“The Prodigal Son”
Five Stars for funny and Great Kung Fu
“The Prodigal Son” was produced by Raymond Chow of Golden Harvest Pictures and directed by Sammo Hung in 1981. This movie is about a rich, spoiled brat named Leung Chang(played by Yuen Biao) who is known around town as the Kung Fu King of Canton even though he’s being taught by counterfeit Kung Fu Masters.
Leung Chang realizes his Kung Fu is poor and decides to make Master Leung Yee Tai (played by Lam Ching Ying)a Peking Opera performer his Master. Yee Tai refuses and sends Leung Chang on a cat and mouse mission until Yee Tai finally succumbs after the Royal troops have killed off Yee’s Peking Opera Troop.
Yee then decides to help Leung Chang in becoming the real Kung Fu Champion along with help from his brother played by Sammo Hung. This movie is one of Sammo’s great accomplishments that happened early in his directorial career.
The fight scenes are poetic. The main fighting style in this movie is Wing Chun. There’s great comedy as well, but not to take away from Yuen Biao who is the star of this movie and did a fine job. I feel Lam Ching Ying made this movie and without his performance this movie would be mediocre.
Lam Ching Ying’s acting as a female Peking Opera actor is comical yet done very well. His fight scenes with the Royal Prince are top notch in my book. He flows in his delivery of punches and kicks and his moves are graceful. Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung are great as always. They have a natural connection when paired with one another in films.
The only thing that disappoints me about this film is that it could have ended a little better. The transition from the time Lam Ching Ying’s character dies and the ending fight scene seemed a bit choppy.
But regardless this is a top notch film and also my girlfriend’s all time favorite Kung Fu movie. So, I am grateful to this movie for getting my girl into Kung Fu movies and Sammo Hung. 5 Stars!