Action star Donnie Yen now has a very high profile resume after co-starring in Rogue One the Star Wars spin-off and the highly successful Ip Man film series of which part 4 is now filming.
In 1993 he made the now cult classic kung fu movie Iron Monkey produced by Tsui Hark and directed by Yuen Woo Ping. On its initial release in Hong Kong, it bombed at the box office but got a strong following on video. A few years later it was cut and re-edited for release on the USA cinema circuit and went to number 1 at the box office.
The film concerns corruption in a village in China and a Robin Hood type figure who is stealing from the rich governers and giving to the poor and needy and is named Iron Monkey (Yu Rong-kwong). Wong Kei-ying (Donnie Yen), a physician and martial artist, is mistaken for the masked vigilante and even after proving his innocence, his son is imprisoned until he helps find the real culprit. But in the end, the two men must team up to defeat a corrupt and evil political regime.
The movie presented here on this new 2k remastered Blu ray is the full uncut version and with the audio, you are given the choice of original Cantonese mono, a remixed 5.1 or a terrible English dub. The picture quality is excellent, far superior to the Hong Kong Blu ray released a few years ago, with bold colours and all scratches and other marks removed.
Audio is fine and clear and the English subtitles grammatically accurate and easily readable.
Extras are plentiful with all of the interviews and other bits ported over from the Hong Kong Legends UK 2 Disc SE released a few years ago. You get long interviews with Donnie Yen, Tsui Hark, Yu Rong-kwong, Angie Tsang and Li Fai. Other extras include :
- Isolated Music & Effects track
- Iron Fist – A behind-the-scenes look at the action choreography of Iron Monkey
- Shadow Boxing – A featurette on Hong Kong action choreography featuring Alex Yip
- Footage of Li Fai and Angie Tsang competing at the 2003 Wu Shu Championships
- Original theatrical trailer
- A collector s booklet featuring a new essay on the film (First print run only)
The movie stands up very well, with good performances and excellent and very fast paced choreography only Hong Kong movies of this era can offer.
Eureka has done an excellent job with this release and with the recent Blu Ray of Drunken Master and the forthcoming release of Police Story 1 + 2, are now the number one company for classic Hong Kong movie releases.
FILM: 8.5 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 10