Hong Kong Movie
Action War Drama
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| Eastern Condors (1986)
Director: Sammo Hung
Hung, Yuen Biao
We didn't get much out of this film. A typically
solid performance by Sammo, but nothing particularly noteworthy in the
way of martial arts, acting, story, or action....
Set in 1976, Eastern Condors tells the tale of
commando team sent to Vietnam to destroy a secret store of missles left
behind by the departing American forces. Led by Lt. Col. Lam (Lam Ching
Ying), the force is a seedy bunch of Chinese and Vietmanese criminals
picked from an American prison and promised their freedom if they
complete the mission. Airdroping over Vietnam in the dead of night, the
team rendevous with three female Cambodian guerillas (led by Joyce
Godenzi) and the mission gets underway.
Naturally, things don't go smoothly as
personalities clash and the commandos are killed off one by one. The
first stop is a local village, where the team hooks up with with Rat
Chieh (Yuen Biao), a chopper-riding contraband dealer, and his
doddering, feeble-minded uncle (Yeung Lung), who is also the brother of
Lt. Col. Lam's superior. The commandos tangle repeatedly with the
Vietnamese, and are pursued by an effete, spectacle-wearing general
(Yuen Wah), who is prone to hiccuping, fanning himself, and laughing
like a demented loon. The team finally reaches the base with the VC hot
on their heels, and after much sound and fury our hero, Tung ming-sun (Sammo
Hung) faces off against the general, who turns out to be a kung-fu
Eastern Condors is the Dirty Dozen by way of Hong
Kong, with a liberal sprinkling of the Deer Hunter thrown in as well.
The movie features serviceable, if unremarkable battle scenes; one of
the heroes grabs a machinegun, and then we cut to a scene of dozens of
soldiers falling backwards as bullets riddle their bodies or grenade
blasts fling them skyward.
There are also the requisite scenes of wounded
commandos giving their gutsy-yet-tender last words to their
grieving-yet-determined comrades in arms, plus the required character
clashes, frayed tempers, and a "what is this mission all about scene."
Of course, what were really here for is to see Sammo and Co. kick butt
with kung fu, and in this they do not disappoint, though for the real
meat, you have to wait for the final confrontation between Sammo and
Yuen Wah. Overall, it's an entertaining film, just not a particularly
List Price: US $19.95
Cantonese / Mandarin
English / Traditional Chinese
/ Simplified Chinese / Korean / Thai /
Vietnamese / Japanese / Malaysia
(Can be played on any DVD player in the
"May be Inappropriate For Children" (Broad
rating may be roughly equal to an MPPA rating of
"PG-13" to "R". In the late 1980s
this rating splintered in two ratings: IIA and IIB) Films
rated Category II may contain mild to strong violence,
nudity that is usually not sexually oriented, explicit
language and adult situations.