China 1644: The land, under Qing rule, is rotten, so the Heaven & Earth
society was formed to fight corruption, & their ranks are listed in the
Hero-Chart, which has been divided into 2 halves as to protect its members ...
& one of these parts is to be delivered by Lady Red (Yang Pan Pan) to
fighting instructor Bill Zhu (Wang Lung-Wei), because ... I don't know why.
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But as these movies have it, Lady Red is stolen of her property (or so it
would seem), but fortunately she has an upright ex-Qing officer, Ah Yue (Lo
Meng) - who was fired because of not being corrupt enough - on her side who
sees to it that the chart is delivered to Bill Zhu anyhow ... even though it
turns out his chart was only the decoy & Lady Red had the real one all the
Ah Yue has also made friends with con man Ah Cun (Wang Yu, not Jimmy
though), who, impressed by Ah Yue's fighting skills persuades him to open a
martial arts school with him. Soon, Ah Cun notices though that they are not
famous enough to attract many students & he persuades Ah Yue, who seems to
be undefeatable, to challenge other schools.
Soon their fighting school is one of the leading schools in town & so,
at the Lion Dance festival, they challenge Bill Zhu's school.
However, while for Ah Cun & Ah Yue, the Lion Dance is just a competition
to prove their supremacy as a fighting school, for Bill Zhu it is more since
the scroll the winning team is to get contains the second half of the
Hero-scroll, which a Heaven & Earth agent has hidden there just before his
demise (don't ask why he hasn't found a better hiding place though).
Unfortunately for Bill Zhu though Ah Cun & Ah Yue win the competition
(& with it the scroll), & when Qian (Chien Yueh-Sheng), Bill Zhu's
servant who's really a Qin agent in disguise, sends some assassins to steal the
scroll, Ah Yue & Ah Cun guard it with their lives (without actually knowing
what it is). Later though, Ah Yue shows no reservations to hand the scroll to
Lady Red, whom he trusts, while Bill Zhu finally fights it out with Qian, the
servant he trusted ... & of course wins. When Lady Red comes back with the
scroll though, she has to realise that Bill Zhu is actually a Qing agent
himself, & she loses her life defending the scroll. Just a good thing Ah
Cun, very skilled in conning people, has exchanged the scroll for another one
by then, leaving the traiter Bill Zhu emptyhanded ... & Ah Yue & Ah
Cun, who by now have a vague idea what it is all about, to guard the scroll.
Ah Yue has a fierce fight with Bill Zhu, which he eventually loses, whiile
Ah Cun, who pretended to be dead to escape a fight, now has to face Bill Zhu
after all - after promising the dieing Ah Yue loyalty, friendship & that he
will give up conning people.
Ah Cun can finally defeat & kill Bill Zhu when he lures him into an
allegedly haunted mansion & uses this to his advantage. But in the last
scene he is shot by Qing soldiers himself, who think him to be a revolutionary
Despite some impressively staged fight scenes - with the Lion Dance being
the the expected climax (though more than a little derivative from Jackie
Chan's The Young Master from the previous year) - Lion vs Lion at
no point manages to blend its comedy- & its action-drama-elements into a
coherent form, so its comedy- & drama-storylines just seem to develop
side-by-side with rarely touching each other while much of both plotlines jsut
goes by unexplained, does not make sense or even contradicts previous events.
& the ending, where Ah Yue & Ah Cun suddenly prove to be fearless
fighters for the revolution - though it's never explained to them what they are
fighting for/against - is just straining credibility a bit too far ... not at
all helped by the instance where Ah Cun promises the dieing Ah Yue that he will
be good from now on - a scene even Chang Cheh would have dismissed as too