Postman Strikes Back (1982)

postmanstrikesback

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Hong Kong film legend Chow Yun-Fat has always been good with a pair of guns. In this Yuen Clan film, Chow gets to do unarmed martial arts in this pretty decent thriller starring Bryan Leung.

In a time of revolution, Master Hu has a package to be delivered to Jiao Long, the leader of a band of revolutionaries. He learns of the top courier of the area, Ma. He sends Ma with three other companions, martial artist Fu Jun, former thief Yao Jie, and explosions expert Mao.

As the group are hired to make their way towards Lamao Pass, they find several obstacles standing in their way. They include countless bandits, two young women who have shown interest in the package, as well as a mysterious ninja who has been causing terror. The group also deals with internal conflicts as dark secrets are revealed. However, Ma is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the package is brought to the rightful owners.

This is quite an interesting film that involves the Yuen Clan and first-time director Ronny Yu. Yu, who would go on to helm great films such as The Bride with White Hair and Brandon Lee’s only Hong Kong film Legacy of Rage doesn’t do a bad job for his first film. He truly got help from Yuen Woo-Ping, who supervised the production here. The plot may remind viewers of perhaps The Transporter, yet we never learn what is in the package.

The whole delivery theme of the film serves simply as an excuse to showcase the action of the film. While the greatest “quick learner” Bryan Leung shines in the titular role of the Postman, it is quite a surprise to see a young Chow Yun-Fat use martial arts. In the role of Fu Jun, Chow dons a wristband that shoots darts, but thanks to help from the Yuen Clan, Chow actually holds his own in the martial arts department. Chow uses mostly handwork, but his kicks are not too bad for a novice. Youngest Yuen Clan member Yat-Chor provides great support as thief Yao Jie while legend Fan Mei-Sheng also gives great support as Mao.

It may seem at first ridiculous to involve ninjas in the film, but it works well here. When the lead ninja is revealed, the film delves into typical kung fu film territory as each member of the team begins to get picked off. It seems a bit confusing why Cherie Chung and Guk Ching-Suk are in the film, perhaps to brings more femininity into the mostly male cast. However, by the time we learn their backstories, it is quite a bit too late as they end up killed anyway.

While the script may seem a bit contrived, Postman Strikes Back does offer viewers a chance to see Chow Yun-Fat as a martial arts fighting member of a group. Bryan Leung holds his own very well. Not bad for Ronny Yu’s film debut.

WFG RATING: B-

A Golden Harvest presentation of a Peace Film Production (HK) Co./Paragon Films production. Director: Ronny Yu. Producers: Raymond Chow and Kwak Jeong-Hwan. Writers: Chan Kiu-Ying, Goo Siu-Wa, Ronny Yu, Chiu Kang-Chien, and O Gwang-Jae. Cinematography: Brian Lai, Lee Yau-Tong, Kim An-Hong, and Cheung Yiu-Jo. Editing: Peter Cheung and Hyeon Dong-Chun.

Cast: Bryan Leung, Chow Yun-Fat, Cherie Chung, Guk Jeong-Suk, Eddy Ko, Fan Mei-Sheng, Yuen Yat-Chor, Yeung Wai, Rambo Kong, Lee Fat-Yuen, Kwon Il-Soo, Kim Ja-Ho, Siu Tak-Foo.

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