A very prolific period for the Asian film industry. Obscure to the rest of the world, famous in this region, this Hong Kong genre began in the 70's, peaked in the 80's, and is slowly dying out as we speak. Locals still fondly remember the carefully scripted chaos of John Woo and his favorite protagonist (and sometimes antagonist) Chow Yun-fat, the hijinks and spectacular stunts of Jackie Chan and his posse, and the antics of the "Little Fat Man" and "Beethoven" (who actually looks like the composer).

These films are fairly formulaic. There are three main categories:

  1. The Pulp Fiction sexual melodrama splattered with lots of gore

    This one is standard. John Woo's favorite, the plot is very guessable, consisting of one of the following usual elements.

    Usually, a Judas emerges or a good friend is slain, causing the good guy to kill all the bad guys in a massive fit of rage. Love is inserted at strategic positions to bolster the story. Good entertainment while it lasts. There are some variations to keep us interested. Sex is oft used to attract audiences.

  2. Silly slap-stick humor

    There were too many of these. Almost Jim Carrey in style, these films are watched and abandoned. Typical plots:

    It gets tiring fast, but it draws laughs.

  3. Jackie Chan

    He is the master of his own genre. Go watch Supercop.

Not a bad bunch of films. Recently, the Mozart of Mayhem moved to Hollywood, so directors here are trying to be artsy, and failing. Good Chinese films always come out of Northern China. Temporary entertainment.

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