Red Fists


AKA: Perfect Partners

Year of release: 1991

Genre: action

Director: Gwok Bo-Cheong

Action director: Yu Rong-Guang

Producers: Cheung Yam-Yim, Sung Man-Foo

Writer: Wong Mak-Chuen

Cinematography: Kin Wing

Music: Wen Zhong-Jia

Editor: Hong Yau

Stars: Yu Rong-Guang, Sharon Kwok, Chiang Han, Hung Yue-Chow, Kwok Yiu-Waj, Ning Jing, Cheung Yim-Lai, Ji Chun-Hua, Mark Houghton

Rated IIA for mild violence

Movie review index
Main page

Red Fists  Red Fists

Red Fists  Red Fists

Yu Rong-Guang must have a deadly and blood-thirsty vendetta against nefarious windows. At least, that's the sense this reviewer got after watching Yu's 1991 picture Red Fists, which must have raised the stock of pane glass companies all across Hong Kong and Mainland China due to the sheer amount of broken glass flying across the frame throughout this movie's running time.

Besides placid countryside greenhouses, the target of Yu's aggression is a counterfeiting ring running funny money into his beloved Mainland China, because apparently that will stop him from noshing on his favorite meal, fresh dog testicles. Seriously? I should probably point out that this review is based on the World Video DVD, which, besides sporting a picture that looks like a third-generation VHS tape, also features an atrocious dubbing job. But I got the sense that even if Sir Anthony Hopkins and Dame Judi Dench were doing the overdubs, it wouldn't help matters any.

At any rate, Yu's undercover operation sends him over the border to Hong Kong, where he soon runs into Sharon Kwok, who plays the world's most incompetent police officer. Perhaps to placate the Mainland market, Kwok stumbles and fumbles so much, especially compared to Yu's supercop, that it becomes head-scratchingly ridiculous at times. Case in point: in one scene, Sharon is chasing a suspect (who, mind you, has already been shot in the leg) but loses the criminal after he pulls the wily move of running around a corner instead of straight forward.

As much as Red Fists stumbles, like many low-budget productions from the era, the film-makers smartly knew to pick up the pace when it came to the action sequences. Yu served as the action director on this picture, and after seeing the results displayed, it's a little puzzling as to why he only worked in the role in one other movie. While the action isn't mind-blowing and there isn't quite enough of it, what is here is well-done and exciting enough (especially given what he had to work with) hinting that Yu had the seeds to becoming a very dependable action director if given the chance.

RATING: 6.25