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aka - Dragon Flies
Australia/Hong Kong 1975
Directed by
Brian Trenchard-Smith
88 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Man From Hong Kong

Brian Trenchard-Smith's first film, is a low-budget martial arts thriller, is somewhat of a classic in the action exploitation genre. Starring Wang Yu, himself a director and star of many martial arts films, as a Hong Kong detective sent to smash a Sydney-based drug syndicate headed by one-time Bond man George Lazenby whose career was evidently in the doldrums.
The film opens strongly with the catchy pop song, 'Skyhigh', by British Jigsaw and a punch-up on the top of Ayers Rock before stringing together a series of kung-fu set-pieces along something resembling a narrative that manages to have Rebecca Gilling take her top off.
There’s little to sustain attention here and the fight sequences, complete with unconvincingly dubbed “thwacks” , are almost quaint compared to the Jackie Chan style gymnastics that are now standard for the genre. There is, however, an excellent car chase, made all the better because none of it was green-screened and the film climaxes with a big fight sequence that still looks good.
Australian master stuntman Grant Page is responsible for some characteristically breath-taking work and future master cinematographer Russell Boyd, interpellates some characteristically striking landscape photography. The first ever Australian-Asian co-production and a bold piece of commercial film-making, The Man From Hong Kong is no great shakes dramatically or even stylistically but has deservedly carved out a place in Australian cinema history.

DVD Extras: Madman's extensive 2 disc release as a brand new 16:9 transfer comes with an informative commentary by Trenchard-Smith, with telephone inserts by Grant Page and Hugh Keays-Byrne; image gallery; original Australian and Hong Kong theatrical trailers; behind-the-scenes footage and 2 short films by Trenchard-Smith.

Available from: Madman




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