Lion Dance competition due to leg injury of Tiger, the master along with his students face humiliation and taunting across small town. It's found out that Tiger faked his injury to receive his share from rival, he is exiled by his master, which prompts Dragon to go in search of his estranged brother to make amends with their master - however on his way Dragon faces multiple eccentric people; he is ultimately mistaken for Man with White-Fan (in reality his brother Tiger who collaborated with rival gang to release a renown fighter thief) by the local police.
The Young Master delivers amazing stylish Chinese traditions, and maintains the humor and seriousness in many fight-scenes. What actually surprised me in the film was, the use of originality of fight-choreography, without any use of special-effects or whatsoever. There is perfect use of different weapons and tools such poles, a rope, fans, benches and swords. Jackie's first self-performed stunts are unique and mesmerizing. Film is considered to have broken previous records by Bruce Lee, and it is said that the movie established Chan as top star in Hong Kong/China cinema.
I was like 'my God' at the climatic fight scene between Jackie Chan and Hwang In-Shik. Superbly crafted movie!
Must have watched this a dozen times when I was younger. You know what you are getting - slapstick humour, Jackie's cheeky face, unbelievable choreography and one of the best jingles ever.
A film released back in Jackie Chan's early days, The Young Master delivers hilarious moments, stunning fight scenes and a good message all wrapped in a big ass-kicking. Full of laughs, action and amazing stunts, this is one of Jackie Chan's funniest films. The fights were choreographed well and are amazingly stunning. It is a simple story about honor and brotherhood and the lengths that one will go to defend them. With some of the best fight scenes I have ever seen (one involving only a small bench), hilarious characters and a beautiful dragon dance, The Young Master is an instant smash hit with only a slow moment here and there. If you are a fan of Jackie Chan or martial arts films, this is one you don't want to miss!