Come Drink with Me (1966)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Adventure, Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Apr 7, 1966 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Josh Ralske

Come Drink With Me is a wonderfully entertaining kung fu action film from influential Hong Kong director King Hu. The film is one of the forebears of Ang Lee's international hit, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. While Come Drink With Me obviously doesn't have Crouching Tiger's arthouse sheen, it's an equally well-acted film with beguilingly colorful sets and costumes. The story is surprisingly straightforward for a Hong Kong martial arts film. With its emphasis on the power of feminine grace and the corruption of religious power, it retains its interest to contemporary audiences. But its main appeal is the action setpieces, which range from chaotically bloody (the opening kidnapping scene) to gracefully economical (the slowly building pub fight). Cheng Pei-Pei is impressive as the mighty swordswoman, Golden Swallow, though many of the scenes of her fighting consist of tight shots of her waving her two swords around, followed by wide shots of bloodied thugs flying in all directions. Yueh Hua is amusing and charming as the wily Drunken Cat, who sings with a group of street urchins to raise cash when he's not kicking butt. The budding friendship between Golden Swallow and Drunken Cat is handled with touching delicacy, and their sincere reticence to fight makes them uniquely likeable action heroes.