Monday, 25 April 2011

Gallants (打擂台).

"If you don't fight you won't lose but if you fight you must try to win."

"It is not about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you get hit, and still keep moving forward."

Fresh from winning The Best Movie at the 2011 HK Film Awards, as well as Best Supporting Actor and Actress for Teddy Robin (泰迪羅賓)and Susan Shaw (邵音音) respectively, this 2010 martial arts comedy paid tribute primarily to the old school 70s Shaw Brothers kung fu movie genre, and naturally, casts most actors (and an actress) of Shaw Brothers alumni from that era. Primary among them are Bruce Leung (梁小龍), one of those whom were marketed as a Bruce Lee clone during the brief Bruceploitation period shortly after the death of the latter, as well as last seen personally in Stephen Chow's 2004 hit, Kung Fu Hustle as the ultimate antagonist. And he still shows those Juet Kuen Do-like moves in this movie; Chen Kuan-Tai ( 陳觀泰), whom appeared in at least 80 Shaw Brothers productions and one of the first actors with a true kung fu background; Lo Meng (羅莽), the muscular martial arts actor from the latter Shaw Brothers production period ; Susan Shaw, whom was initially famous for her portrayal in the early wave of erotic sexploitation movies, including some directed by the infamous oft-parodied Lui Kei (吕奇). It also features Michael Chan (陳惠敏), known for his triad taiko roles and real life kickboxing expert, and several others in brief or special appearances, faces of actors and actresses from the time when I was just born, yet still appears sporadically in series or movies whom faces are instantaneously recognisable. Oh, it is narrated by veteran comedy actor singer Tam Ping Man (譚炳文) too. Rounding up the casts are Wong Yau Nam (黃又南), of boy band duo, Shine and last seen in Ip Man as an irritating forgettable character,the delicious looking yet feisty JJ Jia (賈曉晨); and the famous chopstick hip hopper, MC Jin. Co-directed by Clement Cheng (鄭思傑) and Derek Kwok (郭子健), and produced by Gordon Lam (林家棟) with the executive producer role being handled by a guy named Andy Lau, reportedly at a comparatively low budget of USD 643, 200 with the film being shot within 18 days. So why do I like this movie? Coz apart from getting to see some of the Shaw Bros production boys and a girl of which Dad and Mom would perhaps recognise, I would say it is because of the excellent fighting scenes, humour and parody laced dialogues, and how the storyline and plots tied everything together in a nifty little package with an emotive conclusion which provide huge entertainment and escapism to me in an otherwise increasingly dour offering from the movies churning mill of Hong Kong cinema.

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