Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Legend of Wisely (1987)

I wanted to see more adventure from Hong Kong, and the choice fell on The Legend of Wisely, starring my old favorite Sam Hui (from Aces goes places-fame) and the always cool Ti Lung. I have a love Indiana Jones-style movies and this was one of them. 

Wisley (Sam Hui of course) is an adventurer and writer, and this time he's on the hunt for The Dragon Pearl, who's somewhere in Nepal. His friend David (played by director Teddy Robin Kwan) tricks him and the everything leads to Hong Kong and Egypt and two powerful men: the mysterious Howard Hope (Bruce Baron of all people!) and über-rich Pak Kei-Wei (Ti Lung). Both want the pearl, but for very different reasons! Of course Wisely falls in live with Pak Kei-Wei's sister and the chase is on!

I've heard the title before, but it's one of the most anonymous "big" movies I've ever experienced. There's some money spent here, both on fantastic locations all over asia and some really fun and comic book style-action scenes. Sam Hui may be a poor mans Jackie Chan, but he's a star of his own and works fine has a comedy actor and seem to leave the stunts and fighting to stuntmen. There's not fighting going on anyway, as usual with Sam's movies, and the focus is cool chases and slapstick. This feels like a sequel to Armour of God, just with less fights.

There's a couple of stand out sequences: a chase with one car, four motorcross-bikes and a truck, a great fight with Ti Lung against some monks and the finale, which makes the movie even more similar to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull than it should be. 

This was lovely adventure-movie that deserves more respect than it gotten through the years. There's been other movies with Wisely, but no one is really related to one another. Maybe not as tight and funny as Aces goes places, but quite close!


Jocke Andersson said...

Since you're not mentioning it, I have to: Are you aware of the fact that this is a sequel to Seventh Curse...? :)

Ninja Dixon said...

Yes, but it feels like VERY different movies. Nothing in common really :) I would love to see sequels to both of them, in their own style.

I've been thinking and this one has a really cool finale. There's this one shot of the "dragon" flying up in the clouds that looks amazing.