Sunday, December 3, 2017

Short Attention Span Review: The Avenging Eagle (1978)

Short Attention Span Review: The Avenging Eagle (1978)

Sheng Fu and Lung Ti headline this Shaw Brothers gem from the year of my birth.  A revenge yarn with a bit more depth than one might expect, The Avenging Eagle doesn't skimp out on the studio's trademark choreagraphy and visual splendor.  Littered with well-staged battles featuring an array of combatants (each armed with a different weapon, none of which could be described as run-of-the-mill) and host to several striking sets and a smorgasboard of colorful costumes, this is kung fu cinema at its very best.  While inferior to hallmark films from the studio like The Five Deadly Venoms or Five Shaolin Masters, it is still a great outing that provides viewers with 90 minutes of top-notch kung fu treachery.  Of particular note is the relationship between the two leads and the way The Avenging Eagle avoids familiar tropes in an effort to strike a balance between revenge and redemption.  Make no mistake, this character development doesn't come at the expense of high-flying kicks and epic battles, for the story allows such meditation while remaining a bloody good time for fans of the genre.

Final Grade: B

Cool weapons and great choreagraphy make this fast-paced and surprisingly emotional quest for vengeance well worth a look.

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