Good gracious! A 70's Hong Kong martial arts film available in widescreen?! Let's hope it's a trend! While the movie is probably worth three stars, I have to tack on one more for the widescreen presentation.
A loving parody of Bruce Lee and his fans, this 1978 film follows the trivails of a young man who idolizes Bruce, and comes to the city in order to help his uncle run his food stand. Bad guys try to muscle their way to a free lunch, and Sammo makes them pay the check.
Then his girlfriend is kidnapped because she reminds a clownish rich bad guy of the only woman to turn him down. Enter three more bad dudes on the rich guy's payroll. One is a karate expert, and another is a redneck kickboxer. Most laughable is the "black" fighter, who's really an Asian gentleman with really bad make-up (complete with an afro that looks like a beehive hairdoo wig from the 50's, 70's sideburns, and blazing red bellbottoms). Obviously a parody of Jim Kelly in "Enter the Dragon, the guy is sheer rediculousness incarnate.
Sammo is amazing, transforming from overweight buffoon to kung fu king with just a few quick motions. The idea, as far as I can tell, was to recreate some of the actual fights from Bruce Lee's films. If so, they appear seamless. Best fight scene other than the climax would have to be Sammo taking on a Bruce Lee impersonator and his movie stunt crew. Then, in the climax, Sammo uses found-objects in a warehouse to combat the three enforcers, much like Jackie Chan does in his films. Overall, this 1978 effort is most easily described as Jackie Chan-lite, and as such, gives the viewer an hour and a half of light martial arts comedy.
For those like myself, not really steeped in Bruce Lee lore, the movie is at the very least a fun time with a young Sammo battling bad guys. Despite all the kung fu action, the film is totally harmless if you want to give a copy to the kids. Nobody really gets hurt all that much, and they'll find the slapstick and kung-fu comedy enjoyable.