New Kids in Town
AKA: New Killers in Town, Master of Disaster
Year of release: 1990
Genre: martial arts
Director: Lau Ga-Yung
Action directors: Lik Ying, Lau Ga-Yung, Lau Kar-Leung
Producer: Lau Ga-Yung
Writers: Do Lai-Chi, Lau Ga-Yung
Cinematography: Patrick Jim
Editing: Poon Hung
Music: Stephen Shing
Stars: Moon Lee, Chin Siu-Ho, Lau Kar-Leung, Dickson Lee, Karel Wong, Eddie Maher, Sophia Crawford
Rated II for violence
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With the growing worldwide popularity of Hong Kong action movies in the early 1990's, there was a huge influx of low-budget releases that were quickly pumped out in order to try and capitalize on the market. Most of these releases were fairly nondescript affairs, and New Kids in Town is another example of this. It offers up some decent action, but the wholly generic nature of the proceedings end up making this a picture that's not going to produce any lasting memories.
To begin with, it should be noted that this review is based on Xenon's DVD, which has not only been re-titled to Master of Disaster, but has scenes from Jackie Chan's 1985 movie The Protector ham-handedly spliced in. This Godfrey Ho-esque technique gives the proceedings a bit of an oddity flavor, but, as I said before, for the most part, this is average stuff for early 1990's Hong Kong action cinema.
The story revolves around two brothers (Chin Siu-Ho and Dickson Lee) who come to Hong Kong from the Mainland to help their uncle (Lau Kar-Leung) and cousin (Moon Lee) run a restaurant. But after a roller skating race goes awry (yes, I'm serious) the group finds themselves the target of a crime syndicate led by Karel Wong.
Like many movies of this type, the thin shred of a plot is just an excuse to get to the next action scene. Unfortunately, there's not enough of them. The movie wastes too much time with dopey comedy and boring exposition that ultimately goes nowhere. Once the action does kick in, it's good enough stuff, especially the finale, which features Lau Kar-Leung displaying his legendary pole techniques. But, ultimately, the action isn't enough to make New Kids in Town anything other than yet another cheaply made but still moderately enjoyable 1990's Hong Kong movie.