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The Kung Fu Scholar
Year: 1994 "Man, this movie sucks."
Dicky Cheung and Aaron Kwok
Director: Norman Law Man
Producer: Rover Tang, Alan Tang Kwong-Wing
Cast: Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, Dicky Cheung Wai-Kin, Vivian Chow Wai-Man, Ng Man-Tat, Gordon Liu, Leung Ka-Yan, Michael Chow Man-Kin, Johnny Tang Siu-Cheun, On Tak-Chuen, Yuen King-Tan, Wong Yat-Fei, Kent Cheng Juk-Si, Leung Wing-Chun
The Skinny: Occasionally amusing but mostly uninteresting costume comedy which features decent fight sequences, but also an abundance of interminable comedy.
Review
by Kozo:
     This costume kung-fu comedy attempts the same brand of comedy as Stephen Chow's Flirting Scholar. However, unlike Flirting Scholar, this movie doesn't have Stephen Chow. It's also not very funny. Dicky Cheung stars as Lun, a poor but tricky scholar who's the class cut-up. He teams with kung-fu kid Lau (Aaron Kwok) to rule the classroom, which is run by a typically wacky Ng Man-Tat. However, Tat's niece Ching Ching (Vivian Chow) is also in attendance, which means everyone lusts after her. Plot occurs when their school must best a rival school in an intercollegiate competition. But, substitute teacher Li (Leung Ka-Yan) is secretly a martial arts superstar, and is on the run from Imperal bad guys led by Gordon Liu. Can these wacky kids win the competition and do away with a motley collection of evil bastards? And, will the musical sequences drive you to destroy your television?
     There is the occasional amusement to this lowbrow comedy, but it mostly comes from the fun fight sequences, which were overseen by usual kung-fu players Gordon Liu (AKA: Lau Kar-Fai) and Leung Ka-Yan. Aaron Kwok provides the "Tiger Beat" eye-candy for the girls, and Vivian Chow does the same for the guys. That leaves Dicky Cheung to shore up the comedy, which is a warning flag for anyone who's seen a comedy with Dicky Cheung. While currently a likable and effective television actor, Cheung's nineties film comedies could induce hemorraging in even the most healthy of people. The Kung Fu Scholar is no different; his smarmy, annoying antics are supposed to be funny, but they're really just annoying. Kwok smiles through the picture like an empty popstar, and Chow does the flower vase thing with the skill of a true flower vase professional. This film was released during the height of Hong Kong's box-office boom, which means its empty charms likely flew under the radar. Nowadays, a movie like this would mean studio bankruptcy and untold suffering for the masses. (Kozo 2002)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mega Star/Media Asia
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Mega Star Video Distribution, Ltd.

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