Notable Cast: Ti Lung, Alexander Fu, Fu Keng
Just recently The Weinstein Company announced that they had made a deal with Celestial Pictures to remake two classic Shaw Brothers films. One of those films was "The Avenging Eagle." While I have owned the film for quite some time thanks to Dragon Dynasty, I had never gotten around to actually seeing the film and this news made me curious to why the film would be one chosen. Now I know. "The Avenging Eagle" is both a classic kung fu film with its themes and relentless martial arts set pieces, but it's also a fairly dynamic film visually and in conception. While the film might not have garnered my attention to begin with, "The Avenging Eagle" has it now as an instant Shaw Brothers classic.
When a wandering man in black Chik Ming-sing (Ti Lung) is saved in the desert by another mysterious nomad (Alexander Fu), they find themselves at odds at first. When it's revealed that Chik Ming-sing is one of the murderous Thirteen Eagles, an assassination clan raised from birth to be killing machines for a vicious gang, the two realize that their goals may not be all that different. Particularly since Chik Ming-sing has denounced his killing ways and looks to kill his master (Ku Feng) for all of his sins.
|It takes two, baby!|
|Sticks and stones may break your bones...and yeah they will.|
While a strong director and cast do make for a better film all the way around, "The Avenging Eagle" definitely knows that it has to be filled to the brim with action and just a hint of cheese. It delivers on the Shaw Brothers promise too. Right away we get some fun fist bickering between our leads that culminates in a great fight over a torch, but when the first of the Thirteen Eagles show up clad in bright color coded outfits and each sporting a unique weapon we finally understand just what the film is going to give us. The fights are all memorable and unique in this manner, gimmicky perhaps with some odd weapons including hidden shoe daggers and a finale featuring our villain with Brass Eagle Claws on his hands, but the choreography is quite impressive and the flow is superior. Kung fu fans will not be disappointed.
|"I'll get you next time, Gadget."|
Written By Matt Reifschneider