The Young Master

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (94 votes, average: 4.29 out of 5)
Posted In: Action Movies, All Movies, Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan Movies, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Shaolin Kung Fu
Comments: 2 Responses

Jackie Chan had already established himself in Hong Kong as a major box office star with 1978’s Drunken Master and 1979’s Fearless Hyena, but he was not getting his fiscal due from Lo Wei Productions, so he opted out of his contract with Lo Wei and was hired by Golden Harvest. The Young Master was the first feature Chan did for Golden Harvest, but it wasn’t without a lions share of difficulties. The film was interrupted several times because of the contract disputes with Lo Wei and a Triad that tried to muscle in on Jackie’s fortune. This was eventually settled with some help from Jimmy Wang Yu whom Jackie would owe (along many other actors) several favors.

Jackie stars as Ah Lung, a mediocre student, (funny he doesn’t seem so in the film and that point is soon forgotten) who loses in a beautifully choreographed lion dance competition because his fellow adopted brother Jing Keung (Wei Pei), faked an injury and competed incognito for the Wei Yee school. Lung and Keung’s Sifu Master Tien soon finds out of this deception and this betrayal leads to Keung leaving the school. After an impassioned plea from Lung, Tien gives Lung his blessing to find his brother. Jackie takes his big white fan (important plot point.) Jing looks for work at the Wei Yee school, but is turned down when he is found to have helped the Wei Yee school win the Lion Dance competition. He is then recruited with two others, including Fung Hark-On (aka Fung Ke-An who was the martial arts consultant with Jackie) who has a large mole on his face.

To free Master Kim (Hapkido expert Whang In Shik) Jing uses his big white fan to help Kim escape. So Ah would later be mistaken for his brother and sought after by the local police inspector and his son (played by Hong Kong regulars Shih Kien and Yuen Biao.) This would lead up to an awesome fight scene between two of the Seven Little Fortunes, Yuen and Jackie. Yuen would expertly use a bench and you get to see Jackie use a pole again.

Even with the continuity problems (even admitted by Jackie, including one scene where Jackie is fettered and the next he is not) and the overuse of sped-up footage and zoom shots (including one that is parodied in Kung Pow), this is a fun film to watch.

The Cantonese comedy is a delight and the martial arts are sublime. In those fight scenes you get to see him use many props such as sword, pole, bench and even a skirt, a skill he learns from his encounter with the Police Chief’s daughter played by Lily Li. The high point of the film is a showdown that involves an 18-minute plus scene between Jackie and Whang (Jackie in his autobiography “I Am Jackie Chan” considers this his ninth best fight scene). This movie is a “must see” for any self respecting Jackie Chan or Hong Kong Kung Fu Movie fans. Thomas DiSanto

2 Responses to “The Young Master”

  1. fifi Says:

    Awesome Kung Fu Fighting…Jackie delivers the fun!

  2. travis Says:

    What the heck… I watched this movie a while ago but never caught the name…..I love this movie!