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The Flash Legs
cast: Tan Tao-liang, Lieh Lo, Hop Wang, and Fei Lung

director: Wu Ma

87 minutes (15) 1977
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Dragon DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
Criminal gang the Eight Dragons steal a treasure map, but their murderous exploits are attracting too much attention. To let the heat die down, they agree to meet again in three years, each taking a piece of the map with them to ensure that there'll be no double crosses. But as the date for their reunion approaches, a fiercely dedicated police agent (Tan Tao-liang) picks up their trail. He is utterly determined to destroy the gang and get the map back, piece by piece; but as he shatters the quiet lives they have been living while waiting, his conscience begins to trouble him. When he falls in love, he faces the greatest danger of all - for his true love's father is the leader of the Eight Dragons...

This conventional period actioner is actually very enjoyable, mainly because of the way Tao-liang's buttoned-up professional begins to change it as he realises there's more to his quest than simple vengeance. Tao-liang's acting abilities aren't exactly stretched by the role, but he has a certain fierce intensity that carries him through, and a catalogue of snarling villains and vulnerable womenfolk provide able support.

The ancient English dubbing does the dialogue no favours (I swear one of the minor characters has been dubbed by Michael Caine!), and the action is steady rather than spectacular, but the personal stories supply just enough interest to keep you watching. The Flash Legs (aka: Shaolin Deadly Kicks) is a minor action movie, then, but decent enough entertainment.

DVD extras: original trailer, the company's trailer reel, web links, and a gallery of promotional images.

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