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Legend of the Dragon (1990)


Plot: Chow Siu-Lung (Stephen Chow), son of Chow Fei-Hung (Yuen Wah), Fei-Hung was a comrade of the late Bruce Lee, Fei-Hung admired him so much he even named his son after him (Bruce Chow Siu-Lung, using both his English first name and his Chinese name ‘Siu-Lung’). Now retired from his days as a stuntman he now runs a martial arts school on his ancestral land, Tai O.

Chow who is a keen martial artist seems to have a stronger interest in Snooker instead of martial arts. He spends most of his time either playing Snooker, which doesn’t impress Fei-Hung. When he is actually practicing martial arts he trains with his childhood friend Mo (Teresa Mo). Mo whose martial arts skills are superior to Chow has a bit of a crush for him, but he’s too slow to catch on.

With the return of Fei-Hung’s god brother Yan (Leung Kar-Yan), Fei-Hung convinces Yan to take Chow over to Hong Kong and let him see what life is like in the real world. Yan, who really collects protection money in Hong Kong is actually quite bad at his job, it’s whether other gangs have taking the money first or clients refusing. Yan soon discovers Chow’s talent in snooker and decides to place bets on the side soon making both Chow and Yan very rich.

Yan finds himself in trouble with a group of loan sharks (led by Shing Fui-On), Yan reasons with them and convinces them to organize a game of snooker with Chow and they could pick his opponent. The stakes are; if Chow wins, Yan’s debt is cleared, if the sharks win, they win the rights to Fei-Hung’s ancestral land.

Can Chow still win when he’s put under this pressure?

Review: Another wacky Stephen Chow ‘Chinese New Year Movie’ (how do I know? At the end of the movie, Stephen Chow, Yuen Wah, Teresa Mo and Leung Kar-Yan wish you a happy new year!).The movie is great fun, whether it’s laughing at Chow falling a sleeping constantly or Chow worrying that he might have impregnated Mo by sticking his tongue in her mouth, your guaranteed at least one laughing out loud moment.

Any guest appearances? Not much really although there is short but sweet appearances made by both Corey Yuen Kwai and Amy Yip. If you’re a snooker fan you’ll be stunned to see the ‘Whirlwind’ Jimmy White makes appearances as one of Chow’s opponents. Lee Hoi-San makes brief appearances as a Mo’s blind father. Also this is not exactly ‘in the movie’ but you briefly get to see director Danny Lee demonstrating scenes in the ‘NG Footage’ during the closing credits of the movie.

Some other notes of interest, this movie has a musical score during the ‘Mo vs. Chow’ duel which was later re-used in Stephen Chow’s worldwide hit ‘Kung Fu Hustle’. Plus other notable music scores is the ‘Under the generals orders’ (aka the Wong Fei-Hung theme) which is jazzed up by the use of an electric guitar, this is played during the sequences where Chow battles the loan sharks after Yan.

As you can tell this movie have lots and lots of references to the late, great Bruce Lee. Chows character name ‘Bruce Chow Siu-Lung’, character Chow Fei-Hung talking about how he doubled for Bruce Lee in his American movie, which is a nice reference to the actor, Yuen Wah, who was Bruce Lee’s real acrobatic stunt double, notable in the movies, Enter the Dragon and Fist Of Fury.

I sense there are also references to another folk legend – Wong Fei Hung. Yuen Wah’s character is a martial arts practitioner, a doctor, just like the late legend, Wong Fei-Hung. Hell even Yuen Wah’s character is called Chow Fei-Hung and he whoop’s his enemies with the umbrella, signature weapon of Wong Fei-Hung.

Final thoughts? a fun movie showing the early work of Stephen Chow.

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