Watch Challenge of the Masters
- 1 hr 35 min
Challenge of the Masters is a 1976 martial arts film from Hong Kong directed by Lui Kei. It stars Chia-Hui Liu (also known as Gordon Liu) as the protagonist, Wong Fei-hung, a legendary martial artist who is determined to improve his skills and carry on his family's legacy. The movie takes place during the late Qing Dynasty, a time when the Chinese martial arts were outlawed and practitioners were persecuted by the Manchu government. Fei-hung's father is a well-respected martial arts master who receives an invitation to attend a martial arts competition held by the Manchu government. However, he refuses to participate and is subsequently killed by the ruthless Manchu master, Chao Pai-teh (played by Kuan Tai Chen).
Fei-hung decides to avenge his father's death and improve his skills by seeking out the help of the reclusive master, Su Chen-yi (played by Yue Wong). Chen-yi is the teacher of the famous Wing Chun style of martial arts, which Fei-hung aspires to master. However, Chen-yi is initially reluctant to take on Fei-hung as his student, as he views him as being too hot-headed and impulsive.
Throughout the course of the film, Fei-hung and Chen-yi engage in numerous training sessions, including a memorable scene where Fei-hung has to catch a fly with chopsticks to prove his reflexes. Meanwhile, Chao Pai-teh becomes aware of Fei-hung's intentions and sets out to prevent him from challenging him to a duel.
The movie features a number of standout fight scenes, including Fei-hung taking on Chao Pai-teh's top disciples and a final showdown between Fei-hung and Chao Pai-teh. The fight choreography is excellent, with the camera often zooming in on the fighters' feet to showcase their intricate footwork and stances.
What sets Challenge of the Masters apart from other martial arts films of the era is its emphasis on the importance of proper training and technique. Fei-hung is not portrayed as an invincible warrior who can defeat his opponents through sheer force, but as a dedicated student who is willing to put in the time and effort to master his craft. Similarly, Chen-yi is not portrayed as a mystical guru who has all the answers, but as a pragmatic teacher who places great importance on fundamental techniques and discipline.
The film also pays homage to the legacy of Wong Fei-hung, a real-life martial artist who has been portrayed in numerous films and TV shows over the years. In Challenge of the Masters, Wong Fei-hung is portrayed as a humble and respectful individual who is determined to carry on his family's traditions and protect his people from persecution.
Overall, Challenge of the Masters is a classic martial arts film that is still highly regarded by fans of the genre. It features great fight scenes, memorable characters, and a strong sense of tradition and discipline. If you are a fan of martial arts films, this one is definitely worth checking out.
Challenge of the Masters is a 1976 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.