It is always a rarity when a sequel is just as good or at times, more superior to the original film. This sequel to Ng See-Yuen’s hit 1976 film proves to be one of those rarities with John Liu and Hwang Jung-Lee back to using their impressive kicking skills with Tino Wong making a worthy replacement for Don Wong (no relation) as the Southern Fist expert.
Six months after Shao Yi-Fei and Sheng Ying-Wei defeated the evil Silver Fox, it is revealed that the Silver Fox has a twin brother, Chin H. Chin Hu is also known as the Gold Fox. Upon learning that his brother is killed, he begins to not only look for the two heroes, but an 8-diagram map that leads to the gold that was robbed three years ago.
However, Sheng Ying-Wei has left to do government duty in the West. Before leaving, he entrusted the map to his younger brother Sheng Ying-Wu. Like his elder brother, Ying-Wu is an expert in the Southern Fist style. Gold Fox hires local thug Hsin-Yi to find Ying-Wu and get the map. Hsin-Yi will do the job only if he marries Gold Fox’s daughter. Reluctant, Gold Fox agrees.
Meanwhile, Shao Yi-Fei has returned to take on a former classmate turned troublemaker. On the other hand, Gold Fox has invented a new spinning weapon and has hired four assassins trained in kicking and four assassins trained in fist styles to take on the duo of Yi-Fei and Ying-Wu. This comes after Ying-Wu has avenged the death of his younger brother Ying-Yang by killing two of Gold Fox’s men while Yi-Fei defeated the remaining two after defeating his former classmate. With no option, Ying-Wu and Yi-Fei must devise a way to stop Gold Fox once and for all.
Ng See-Yuen proves that lightning does in fact strike twice with this second installment of the Secret Rivals films. Once again, Yuen finds a fantastic choreographer, this time being the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping. Woo-Ping definitely utilizes the talents of superkickers John Liu and Hwang Jang-Lee. However, as Wang Tao was unavailable (possibly shooting the similarly themed The Hot, The Cool, and the Vicious), a suitable replacement was found in former stuntman and bit part actor and martial artist Tino Wong.
Liu gets to show more of his kicking skills here and he spends most of his sequences going in full action mode. While the first film gave him a sense of mystery as to who he was, he gets more action here, even showcasing a hell of a fight against the late Blacky Ko. This time, Corey Yuen and Hsu Hsia get some action in as two henchmen of the Gold Fox, played by the awesome kicker Hwang Jung-Lee.
Similar to the first film, the finale is truly a delight to watch. Unlike the original, the film is more a smooth transition of just pitting Liu and Wong against Hwang, who resorts to not only using his trademark kicking skills, but a deadly weapon that looks to be two sticks that spin with the flick of his wrists. Aside from the added weapon, expect lots of kicking and acrobatics and even a surprise end to the finale.
If you liked the original Secret Rivals, then chances are you will love The Secret Rivals Part II. Liu and Hwang once again shine with their kicking skills and Tino Wong actually makes a suitable replacement for Don Wong here.
WFG RATING: A-
A Seasonal Film Corporation Production. Director: Ng See-Yuen. Producer: Ng See-Yuen. Writers: Ng See Yuen & Tung Lo. Cinematography: Chang Chi. Editing: Poon Hung.
Cast: John Liu, Tino Wong, Hwang Jung-Lee, Charlie Chan, Corey Yuen, Hsu Hsia, Yu Chung-Chiu, Sham Chin-Bo, Philip Ko, Blacky Ko.