Five Fingers of Death (1972)

Five Fingers of Death (1972)

Mastering Martial Arts

With local thugs increasing their power on a daily basis young martial arts student Chi-Hao is sent on a journey to train under a new master to become even better than he already is which is only average in the eyes of his new master. The reason being is that if Chi-Hao can win a local tournament it will put pay to the reign of the local thugs.

I've said it before; there are some movies that you needed to see when they were released to understand why they are rated so highly. Oh you can read what Bob in Oklahoma thinks of a movie and how back in such and such a decade a movie paved the way for others but they are just words on a screen. It is the trouble when you watch 70s martial arts movies for the first time now because whilst these movies captured an audience back then they don't have anywhere near the same effect now.

This is certainly the case when it comes to "Fiver Fingers of Death", which is also known as "King Boxer" as whilst you can read about how this moved paved the way for others and influenced martial arts cinema for years to come when you watch it now for the first time, well you are left a little bemused. I say that because truthful there are better martial arts movies from the 70s, there are those with a more entertaining story, better characters and more impressive action scenes. But because "Fiver Fingers of Death" was the first to really break into the Western market it is seen as the movie which others tried to emulate and you can see that in later martial arts movies which use a similar storyline.

The thing is that whilst "Fiver Fingers of Death" doesn't blow me away it is easy enough, for those not accustom to 70s martial arts movies, to follow. The various training sessions are entertaining and the over the top nature of the fight scenes are just as entertaining with plenty of super human leaps and acts of strength.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Fiver Fingers of Death" was an influential martial arts movie and probably did wow audiences back in the 70s when it first had an impact with audiences from the West it is by no means the best example of 70s martial arts you could watch now.