The Killer Meteors (1976)
Director: Lo Wei
Cast: Jimmy Wang Yu, Jackie Chan, Yu Ling-Lung, Tung Lin, Lan Yu-Li, Lee Si-Si, Lee Man-Tai, Phillip Ko Fei, Chen Hui-Lau
Besides being hardly anyone's favourite Jackie Chan film, Killer Meteors was an odd introduction for me, and likely a fair few fans, to Jimmy Wang Yu. Instead of his usual basher antics with lenghty tournaments, we get a wu xia mystery, likely cashing in on the interest in Shaw Brother's recent Gu Long adaptations by getting the author to pen a new script.
Jimmy is The Killer Meteor, who appears to be some sort of boss of a gang of crooks OR a government agent - it really isn't clear which. He is hired by a rich man, Hua Wu-Bin (jackie Chan), to obtain the antidote for a rare poison, said poison having been inflicted on Hua by his wife, Madame Tempest.
I'm not really sure what Lo Wei was going for here (not for the first time am I thinking this). Wang Yu is rather limited by the more acrobatic choreography, and the frequent wirework and doubling gives the impression to many a novice of him being a phoney. Frustratingly, the film sets up four martial experts for him to fight, and he deals with them in mere seconds - to a certain extent this makes him appear a bad-ass, but it also suggets no-one wanted to risk him getting clobbered for real by Phillip Ko Fei. Giving Wang Yu TWO lovely women to fawn over him also highlights his inability to convery adequate emotion.
And yet, I'm a fan...
Oh right, Jackie is in this! For three scenes, and 10min max. Most of which he spends sitting down, in a role likely intended for an older actor. The sight of Jackie cackling evily is strange in retrospect, but he does look rather dashing and probably could have pulled off a career in wu xia better then Wang Yu.
The finale, taking place on a pit of pillars and spikes, is pretty damn good, except it cops out with Wang's "Killer Meteor", the silliest solution to a kung fu film...ever, I think
And the King Kong music is in this too!
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