Corrupt officials have taken bribes and allowed a band of Japanese pirates — which includes Han Yingjie (Han Ying-chieh), Hakatatsu (Sammo Hung) and Simon Yuen as a bald pirate with a bo staff — to terrorize the South China coast. A small band of fighters, led by husband and wife Wu Ji-Yuan (Pai Ying) and Wu Ruo-Shi (Hsu Feng), have come together to stop them.
Made at the same time as The Fate of Lee Khan, director and writer King Hu has made a world where one big fight still solves things, but to get there our heroes must endure corruption at nearly every turn.
Yet what an ending, as Sammo makes for a wonderfully brutal final boss after a film filled with not just amazing action, but plenty of gorgeous coastal scenes. Hu also realizes that the music is not just wallpaper, but instead makes the fights more dramatic and impactful.
I’m all for more pirates battling against heroic martial artists; what else is out there?
Want to see it for yourself?
You can watch The Valiant Ones on Sunday, April 23 at 5 PM in Theater 1 at Metrograph and Subway Cinema in New York City. It’s part of the 10th Old School Kung Fu Fest: Sword Fighting Heroes Edition from April 21-30, 2023!
Tickets are on sale right here!