This is the only Stephen Chow (spelled Chiau on the box) film that I've ever seen, but I am determined to see more of them. Not only is he a physically talented comedic actor and convincing as a kung fu master, he is also quite pleasing to look at. The plot is silly, but it works well with the comic delivery. I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Chow's character uses "sleeping disciple" kung fu, in which he seemingly yawns and stretches while hitting his opponent in the face, etc. Well-done special effects, just this side of cheesy, show the sorcery and magical kung fu moves. Since Amazon hasn't given you a summary, here's mine: Young ne'er-do-well Su Chan (Chow) falls in love with a courtesan. In order to win her hand in marriage, he signs up for an imperial examination to become a military officer. For reasons partially attributable to Tin Li Jiao, an evil Taoist sorcerer and martial artist, and partially attributable to Su Chan's own laziness and his father's dishonesty, Su Chan winds up a beggar. He uses kung fu to rescue his ladylove and the Emperor when they fall into the clutches of Tin Li Jiao. The version I have (didn't buy it from Amazon, but looks like the same one) is in Cantonese and Mandarin with subtitles in traditional characters and English. The subtitle translations are just bad enough to be amusing, but not so bad as to be confusing. Because the English subtitles are plain white, they are hard to read against a light background. Fortunately, the plot of the film isn't so subtle that reading every subtitle is critical. I thought the film was entertaining and funny. Not a masterpiece, perhaps, but better than many action/comedy films out there. I'll definitely watch it again.
I've seen most of Stephen Chow's movies and would rank "King Of Beggars" among his better works. I thought it was a really hilarious film, with a good plot and premise, although the ending feels a bit rushed and sloppy.
Basic plot: Chow plays "So Chan", the very spoiled son of the governor of Canton. He meets a courtesan, Yu-Shang, who tells him she will only have him if he becomes a great kung-fu master. Inspired, So Chan signs up for a "Kung Fu Scholar" tournament, but certain events lead to him being banished and sentenced by the emperor to be a homeless beggar. Chow is particular adept at playing characters who fall from great height only to rise up again, and this is what he does here. When Yu-Shang is kidnapped by a corrupt official in the emperor's cabinet, So Chan attempts to learn kung fu seriously to rescue Yu-Shang.
This is a very funny movie, featuring more of Chow's "moleitau" (nonsense) humor. One of the funniest scenes in the movie is So Chan learning the "sleeping disciple" stance, where he dozes off in between throwing punches and kicks! That really is as funny as it sounds. The fight scenes in this movie are quite good as well. Chow has some martial arts training (due to his admiration of Bruce Lee) and he's really quite convincing in his fight scenes. It's also a nice coming-of-age movie, especially when we see how So Chan deals with his guilt and embarassment of having fallen to such low depths.
My only problem with the movie is that the ending feels a little rushed. But it still ends conclusively and it's a great ride throughout. This was one of the biggest box office winners in HK when it came out in 1992. It was a very enjoyable film.
King of Beggars tends to be too talkative for people that don't understand Chinese, especially in the first third of the movie. The middle of the film shows Chow using his charm and showcasing his acting skills as well as some decent tournament action. The last part of the film goes a little into crazy land so it is not as exciting or entertaining. Chow's movies typically get too crazy at the end.
Buddha Assassinator is one of my favorite kung fu movies because the final fight invloves a crazy sleeping style of kung fu. I will talk about the action in a minute but I had to mention the sleeping style ASAP since it is so rare to see in a movie.
Stephen Chow plays the king of beggars. Once a rich young man and great in kung fu, he gets cheated out of everything he should have had by a government official. He is now forced to become a beggar with his father.
The main problem is that the movie just doesn't flow together very well. There is just too much beggar talk. The story doesn't move along at all except at the start and end. The rest is just mindless talking.
This starts out like a kung fu movie, but when Chow becomes a beggar, that becomes the main focus of the story. The action is very good when it does happen and I loved the sleeping style. Sleeping style has been used in a few older movies and it was nice to finally see it in a newer one, but they could have used it more. The undercranking is way too fast but the fights are still pretty good.