Heroes of the East ★★★★½

I'd always preferred the alternate title Shaolin vs. Ninja, but now I'm not so sure. Heroes of the East fits better Lau's philosophy and the tone of the film. It isn't an anti-Japanese propaganda piece like Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury, or a pulpy celebration of action violence like Corey Yuen's Ninja in the Dragon's Den. It really is a celebration of the martial arts, both Chinese and Japanese, for their own sake, the differences between them cosmetic or matters of simple miscommunication. Of course, Gordon Liu does defeat all the Japanese challengers, but Lau is generous in his patriotism.

Sean liked this review