The Hand of Death

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (54 votes, average: 3.63 out of 5)
Posted On: January 10, 2009
Posted In: All Movies, Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan Movies, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Shaolin Kung Fu
Comments: One Response

Let me begin with the all-star cast, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Carter Wong, Dorian Tao-liang Tan, James Tien, and Biao Yuen. For any self respecting Kung Fu Movie fanatic, we could end right there. But what if I threw in John Woo as the director? That’s right, John Woo directing what is one of his earliest films.

The plot: A Shaolin disciple played by Dorian Tao-liang Tan is sent on a mission to assassinate a Shaolin traitor named Shih Xiaofeng, played by James Tien, and protect a revolutionary named Zhang Yi played by John Woo (yes, you read that correctly). Along his journey Tan meets up with a young woodcutter named played by Jackie Chan and a disgraced sword fighter known as the wanderer. Both men have suffered at the hands of Shih and want to take revenge. The three team up to defeat Shih and his eight bodyguards and escort the revolutionary to safety.

Hand of Death is a serious, straight forward revenge driven story and an underrated Kung Fu classic. The film is one of the best artistically of its time and a preview of the great things to come from Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. Hung’s great choreography is put on display here, and Chan’s early charisma and talent can be clearly seen. Hand of Death is a solid, stylish old school kung fu film and a brilliant early work of the legendary John Woo. Thomas DiSanto