|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
Young Hero of Shaolin 2
This time in the continuing story of Fong Sai Yuk, the emperor has tired of Shaolin's growing influence and power, so he enlists a local commissioner to arrange a conflict between the monks and the surrounding martial schools. The crux of the story unites Fong Sai Yuk and fellow Shaolin student Wu Wai Kin (I'm guessing at the spelling), who has returned to his murdered fathers martial school in order to get revenge on a corrupt baddie named Dragon Head, the man responsible for his fathers death. Dragon Head gets help from the evil commissioner and a fighter named Lu Ti Ping, who has a vendetta against Fang Sai Yuk. Kidnappings,... lion dances,... and, of course, kung fu.
What makes this a more entertaining film than the first is the fact that it has better ideas and inventiveness going on. It isn't exactly genius plotting, but at least it keeps moving without grinding to a halt. After inquiring about the Spinning Palm Technique, Fong Sai Yuk and Wu Wai Kin are walking home and decide to race, Wai Kin taking the bridge while Sai Yuk Crouching Tiger style hops across the lily pads on the water. It is pretty superfluous but entertaining, a little bit thrown in to keep you interested. The fight choreography is still pretty bland, but at least the fighting is frequent. Except for a bloated ending that sort of limps along, the final twenty minutes is almost all pure action scenes... Hey, sometimes I'm a simple man, and that is all I ask for, some action. It doesn't have to be great; like a baby in a crib, just give me something shiny to look at and I'll be happy with my 2AM kung fu viewing.
Directed by Ngai Hoi Fung (Master with Cracked Fingers and Bruce Leung's Ten Tigers of Shaolin), it looks like any another run of the mill mainland feature, with some choppy editing, a barely there story, and more attention paid to the fight scenes, though even they aren't up to Golden Harvest or Shaw Bros. standards.
The DVD: Crash
Picture: Full-screen. Worn out, washed out, overplayed tape master. It is like a tired mantra one keeps repeating when it comes to kung fu films. Too often this seems to be all anyone can dredge up, and it is unfortunate. So, it looks pretty bad, and scenes like the already the clumsily choreographed night fight are all the worse because of the grainy, spotty, soft print.
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English dub. Once again, I'll keep up the mantra. Dub has some wear and tear, audio dropoff, and other marks of its low budget and lack of care. Again, like the image, a worn lackluster affair that we kung fu fans must listen to with forgiving ears.
Extras: Chapter and Jump to Fight Scene Selection--- Gallery of screenshots.
Conclusion: Well, the quality of the transfer is strictly a budget bin affair, so it is really only going to be for strict kung fu fans still willing to fork over dough for a vhs quality DVD. Even then, I'm not sure its going to be too high on a want list. But, it is a better purchase than the first film.