Friday, September 16, 2016

Come Drink With Me

"Come Drink With Me" marked King Hu's last film with the Shu Brothers before he left for Taiwan. This movie is very interesting because it marks the beginning of Hu's signature style, with his fantastical martial arts as well as being notorious for having an absurd ending. Run Run Shaw, after viewing the film, was very displeased with what he saw. He was done with Hu's slow, methodical pacing to his filmmaking, which was costing him way too much money and making the film go over budget. He restrained Hu, giving him deadlines and forcing him to include things in the movie that made Hu furious. The result? The ending of the film is so different from the beginning it almost seems like a different movie altogether.

"Come Drink With Me" follows the Golden Swallow who is trying to look for her brother, who was kidnapped by a bunch of thugs led by the notorious Jade Faced Tiger. Golden Swallow, in disguise as a man, finds the gang's hideout and tries to get information from them. She meets a mysterious drunkard named Drunken Cat, who at first seems like goofy vagabond, but she soon realizes that he is more than he says he is. Together, they plan to take down this gang and save her brother.

This film's execution is great in the beginning. How Hu sets up action, to introducing characters is meticulously planned and presents their characters in meaningful ways. The action scenes are excellent to watch as they are beautifully performed. They're carefully choreographed and performed and they come off more as dance numbers than actual fights.

The actors also do a very good job. Golden Swallow is confident and strong, Drunken Cat is whimsical and funny, and Jade Faced Tiger is appropriately menacing. They play their roles to a masterful degree and are very pleasant to watch.

Now, for the last part of the movie. It is known that King Hu and the Run Run Shaw had a falling out near the end of the movie. Shaw wanted the movie finished but Hu needed time to make sure everything was perfect. Since Shaw was the boss Hu had to listen, but didn't go down fighting. The ending is rushed, the fights are sloppy, the editing is questionable, and the effects are downright hilarious. Nothing is resolved and the main bad guy gets away. It's all very confusing and might drown the film if the beginning wasn't as good as it was. To put the blame on one person would be unfair. Shaw and Hu both had their own prerogative and they intended to get their own way. The only thing that really suffered was the movie's ending, that seems like a completely different movie.

Overall, the movie is entertaining enough to watch and even more amazing to think that this is the first time Hu would implement the style that would make him ultra famous. 

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