» » Fang Shi Yu yu Hong Xiguan (1974)

Short summary

Hung escapes Shaolin after the temple is attacked by the Ching, only to be jailed with the help of Fang (also of Shoalin) who mistakes him for a bandit. Fang must now help Hung escape so they can challenge the Ching together.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Samugor
    HEROES TWO (1973) was the first in a series of kung fu movies directed by Chang Cheh to focus on a group of legendary fighters from the famous Shaolin Temple. Alexander Fu Sheng appears here for the first time in his signature role of Fong Si Yu, a fighter trained at Shaolin who was involved with a group of Ming patriots opposing Manchu rule during the Qing dynasty. Chen Kuan Tai (fresh from Chang Cheh's BOXER FROM SHANTUNG and DYNASTY OF BLOOD) appears in the pivotal role of Hung Si Kwan, a Shaolin survivor who went on to teach his Southern Chinese style of martial arts, dubbed Hung boxing, to an illustrious line of students and their descendants, extending all the way down to this film's martial arts director, Lau Kar Leung (Liu Chia Liang), who used this film to infuse the kung fu genre with more authentic styles of fighting.

    HEROES TWO opens with the burning of Shaolin Temple and deals with its aftermath, focusing on a misunderstanding that pits two heroes, Fong Si Yu and Hung Si Kwan, against each other to the benefit of their enemies. Curiously, the two characters don't seem to know each other even though later films depict them as friends both during and after their tenure at Shaolin. There are only a handful of brief kung fu bouts in the film before the spectacular final battle in which the heroes take on the `the four red-robed fighters from Tibet.' Up until this fight, however, the villains are not too formidable and don't represent much of a challenge to the two leads. Subsequent films would feature much better actor-fighters in the villain roles.

    Although this is a weak entry in the Shaolin series, it remains an important film for its introduction of the stars in these roles and the use of authentic Shaolin martial arts styles in the fight scenes. The tape reviewed includes a 9-minute prologue entitled `Three Styles of Hung School's Kung Fu,' in which Fu Sheng, Chen Kuan Tai and Chi Kuan-Chun demonstrate different techniques of Hung boxing. Later films in the Shaolin series include MEN FROM THE MONASTERY (aka DISCIPLES OF DEATH), SHAOLIN AVENGERS (aka THE INVINCIBLE KUNG FU BROTHERS), SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS (listed on IMDB as SHAO LIN MARTIAL ARTS), FIVE MASTERS OF DEATH and DEATH CHAMBER (aka SHAOLIN TEMPLE), all from the years 1974-76.
  • comment
    • Author: Paster
    I have to disagree with the above poster. This is the first of the Hung Gar movies, the flick was a big hit, and helped change how fight scenes were directed in Hong Kong. Before this film, with the exception of Bruce Lee, who was very athletic, most action films were either wanna be Bruce Lee clones- Bruce Liang, Li, Le, etc, with some occasional guys with good kicks etc, or clumsy Gang style knife fights- "Duel" "Vengeance" "Boxer from Shantung". The stars would throw flailing punches and kicks, and some how, with out any kind of skill, defeat an army of guys. Instead of trying to get a guy to look like a JKD stylist (i.e. combining boxing and Karate, not kung fu) they scrapped it for this much more classical style of fighting. Highly choreographed and unrealistic, at least it looked good. It's a movie, it's supposed to look good. As far as the "5 venoms" movies go, that was actually more of a Western Cult movie. At the time that came out, Jackie Chan was starting to break box office records, and the Shaw Brothers were getting beaten out by Golden Harvest and the TV serials.
  • comment
    • Author: Foiuost
    As a fan of Chang Cheh films I would first comment that he has several much better films. Heroes two is honestly pretty unwatchable for anyone but Kung fu film diehard geeks. The story is revealed in very short moments tied together between long scenes of Shoalin boxing. Punch- block-punch-block blah blah. I mean I was entertained but the most remarkable thing about this film was the title sequence was awesome.

