Sammo Hung is known to be one of the respected martial arts/action choreographers of all time and the 1980 martial arts film The Victim may be one of his lesser-known but nonetheless best films Sammo Hung has ever directed. While he is the director, the main character/star is actually played by Bryan Leung who is one of the lesser-known stars in Hong Kong action cinema. This lesser-known gem in Sammo Hung’s film collection is one that all martial arts fans should consider finding.
The story is quite intricate actually. Bryan Leung (with that famous beard of his of course) plays Chun Yao who early in his life was an orphan and taken in by a rich and kind man who had a son who didn’t take to his new brother too well. In fact, when Chun Yao gets married to the step brother’s former girlfriend, his step brother holds a nasty grudge and decides he will hunt down his step brother and defeat him for his bride’s love. Sammo Hung plays Chan Wing who is a bumbling man who one day challenges Chun Yao to a fight, getting defeated in the process. Chan Wing then decides to become Chun Yao’s student, much to the chagrin of Chun Yao because he doesn’t want to attract attention. Chan Wing will not take “no” for an answer so he follows him around as he made a promise to his ancestors to learn kung-fu by the man who would defeat him in a fight.
The acting is actually pretty good and the story is done quite well. The relationship between Sammo’s and Bryan’s characters stays at a stalemate for much of the film but when the time finally comes for him to trust him, it’s just in the nick of time. Later you find out more about Chan Wing and you start to feel more for his character and you begin to understand why he is so determined to become a martial arts master. Alright, enough about the story how’s the action choreography? Well, it’s pretty cool to say the least. One action scene has them in a bath house and it’s absolutely hilarious because Chun Yao is trying to get away from Chan Wing but be warned; there are naked butts all around so if you like Asian men’s butts then this is the scene for you. The final fight scene is outstanding. That’s it. That’s all I’ll say about it.
It’s a shame that this film is one of Sammo Hung’s lesser-known (there’s that phrase again) films because this is a film that should be appreciated more. If you want to go away from the norm of martial arts films for a bit then I suggest searching for this film and see one of Sammo Hung’s lesser-known (how many times is that now?) films. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed because if you are, well then I don’t know what to say about you.