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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Teddy Robin, Wong You Nam, Jia Xiao Chen, MC Jin, Li Hai Tao, Law Wing Cheong, Leung and Siu Lung
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 25 July 2011

Cheung is your average weedy, nerdy type, always in trouble and always the butt of someone else's ire. Sent into the country, after another failure, to secure the property rights Cheung enters a tea house run by two aging martial artists. The house had once been the studio of their master, Law, who has lain in a coma for the last thirty years. Unable to find the rent things look bleak until Master Law awakens from his slumber and the group decide to take on another local martial arts school, if they can win they will save the tea house...

Gallants (2010 - 1 hr, 32 min, 35 sec) is a comedy martial arts film, which harkens back to the type of film made in the seventies. The film was written and directed by Clement Sze-Kit Cheng and Chi-kin Kwok as a homage to the sort of films that Bruce Lee used to star in. The title sequence is very seventies with deliberate print damage to give the impression that the film is older than it actually is.

The film won four wards at the 2010 Hong Kong Film Awards, including best picture and was nominated for a further three.

The story is told in a broadly comic fashion, Cheung (You-Nam Wong) is your average looser, always in trouble at work, and in fact trouble seems to follow him. As soon as he enters the village he is involved in a fight, though only in the same way as a punch bag is. Temporarily rescued by Tiger (Siu-Lung Leung), he meets him later at the Tea House which he runs with Dragon (Kuan Tai Chen) the last two of Master Law's pupils, who tend the house and his unconscious body.

Of course there is a pretty girl, Kwai (JJ Jia), who you instantly know will fall for our flawed hero after he has beaten the bad guys and saved the tea house. The humour kicks up a notch when Master Law (Teddy Robin) wakes up. He remembers nothing of the last thirty years and so provides much of the ‘fish out of water’ humour. Robin's manic performance is the show stealer here as the disorientated kung fu master, who has no idea what is going on.

There is little by way of extras, only a trailer (1 min, 47 sec), but the picture is fine and free of faults, well at least those that are not supposed to be there, and the DD 5.1 Cantonese surround track provides the film with a powerhouse audio.

Overall it’s a fun bit of nonsense, especially if you like your humour broad and silly.


Charles Packer

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