Chi Kuan Chun stars as Ta Kun, a laborer at a monastery who is forced to leave when an evil monk with nasty facial growths named Wu Tak (Ma Cheung) crashes the monastery and takes over. In one of the better portions of the film, Ta Kun is sent to the home of Shan King, played by an artificially aged Leung Kar Yan. Shan Kingâ??s wife and daughter are all kung fu artists and they begin to train Ta Kun who is initially a reluctant learner. At the dinner table, Ta Kun watches in awe as the food is prepared and served with unnatural skill. He quickly learns that he must use his own skills to get his share of meat. Ta Kun eventually learns that his old master at the monastery is ill and returns to help. Meanwhile, Wu Tak and his men kill Shan King and his wife. Ta Kun teams up with the surviving daughter in a failed attempt to defeat the monk. Badly beaten, our hero retreats to the home of a drunken master and his student, played by Mang Fei. More training, involving fighting while balanced on cups and clay pots ensues. Wu Tak and his men eventually arrive, forcing Ta Kun and his friends to fight to the finish. Another hero, played by Chung Wa jumps in at the last moment to bring the evil monk to justice.
Ways of Kung Fu for the most part is a very good film with some flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately, the storyline is very disjointed and introduces characters and side plots seemingly in random spots. Characters that seem to have an important role that should be explained by the end fade away without much thought. Specifically, the role of the Drunken Master and his pupil seem to be afterthoughts created to show a different style on film. Chi Kuan doesn't actually incorporate drunken style in any fight, so its presence is a bit confusing. Add to this the haphazard role of what appears to be a policeman played by Chung Wa who is searching for Cliff Ching's character for past deeds. Again, no explanation is ever given for this side-plot. I'm probably being too picky on plot points in a kung fu movie, but it adds to the overall sloppiness of the film. The one true highlight is the presence of Leung Kar-Yan in his role as the grumpy old kung fu master. There is one top-notch fight scene where he takes on Chi Kuan in the rain. Kar-Yan is holding an umbrella and says that if a single rain drop touches his head, he loses the fight. Although the quality of the DVD made for some less than ideal contrast ratios (the scene takes place at night), the fighting is incredible. Kar-Yan uses the umbrella as both a shield and a staff in fantastically choreographed fight. Not surprisingly, when Leung Kar-Yan exits the picture the movie suffers. The rest of the combatants, Chi Kuan Chun, Mang Fei, Chung Wa and Wu Ma do their best to make an average script well above average.
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