The Young Vagabond (1985)

Xiao nian Su Qi Er (1985) 85min | Action, Comedy | 1985 (Hong Kong) Summary: Some of the best kung-fu actors star in this rare, colorful, action-packed story of one of the legendary Ching Dynasty Kwangtung Tigers. "Beggar Su" must train incessantly to defeat the ... See full summary¬†¬Ľ
Countries: Hong KongLanguages: Cantonese, Mandarin

I do love these quite old Hong Kong cinema movies and I allow some of them a tremendous amount of leeway. Some of them turn out to be surprisingly comedic, like Martial Arts of Shaolin, and some of them turn out to be surprisingly deep, like Opium and the Kung Fu Master.

This one, however, turned out to be surprisingly confusing. This is a tale of two close brothers separated by the inability of one of the two not to get into wine-fuelled trouble. Fortunately the troubled brother finds a true drunken master to learn kung fu from, although the drunken master himself has a hidden past. There is a complex plot with a government official, his daughter, a love story, a plot to kill one brother that ends up killing the other and the official’s daughter, and the hidden past from the drunken master of course comes back to haunt them all.

The main issue for me was not just the uneven narrative/pacing, but the fundamental muddling of different storylines. In some places it is comedic, in others tragic, however the transition between the two is often abrupt and jarring. The soundtrack is also sometimes comedic and sometimes tragic, but not always at the most appropriate times.

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