The film opens with a pair of criminals meeting to try and conduct an exchange at one of Australia’s great attractions, Uluru (referred to as Ayers Rock in this film). During the exchange, both men are surprised to find undercover agents from the Federal Narcotics Bureau secretly waiting for them. A chase occurs, resulting in only one of the two criminals surviving, but sadly he doesn’t speak a single drop of English. With no other choice, the Bureau calls for the support of an agent from Hong Kong’s Special Branch. The branch agrees to support the Australian Bureau and select one of their finest agents, Detective Inspector Fang Sing Leng (Jimmy Wang Yu).
As Fang Sing Leng arrives in Australia, he questions the captured criminal about the exchange. After interrogating the arrested man through solid questioning and using his mighty fists, Fang is given the name Wilton (George Lazenby). At first, the name doesn’t mean much to Fang, and it’s only a short time until the lone witness is assassinated while being escorted to a court hearing. Thanks to some help, Fang discovers who Wilton is and finds that he is powerful enough to control the entire city and possibly deal in drugs and heavy weaponry. Fang begins to pressure Wilton and further his investigation, hoping to bring justice and take down everyone else who deserves it.
The Man from Hong Kong is a fun Australian film. The action has many exciting moments and wild, exciting, entertaining stunts. Some examples include the great slow-motion shots, explosions, car chases, fights, and even a scene where a car demolishes a house! Another action scene that strongly stands out is the kitchen fight between actor Jimmy Wang Yu and the Australian stunt legend Grant Page. This fight scene feels real, raw and, again, fun.
Performances are generally hit and miss, particularly from the lead Fang Sing Leng played by Jimmy Wang Yu. The actor seems overconfident and arrogant on-screen, and moments of romance from his character often feel uncomfortable and unconvincing. Still, the actor naturally shines best with his action and excellent stunt work. Side performances are more enlightened, including from the villain, played by George Lazenby. Lazenby seems to be having fun playing the powerful mastermind villain. I love seeing how the actor fully committed to playing this character. The plot here is basic but remains exciting and adventurous. Plus, who doesn’t want to see a fun action film set in Australia?
Overall, there’s never been a film quite like this in Australian Cinemas. Packed with incredible moments of action and stunts that will entertain audiences, it is a memorable experience. The biggest hindrance; however, is the lead actor Jimmy Wang Yu whom I found overconfident and somewhat arrogant, making him unlikeable at various times. Granted, his action and stunt work is impressive, as is the work from Grant Page and George Lazenby. Even if the plot doesn’t quite grab you, it’s still an entertaining film and remains iconic and worthy of being deemed an Ozploitation classic.