Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Heroes Of The East - 4/5

When I want to watch a great Martial Arts action flick, I have no further to go than Dragon Dynasty. Since I started to really delve into the Kung Fu film catalog (starting about 2 years ago), I have found through this company so many great titles of both classic and modern works of Asian action. One of them being "Heroes Of The East".

Granted, one could have hoped for a slightly more in depth tale of betrayal, revenge, or even your standard war story from this one, but its rather fun and simplistic plot of a young Chinese man and young Japanese woman getting married and accidentally creating a feud between the two cultures where he must fight off some of the best Japanese Martial artists is a breath of fresh air when it comes to some of the extremities of stories in the genre. Its just enough story to thread together extensive fighting for the last half of the film and it worked for me. Is it the greatest story ever told? No. But it works for what it does.

As for the fighting scenes themselves, its hard to dislike this film at all. There are so many styles on display here and so many interesting matches that even though the story might only be there to lightly thread together and set up these matches, it doesn't really matter once it starts moving. We get all kinds of awesome shit including ninjitsu, hand to hand combat (karate, drunken boxing - my fave! - and even some judo), sword fighting, small blade fighting (including sais, you don't see that often), spear fighting, and even chained stick fights. Its a Goddamn buffet of Martial Arts madness! And every fight is unique and memorable! We might as well have skipped the first half hour of story and just went here and it wouldn't have changed this film hardly at all.

Even though the story is pretty weak, this film still ranks high on my list just for the sheer amount of cool style fights it has. Honestly, this film knew it wasn't the most brilliant picture and it played it pretty honest and up front. I appreciate that. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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