Martial Arts

Sleeping Fist

Distributed by Ground Zero Entertainment

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Iím a huge fan of Leung Kar Yan, a handsome Hong Kong movie and television actor and director who has starred in quite a few highly acclaimed martial arts films.  Iíve watched a number of his movies and always marvel at the fact that he never received any formal martial arts training, but instead relied on his talent at mimicry to pull off the amazing moves he performed in each film.  It sure always looked like he knew what he was doing in every film I ever saw him in.  Being such a fan, I couldnít pass up the chance to purchase yet another Leung Kar Yan film on DVD and so I bring you a review of my latest acquisition, Sleeping Fist.

            In Sleeping Fist, Lueng Kar Yan stars as Chin Ta Kahn, a police officer who has obtained information about illegal activities of Master Kao (Eddie Ko Hung).  Planning to bring this information back to headquarters to obtain a warrant for Master Kaoís arrest, a seriously injured Leung Kar Yan is ambushed by Kaoís thugs, but helped to safety by a young orphan (Wong Yat Lung).  The orphan latches on to Chin Ta Kahn, adopting him as his brother and vows to stick with him no matter what may happen.

            In their travels, the two come across and rescue a young woman (Ah-Yeung Ling-Lung) and Chin Ta Khan quickly becomes smitten with her.  Unfortunately, he canít act on his love until he brings Master Kao to justice.  They stumble upon an old master known as Old Fox (Yuen Siu Tin), who rescues them from Master Kao and his men.  Chin Ta Khan and The Kid ask Old Fox to train them and he willingly takes them on as his pupils.  However, Old Fox knows that the usual style he teaches will not be enough to beat Master Kao.  He decides to teach Chin Ta Khan a style even he, himself, has yet to master - Sleeping Fist.  Old Fox believes that with Sleeping Fist in his arsenal, Chin Ta Khan can beat Master Kao and he wonít have long to find out.

            This film is like a reunion of stars from Thundering Mantis and that shouldnít seem unusual considering that the films were both directed by Yip Wing-Cho.  The storyline contains quite a few holes, but the movie is fun to watch with amazing fight choreography and acrobatics.  Iím always amazed by Lueng Kar Yanís fight scenes and the various styles he brings to each one.  Iím also amazed by the abilities of Wong Yat Lung - that is one strong and flexible kid.  In both Thundering Mantis and Sleeping Fist, Leung Kar Yan and Wong Yat Lung show an affection for one another that canít be imagined.  The two fight well together in some very interestingly choreographed scenes, performing acrobatic feats that require a great deal of trust in each otherís abilities.

            Once again, Eddie Ko Hung is portraying a bad guy.  He doesnít say much in this film, but allows his facial expressions and fighting styles to do all of the talking.  Yeun Siu Tin is always entertaining to watch when performing his Drunken Master or Mad Master styles or teaching them to new students.  His comical antics add humor to every film he is in, but there is always some point in the movie when you realize that he can be a deadly competitor.

            Sleeping Fist is a lot of fun to watch and you easily find yourself rooting for Chin Ta Khan and his friends to defeat Master Kao, despite not really knowing how evil he really is.  The characters are likeable, the humor added to each scene is enjoyable and the fight choreography is amazing.  Any martial arts movie fan would be happy to add this film to their collection.  As a Lueng Kar Yan fan, although there arenít any scenes in which we get to see his acting talent, I did immensely enjoy his fight scenes.  Iím glad I purchased Sleeping Fist and am able to add it to my martial arts movie collection.


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