The DVD of Inheritor of Kung Fu
is so substandard that it makes reviewing the film a real challenge.
The faded, poorly dubbed print is presented in pan & scan and
appears to have been heavily edited. The film was produced in Taiwan
and since very little information is available, it is probably amazing
that prints still exist at all. For that reason alone, it's good
that it's been released. However, even if it was restored and completem
Inheritor of Kung-Fu probably wouldn't make much sense.
Ti Lung stars as the hero, who befriends
a Princess (Chang Ling a.k.a Pearl Cheung) and her servant while
on the road. Ti tries to help them battle off some masked bandits
but ends up being rescued by the Princess because her kung fu is
better than his. However, anyone who watches these kinds of movies
knows that things won't stay that way for long.
Ti perfects his fighting skills while
somehow getting involved with a few martial arts clans who are at
odds over a special Kung Fu manuscript. Then, the movie takes a strange, somewhat mythical turn. Furthermore,
supporting characters come and go, each doing strange things that
have nothing to do with the plot. One character, who's supposed
to be the main bad guy, even disappears for sixty minutes of the
The kung fu is good but a lot of the
wirework is poorly hidden. The sets are bad and there are some serious
continuity and technical issues. I won't even mention the white
guy who comes flying out of the lake during the last act with no
prior mention or reason why such a thing should happen. You know
it's springtime when the white guys come shooting up out of the
Just about the only good thing in
this movie is Ti Lung, who kicks serious ass. He plays second banana
to no one as was common in his Shaw Brothers films. He really gets
a chance to show how good his kung-fu is and rises
to the occasion as a charming leading man.
The Tai-Seng DVD also has a commentary
track with HK movie expert and author Rick Meyers and African American
HK stuntman Bobby Samuels. The two don't seem to be able to pick
apart the film's plot and Meyers even had some research issues.
He failed to identify Pearl Cheung even though there
are resources available that identify her. The two also refer to the
main bad guy as "The Mad Korean" but upon checking another
print of the film, there are no Korean names listed in the credits.
Despite these inconsistencies, Meyers and Samuels do offer some
interesting information on Ti Lung, Hong Kong and Taiwan Kung Fu
cinema in general and are overall very pleasant to listen to. However,
everyone involved with the production of the film should disown
it. That is, except for Ti Lung. (Magicvoice 2002)