The Kid with the Golden Arm (1980)

Genres - Action, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Nov 2, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The Kid With The Golden Arm is the kind of film that gives the 'chopsocky' genre a good name. The storyline glides forward in a simple but appealing comic book style that lays out basic characterizations and plot elements in broad strokes and a fast pace so there is plenty of room for flamboyant displays of action. It is also worth noting that the third act of the film adds in some unexpected moments and unusual twists that give it a little extra punch. Chang Cheh directs the proceedings with an eye for excitement, capturing the choreography with skill and giving it all a colorful visual design that reinforces the "kung fu comic-book" feel. The last piece of the puzzle is the amazing physical performances supplied by the "Five Venoms" group of martial artists: everyone acquits themselves well but the standouts are Philip Kwok's slyly humorous work as a sheriff who uses drunken kung-fu and Lo Meng's quietly menacing turn as the powerful title character. In short, The Kid With The Golden Arm is perfect Saturday matinee fare for kung fu film buffs new and old.