    Instead of this film I would suggest other Cheh movies first. The heroic ones, five element ninjas or 5 deadly venoms come to mind first.
  • comment
    • Author: olgasmile
    This Shaw Brothers Chang Cheh film always seems to draw mixed responses. In some ways it was used to set the scene for the later Shaolin films but nothing with Alexander Fu Sheng and Chen Kuan Tai can ever truly be dull. Lau Kar Leung (and Tong Gaai) bring the fighting to life with an authentic feel that Lau Kar Leung really pioneered in such films. Zhu Mu and Chen Kuan Tai are great villains, though the latter could have had a better end fight against Alexander. The very pretty Fong Sam has a small but significant part as bait for the traps and Fung Hak On always does creepy villains well. It's hard not to see Feng Yi and not think of his role in Fist of Fury but he plays his part well. Perhaps one of the problems is that this film starts off in spectacular fashion with Alexander fighting amidst the burning temple and then mostly tells a story until the incredible mass fight at the end. I was told that in this fight the screen often goes red as it was so bloody it contravened the sensibilities of the time ? Alexander was nineteen when he made this - his first real starring role, and unfortunately died only a few years later. Not as good perhaps as the later films in the series (see Brian Camp's review) but not a bad introduction either.
  • comment
    • Author: FEISKO
    I have been watching all the Chinese and Taiwan martial arts movies from the 1960s and up in chronological order. The running total is about 300 as of this movie. I have watched some classics, some stinkers, some movies I never even heard of and they were fabulous, some fast-forward only. There have been fights galore, swords to start, then more realistic fists, even grappling on the ground, then trampolines and wire work. They were all starting to look alike. Then I watched "Heroes Two" and suddenly everything was different. Fights of this quality were never filmed before. I give most of the credit to the Grandmaster Liu Chia-Liang but Tong Gai and Chang Cheh certainly contributed a lot. OF course martial arts movies have constantly evolved or they would not continue to exist. I've seen "Heroes Two" at least once, maybe twice before. This time I first noticed it as an incredible piece of evolution. I almost rated it a 9 of 10 but realistically, though Alex Fu Sheng is one of my favorites, his execution of moves was not on focus nor powerful, so 8 of 10 I call.
  • comment
    • Author: Enone
    Picking up where SHAOLIN TEMPLE left off, HEROES TWO opens with Hung (Chen Kuan Tai) fighting his way out of a burning temple. He's wounded (in the back and the leg, the latter a particularly telling injury), but escapes. Manchus sort through the smoldering ruins in search of bodies in a scene that may have been hampered by budgetary constraints (none of the bodies shown are burnt). Meanwhile, Fang (Alexander Fu Sheng) also manages to escape the burning of a temple. He, too, is being hunted by Imperial agents and is tricked into believing that Hung is a bandit. Arrogant and gullible, he vows to catch Hung and actually helps the Manchus do it. He later learns that he has inadvertently betrayed a Shaolin brother and vows to rectify the situation. Toward the end, a quartet of red-robed Tibetan monks are brought in to deal with the two heroes and- no doubt because of the blood-letting- some of the scenes are tinted red. Another exceptional Chang Cheh effort.
  • Credited cast:
    Kuan Tai Chen Kuan Tai Chen - Hung Hsi-kuan
    Sheng Fu Sheng Fu - Fang Shih-yu
    Hsin Fang Hsin Fang - Wang San-Mei
    Hark-On Fung Hark-On Fung - Hsiang
    Mu Chu Mu Chu - General Che Kang (as Chu Mu)
    Yi Feng Yi Feng - Mai Hsin
    Yen Tsan Tang Yen Tsan Tang - Nien Shui-ching
    Ching Wong Ching Wong - Teh (as Ching Wang)
    Nan Chiang Nan Chiang - Ho
    Chi Chin Wu Chi Chin Wu
    Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
    Kwok Kuen Chan Kwok Kuen Chan
    Chuan Chen Chuan Chen - Tibetan Lama fighter
    Ti-Ko Chen Ti-Ko Chen
    Tien Lung Chen Tien Lung Chen - Extra
    Kent Cheng Kent Cheng
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