Scorpion King AKA Operation Scorpio
HONG KONG LEGENDS
 
Starring:
Directed By:
David Lai
Year:
1991
Run Time:
92 mins
Producer: Hong Kong Legends
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Languages:
CANTONESE 5.1,English 5.1
Subtitles:
English, Dutch
W/S Subtitles:
Yes
Ratio:
1.85:1
Region:
2 & 4 PAL
Genre:
Martial Arts/Drama - Category
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MOVIE
9/10

Yuk-Su (Chin Kar-Lok) sits in class, dreaming that one day he can be the hero of the comics he so lovingly creates.
Unfortunately, Yuk-Su is weak and, along with his friend Fatty Hing, often gets beaten up by all and sundry.
His heart is firmly in the right place, but Yuk-Su's body is unable to follow...until he meets the French-Chinese instructor of a bodybuilding school.

Having freed Siu-Yu, a slave owned by a local pimp, Yuk-Su flees with his father and the girl to the safety of Master Lo's (Lau Kar-Leung) 'No.1 Beef Noodle' Restaurant.
Will Yuk-Su's new found strength be enough to defeat the pimp's son - the Scorpion King - or is there one more twist in the tale?

Whilst Chin Kar-Lok never made the big time, his action and acting skills are well to the fore in David Lai's superbly directed feature.
Yuk-Su's yearning to become the real-life equivalent of his Jademan-esque artwork, and his ongoing attempts to fulfil this dream, are well realised by Kar-Lok.
Although he handles his role with an assured ease, it's evident why he never became a prominent member of the Hong Kong acting fraternity...he lacks screen presence.
This is brought sharply into focus each time he appears alongside the legendary Lau Kar-Leung - a man who, even in the autumn of his life, manages to set the screen alight.

Having helped lens the visually stunning Saviour Of The Soul, David Lai takes to the helm and delivers a superb solo effort. Not only do the fight sequences take your breath away with their ingenuity and beauty, but so does the overall direction and cinematography of the piece.
Although Scorpion King is highly impressive action-wise, it also allows itself enough time and space to develop its characters, striking a happy balance of brain alongside its brawn.

PICTURE
9/10

Even with the minor grain which is occasionally noticeable, this is a highly accomplished transfer by HKL.
Almost no artifacting, superb black levels, and mostly sharp detail create an impressive presentation.
The aforementioned cinematography is shown in its best light thanks to the beautifully rendered colours on display.
In a word - excellent.

SOUND
7/10

With some well directed front speaker usage, much of it for ambient noise, this remixed 5.1 soundtrack is pleasingly solid.
The centre speaker is given the lion's share of the work, with sfx and dialogue rarely becoming drowned out.

SUBTITLES
8/10

Subtitled songs, Chinese characters and few moments of mistranslated dialogue..what's the world coming to?!
Seriously, these are a vast improvement on previous subbing efforts and capture the film's script accurately.

EXTRAS
7/10

Won Jin Showreel
A two minute showcase of Won's incredible kicking and flipping style. Definitely worthy of repeat viewings.

Life Of A Legend
Excellently written by Bey Logan, this text-only mini biography is a hugely welcome addition considering the lack of a Lau Kar-Leung interview.

Interview Gallery
Won Jin
This specially commissioned interview with the Scorpion King provides some interesting background information .
Topics covered include his experiences of Hong Kong, the Scorpion style which he developed, and his feelings towards cast, crew and the overall production.

Chin Kar-Lok
Much of this enthusiastic 17 minute interview covers Kar-Lok's experiences with Samo's 'Hung Gar Ban' Stunt group. The remainder of the piece centres on Chin Kar-Lok's thoughts on the movie and his friendship with Won Jin.

Commentary
Yet more sterling work by Bey Logan as he reveals numerous facts about the film, its stars, and directors.

CONCLUSION
8/10

David Lai certainly hit many of the right notes with this Martial Arts drama set in the mid-1900's, and thankfully, so have HKL - an impressive transfer, and some pleasing extras all add up to a highly recommended DVD release.

MOVIE 9/10
PICTURE
9/10
SOUND
7/10
SUBTITLES
8/10
EXTRAS
7/10
MENUS
8/10
PACKAGING
8/10
OVERALL 8/10