Legendary Weapons of China

1982 kung-fu movie

Rating: 14/20

Plot: Assassins are sent to hunt down a kung-fu master who was teaching students to not die when shot by bullets but who ran away when he discovered that it was impossible not to die when shot by bullets. A bunch of fighting takes place.

This is bookended by the opening credits which showcase the titular legendary weapons and a lengthy fight scene at the end where the pair of foes use more than a dozen legendary weapons. It's enough swish-swish-swooshing to make even the most experienced martial arts aficionado a little dizzy, but that climactic fight scene is properly considered one of the best ever. There's an emotional edge, too. But like most Shaw Brothers' flicks, that's not really what we're looking for here. This one's colorful and confusing, muddled by too much comic relief and a potpourri of characters, some who don't even seem to know their own genders. I was really confused by a con artist character and didn't always understand the motivations of the characters. But once this gets going, it goes hard, and that array of legendary weapons is enough to make any kung-fu fan as stiff as a Chinese spear. Even Charlie Sheen's butler would call it epic.

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