Ladies and gentlemen, this will be my first attempt at reviewing Kung Fu film. Let it be known that I absolutely love martial arts movies, to the point that me and friend of mine were going to start a network (If we could have lucked upon a few million bucks) called the Kung Fu network. Tragically, those hacks at Dish Network (I don’t know if they are really hacks, but since they stole our idea, as of today, Dish Network, it’s employees, subsidiaries, stock holders, customers and affiliates will now be known as untalented hacks) uh, as I was saying until that crazed lunatic butted in, Dish Network recently launched it’s own Kung Fu channel, thus breaking me and my boys hearts. But back to task of actually reviewing a Kung Fu movie. The majority of martial arts pictures follow a recognized standard. Unskilled dude goes and convinces some master to train him, some evil dude for various reasons, be it they hate the unskilled dude, hate the master, want the masters school, or had some bad jop choi, kills the master. Dude must now avenge the master, but not before he severely gets his ass kicked by the evil dude and his laughing cronies first. Dude must rededicate himself to his craft, to his masters memory, and soon the evil dude pays with his bloody, still beating heart in the clasps of our scowling hero’s palm. Who then must collapse. Now there are exceptions to these rules as most Bruce Lee movies don’t follow this course and neither do Sonny Chiba’s ‘Street Fighter’ films, but pretty that’s pretty much how they go. I assume it would be like reviewing a porn flick. The pizza boy delivered the pizza to the nekkid girl and they get down. The only thing to review, since the setup is standard, is if the down getting was any good, so that’s how we should probably approach reviewing ‘Born Invincible’. Sure, they killed his master, but was the Kung Fu any good?
Now when I review a flim I try too keep the verbage between 700 and 850 word as I believe that’s just about all anybody can stand to read on something that’s not a class assignment. My man over at DVDcult.com has a review for up for ‘Born Invincible’ that runs a whopping 2100 words. So if you really want an in-depth, balls to the wall, no stone left uncovered review of ‘Born Invicincible’ then I suggest your click your happy ass on over there, because he has you covered for real. As opposed to my slacking ass who’s already over 400 words in and hasn’t said jack about the movie.
The movie starts with that narrarating voice guy, you the one I’m talking about, describing the mastery of Tai Chi. Should you master it, and it will take a lifetime commitment starting from childhood, you will become virtually invincible. One little side effect, as it is relayed to us, is that your hair will turn white and your voice will raise a couple of nutless octaves. This would generally suck, but no one would dare make fun of you since you’ll probably be able kill them by simply thinking real hard. Carter Wong is Chief Chin, a white haired, squeaky pitched dude of unspeakable arrogance and aggressiveness. He, along with his partner Chin Pah, are running roughshod over the landscape and run into a school of sweet, hard working, underachievers who are protecting an old swordsman that these two masters want to kill. Why? Well, we aren’t privileged to that information. The Master asks them to politely go away, which they refuse to do, so the master’s top student decides to venture past the gates and do battle with the two ruffians. Before he leaves he lets everybody know that they are probably going kill him because he sucks and they’re great, but at least he’s no bitch. True to his proclamation, he dies, as does the old man they were protecting, and the master of the school and anybody else who dared diddle with these two kings of kung-fu.
Apparently having seen
enough, the rest of the students flee to the mountains
and decide to train to beat these guys. It’s
actually pretty funny. Since they suck no matter
how hard they train, they do stuff like throw dirt and
set traps or whatever they think of to get over.
Through some of trickeration they do manage to do away
with Chin Pah, but by their own admission, the means are
less than honorable, but damn, we gotta do what we gotta
Then they get word that Tai Chi masters do have one weakness, the problem is they can move it around at will. Be it at the back of the neck, the testicles (unless the master is female of course), the ear lobe… it’s there, they just have to find it. I’m not going to spoil it for you as to whether or not they find it, but they find it. And it’s pretty funny how they find it too.
Now, is the Kung Fu in ‘Born Invincible’ any good? I got three words for you: Yuen Woo Ping. If you don’t know who that is, then I must seriously question as to why your even bothering with this article. The Kung Fu is outstanding, shot and staged beautifully. Director Joseph Kuo does an admirable job with the story since kung fu films MUST yield story elements to fighting scenes for goodness sakes. It is clever in that there is no one hero in this film, and it’s up to the remaining students to figure out how to stop Chief Chin. One will challenge, ends up getting the stuffing beat out of them, then limps back and reports their findings. There is a female swords lady who in particular has a lot of heart and does her best while her male counterparts cower in the weeds. She ends getting the stuffing beat of her too. Chief Chin doesn’t always kill though, sometimes he just likes to kick a little ass.
Deserving to up there with such legendary titles as the ‘Five Deadly Venoms’ and ‘Masters of the Flying Guillotine’, ‘Born Invicible’ is now popping up in dollar store bins across the land (That’s where I got mine) and is a classic any fan of the genre should own.