Deadly Duo (1971)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Dec 22, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Hong Kong  |  
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Any kung-fu film fan looking for a good old-fashioned 'basher' of a film will do well with The Deadly Duo. The story is fairly standard "heroes on a desperate mission" material but it works well because it wastes no time: the heroes are set up in an economical style and then put through their paces in a series of ever more elaborate action setpieces. Director Chang Cheh handles the action with skill (the fight/stunt scenes built around the rope bridge are standout examples of his gift for action) and a knack for the kind of breakneck pacing this type of story needs to soar. Better yet, he has two thoroughly reliable stars to spearhead the film: Ti Lung serves as the kung-fu film version of an old-fashioned, square-jawed hero while David Chiang offsets his traditional heroism by playing his character as a mysterious, charismatic rebel. The two different styles make them a complimentary pair and they also handle the film's frequent action scenes with aplomb, particularly during the breathless finale. All in all, The Deadly Duo is both fun and skillfully crafted, thus making it an excellent choice for fans of vintage kung-fu fare.