BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Man From Hong Kong: Twilight Time - The Limited-Edition Series (1975) - Blu-ray Review

The Man From Hong Kong

007 who?  The Man From Hong Kong has all that you crave!

Operating as if Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu) was the one and only James Bond, The Man From Hong Kong blows its action sky high and delivers a spirited action-adventure flick that could only come out of the pages of Mad Magazine in the early and anarchic 1970s.  This co-production between Australia and Hong Kong is some top shelf satire as the chop-socky craze gets the spy treatment.  

"ripe with unhinged antics"


Written and directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, Blood Tide), The Man From Hong Kong opens just like a Bond film, complete with a poppy theme song (Sky High by Jigsaw) and a big action sequence, as Ayers Rock becomes Ground Zero for one hell of a car crash!  Watch out the spinning car door as it comes straight for the camera!  Ouch!

Inspector Bob Taylor of the Australian Federal Narcotics Bureau (Roger Ward) has had it with all the drugs that Jack Wilton (George Lazenby) is bringing into the country.  This untouchable businessman is nothing but trouble.  When Leng hears his name being mentioned by a Chinese drug courier apprehended in the beginning of the movie, his interest in catching this career criminal skyrockets . . . just like the foot chases, the motorcycle attacks, and so on.  

This Ozploitation offering is ripe with unhinged antics as a kitchen is decimated by Leng and the unfortunate man he is chasing.  Keep in mind that the Inspector, brought over to Australia by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, is a master of kung fu and takes no shit from anybody - especially the thugs mixed up with this Wilton figure.    He punches low and kicks high and, leaving bodies in his wake, makes his ultimate target known to everyone as your typical action scenes are expanded to capitalize on the satire.The Man From Hong Kong

Lazenby, who played Bond once, is clearly having a good time with his role as a gangster and a kung fu master.  The thick mustache says it all, you know.  He’s practically winking at the camera, but it works in delivering a message to both the audience and to those who miss him as Bond.  I mean, the dude has a lot of physicality, and he shows it off here with one killer kung fu match after another.  The whole city of Sydney belongs to him, you know.

Leng is going to learn the hard way not to approach Jack Wilton head on.  Beaten to a pulp, he has to be smarter with his attacks and, after recovering, lures the henchmen out with gnarly car chases in a Chrysler Valiant Charger where he takes them out one by one.  Until there is only Jack Wilton, staring back at him.

The martial arts mayhem is non-stop and so too is the over-the-top action as demolition becomes the dish served best by Jimmy Wang Yu.  With slick cinematography from Russell Boyd (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), The Man From Hong Kong is the wildest whip around!

It is now on blu-ray thanks to Twilight Time.  The Far East from Down Under?  Why not?!

5/5 beers

The Man From Hong Kong

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Twilight Time
Available on Blu-ray
- January 18, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.39:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: LPCM 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Strap in for a spectacular example from the golden age of “Ozploitation” moviemaking: writer/director/genre master Brian Trenchard-Smith’s (The Siege of Firebase Gloria) full-bore 1975 action caper The Man from Hong Kong. First seen in the U.S. as The Dragon Flies, The Man blazingly showcases the savvy grit and sleek fighting moves of two icons – Hong Kong martial-arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu and one-time James Bond portrayer George Lazenby – playing lawman/gangster antagonists in a battle-royal array of aerial, vehicular, and close-combat stunts exploding across a gleaming Sydney cityscape and executed with a mix of cool precision and edge-stretching luck that will leave you breathless

Video:

With an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Twilight Time’s 1080p transfer presents a solid contrast throughout the explosive action as Hong Kong martial-arts superstar Jimmy Wang Yu roars into action.  The Sydney locales are cold and crisp, and you can tell thanks to this HD transfer.  Lines have edges and black levels are STRONG. Scars on the skin are clear and facial imperfections are sharp.  The transfer looks to have had a blissfully sharper palate than previous DVD versions.  Details are strong and the local town has strong edges throughout.  Shadows are defined, too.

Audio:

The hard-hitting film has a solid sounding DTS-Master Audio soundtrack to accompany its twisting route through the outback.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a feature length audio commentary with writer/director Brian Trenchard-Smith, co-star Hugh Keays-Byrne and stunt director Grant Page, which is definitely worth the price!

Special Features:

Complete with the commentary and the visual upgrade, fans of this chop-socky flick also get interviews with the cast and the crew, and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Uncut Not Quite Hollywood interviews with co-stars George Lazenby, Rebecca Gilling and Roger Ward; writer/director Brian Trenchard-Smith; executive producer David Hannay; and 2nd Unit cameraman John Seale
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars


Film Details

The Man From Hong Kong

MPAA Rating: PG-13 on appeal for crude sexual content and language.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Writer:
Brian Trenchard-Smith
Cast:
Jimmy Wang Yu; George Lazenby; Hugh Keays-Byrne
Genre
: Action | Adventure
Tagline:
Fast! Fantastic! Fun! Nothing can stop him!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I never met a Chinese yet... that didn't have a yellow streak."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site:
Release Date:
August, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
January 18, 2022.
Synopsis: When Hong Kong Inspector Fang Sing Leng travels to Sydney to interview drug trafficker Win Chan he is flung into an international investigation destined to test his mettle and might. Teaming up with Aussie Detectives Grosse and Taylor, Fang soon discovers a cunning connection between Win Chan's drug imports and larger-than-life local gangster Jack Wilton.

Art

The Man From Hong Kong

 

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