The 18 Bronzemen

1976 [CHINESE]

Action / Drama / War

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 407

Keywords:   revenge, martial arts, shaolin

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 31, 2022 at 05:18 AM



873.11 MB
chi 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 35 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 5 / 10

Some unique ideas amid a whole lot of mundanity

18 Bronze Men is a film of two halves. The first half is, to put it simply, spectacular. The second half is, to be frank, agonisingly dull. If the film had continued in the vein of the first half it would have been a top film. If the first half had been like the second half it would have been appalling. As it is, the two halves cancel each other out to make 18 Bronze Men a pretty much middling movie, worth watching for fans of the concept but not something to really go out of your way to see. Basically the plot involves an orphaned child who is sent to some kind of weird martial arts monastery. The only way people can leave this place is to become so highly skilled in the martial arts that they can pass a series of deadly tests before they can pass through the door. Said tests take up the entire first half of the movie.

As the title would suggest, during these tests the boy (now a young man played by Tien Pens, accompanied by pal Carter Wong) must battle with a series of colourful and crazy Bronze Men. Some of the men are just naked guys covered in gold paint, others go the whole hog and have really bizarre, almost robotic-like looking gold plated armour complete with faces that make them look like Buddha. As well as these tough dudes, the passages and chambers of the temple in which the action takes place are full of spikes that fly out of statues, heavy doors that must be lifted, flaming "dragon" pots and more booby traps than Indiana Jones could ever hope to handle. The kung-fu action as the two heroes attempt to pass the Bronze Men makes for a truly unique viewing experience (at least until the sequels and rip-offs followed) which is a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, as soon as these guys do manage to escape, the film goes downhill. It turns into a run-of-the-mill revenge drama with a serious lack of decent action, at least until the breathtaking three-on-one fight in an old quarry at the end which comes as too little, too late. A woman appears who disguises herself as a man by hiding her long hair, thus deceiving all and sundry although her voice is still high-pitched and her face is unmistakably female! Those gullible Chinese folk, I don't know. Meanwhile the subtitles on the version I saw were often misspelt or simply wrong, which is kind of amusing but not really.

Tien Pens isn't to fault as the hero, creating a quite likable persona and proving himself in the action stakes without being really spectacular like some of his counterparts. Meanwhile the shaven-headed Carter Wong is probably the hardest-looking and toughest guy in the film, although sadly his is but a supporting role. The bad guys (sometimes dressed as ninjas) are a clichéd bunch and not very interesting either. 18 BRONZE MEN proved to be quite a disappointment in my mind, as aside from the fighting with the Bronze Men (for which it gets that extra star alone) it doesn't really offer much apart from a very old, tired plot and some routine action. However, the film proved to be so popular that a sequel was hastily cobbled together and released in the same year!

Reviewed by BandSAboutMovies 7 / 10

Beyond great!

Shaolung's family was murdered before he was able to escape to the Shaolin Temple, a place where he has learned to become a pretty strong fighter. Before he can get the revenge that he needs, he must face one final challenge: battling and defeating the titular 18 men of bronze.

What makes this movie - beyond how great it always is to see Carter Wong - is the battle scenes between the students of the Shaolin and the golden army. Some of them look like robots, others look like men just painted gold and no matter how silly that sounds, it's completely awesome. So is Polly Shang Kwan, who plays the potential future wife of Shaolung who instead dresses as a man and continually defends his life.

This has the best budget I've seen in a Joseph Kuo film and he makes the best use of it possible. What an absolute blast.

Reviewed by ckormos1 5 / 10

Good action improves on the tired tale

The movie is about a young boy enters Shaolin temple to train for revenge for his father's death. This is also to overthrow the Ming and return the Ching dynasty. He has a lot on his plate for a youngster . After much training he and a friend try to pass the 18 bronze men. They fail because they need to go back and read books for three years. The next time they succeed and get their forearm scars just like Caine in the US TV series "Kung Fu". They meet Polly and as usual the girl is mistaken for a man initially. She follows them everywhere and finally the piece of jade pops out. Secrets from the past are revealed.

I first watched this movie about five years ago but didn't post my review. I simply did not like the movie because this same story has been told many times and this movie did not make anything better or different. I watched it again because I was checking if my copy was the best quality and the opening fight sequence caught my attention. Yes, that was a good sword fight at the beginning. All the fights were above average for 1976.

Carter Wong did some excellent fight sequences in this movie. When he started in 1972 "Hap Ki Do" my nickname for him was "Stone Face" because he was incapable of showing any expression except surprise. In this movie his lack of acting ability improved to the point that it was no longer a distraction.

Yi Yuan played villains in these movies since the 1960s. I never remarked on his fighting but in this movie he did a good job in the final fight especially considering it was three against one.

I still only rate the movie as average for the year and genre based on the fights making up for the worn out story.

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