Godfather’s Daughter (Review)
Slooooooow pacing, hackneyed plot, genre indecision, this movie has it all! What becomes finally a revenge movie spends most of the time jumping back and forth between a terrible Goodfellows ripoff to being Godfather, until the lazy writers get around to killing off enough characters that it’s revenge time. Luckily this movie seems to have as many names as genres it becomes, in addition to Godfather’s Daughter, The Godfather’s Daughter Mafia Blues, and Lit foh ching sau, it’s also called Flaming Love Enemy which is what the Chinese title translates into. The journey is frought with pain and suffering, and mindcrushing boredom. This movie could have used a team of whipmasters to speed up the pacing, as scenes draaaaaaaaaaaag like a cripple’s foot.
No subtitles during the opening credits? Why bother! After all, the public won’t care enough anyway to wonder who the two guys working at the fish store are, or what they are telling each other. Once the credits stop and the subtitles can begin, we find out one of them is the nephew of the fishstore owner. Except we don’t get their names, or the owner’s name. Later we discover one is named Wai and he is the better fighter, while his friend is a loudmouth called Nan. I give them their names now because otherwise we have to wait for over half the movie. Later at a club, Wai and Nan are drinking while a bad knockoff of Anita Mui sings. Nan says that she is mentally abusing him with her singing and she raped his ears. Unfortunately for him he is overheard by her boyfriend, a Triad (Chinese gangster), who tells her, and she goes over to start harassing Nan. Her boyfriend joins her a few minutes later and demands some respect. He makes them finish a whole bottle of brandy if they want to leave, which they do. Wai even punctuates it by breaking the bottle over his own head. Outside, they are ambushed by the gangsters, but Wai and Nan beat them up. The Triads are lead by guys named Indian and Yung, who we haven’t seen the last of.
The next day at Uncle’s fish tank, the fish are all poisoned and the uncled is tied up. The gangsters have retaliated. The two go looking for the gangsters, and are given information from a guy at the nightclub. However, he directs them to the hous of Godfather Li Hwa Yu, who was not the one responsible. Wai and Nan are unaware and hop over the fence of his compound while an illegal kickboxing match is going on. Li Hwa Yu talks to them and figures out they are at the wrong place, then lets them know where Indian and Yung are operating a Mahjong place in To Kwa Wan, and lets them go.
Inspector Chiu Tat Yan is arresting Wai and Nan a second later, after they have busted into the Mahjong place and made a mess. The Inspector works for Indian and Yung, and those two are beating Wai and Nan as they are tied up. Then Master Li Haw Yu and his friend Tung stroll in. They try to settle the dispute and succeed. Now Wai and Nan are indebted to Mr. Li. It turns out Mr. Li was in the same army division Wai served in years ago (except Li was in it twenty years before Wai served). Wai and Nan become bodyguards/waiters at Li’s club. Hey, the movie is now Goodfellows! Who would a thunk it? Master Li is waiting for his daughter to arrive from Japan. He gets a call his partner Mr. Yamada is terminally sick. Amy Li, daughter, arrives from Japan and Mr. Li introduces her to Wai and Nan. Amy is in to martial arts and desires people to practice with. Meanwhile, Mr. Yamada has died.
Kuyama, Mr. Yamada’s son, is now head of Mr. Yamada’s empire. The first thing he does is starts making big demands, as his group and Li’s Triads are partners in Li’s club. He tells Mr. Li that if he wants the company, he needs to buy him out, otherwise he should step aside. But he will only give Mr. Li a week to decide, otherwise he will force Mr. Li out. Mr. Li now has a huge decision.
Amy follows Wai and Nan around to learn Wai’s Kung Fu. She’s sort of like when your little brother is forced to hang around you by your parents and he makes trouble just because he can. That’s what Amy does, as she starts fights with random people in clubs in order to get to see Wai in action. Mr. Li has barely scraped up enough money to pay for the club. His friend Tung is supposed to arrive with the rest of the money, but Tung has vanished. Wai and Amy are looking for Tung, and run into him at the airport. Tung runs off fighting and jumps onto the top of a bus to escape. Wai and Amy follow, by jumpin on top of a truck which is heading the same direction. I’ll admit this is rather interesting, the movie scores here. Amazingly enough, Wai and Amy catch up, and grab Tung.
Tung is interrogated as to why he ran off, but the truth of the matter is he’s just greedy. Mr. Li gives him a knife to kill himself with to save his honor, but he slashes one of the men in the room and tries to escape, but Mr. Li shoots him in the leg. Mr. Li tells him to leave and never be seen by him again. Mr. Li can’t kill him because they were such close friends for many years. Back at the club, a tough named Master Kak (Actually, the subtitles seem to use “Master” everytime someone male is mentioned by name, but I’m keeping it here because Master Kak is a funny sounding name) is trying to steal all the hostesses so they’ll work at his new club. One hostess won’t go for the deal, and her face is sprayed with acid later in the night. Mr. Li won’t retaliate because that could start a war, as Master Kak works for Kuyama, and Kuyama owns many other Triad bosses, and many would die.
Amy isn’t hearing any of that, and wants to beat up some Kuyama. She surprises him at a gym, and he sics some of his goons on her and they fight all through the gym and spa in some nicely done fight scenes. She is starting to lose when Wai appears and saves her, but she slices Kuyama’s face before she leaves. Mr. Li visits Kuyama in the hospital and asks him not to fight, tells him the Triad bosses will still side with him in a war because they are Chinese, and that his father wouldn’t want them fighting. Kuyama agrees to peace because of his father, but it’s a big lie, of course! Mr. Li orders Wai to watch his daughter 24/7. At this point the movie has diverged from Goodfellows into The Godfather and The Bodyguard. But this movie has more transformations than the life cycle of a parasitic worm, we aren’t done yet!
Li runs into Tung again while fishing, and invites him back, as he still sees Tung as a friend. Li is losing money, Kuyama’s club with Master Kak is stealing all his business. He has Tung help set up a deal with some Thais, but the whole thing turns out to be a big trap. Kuyama is there with a bunch of goons, and Tung is working for Kuyama. All of Li’s men are killed, and Li is dragged to the top of a high building and thrown off as a suicide. He gently floats to his death (next time they should move the camera faster!)
After the funeral, some people arrive to seal up Li’s house. I guess that’s standard operating procedure in Hong Kong, but it just seems weird. It is a trap, and Nan and Amy are caught in the middle. Amy escapes and is involved in a highspeed chase, while Nan has to fight several people, including a white guy who is able to kung fu fight after being shot in the chest by Nan. Nan also pulls off a ridiculous gun on a rope trick, but despite killing many of the bad guys he goes down himself in a hail of gunfire. He should have ran after the guy who was shot in the chest kept fighting, obviously he was fighting cyborg robots from the future that have been sent to assassinate him. Now mankind is doomed. Thanks, Nan! Amy’s chase involves motorcycles that explode during shifts in the wind or if exposed to sunlight, so she gets away clean. She goes to Tung’s to hide, as no one knows he’s bad yet.
Wai was busy with mob business, but finds out Tung is bad. He calls Amy to tell her, and Tung is watching her talk on the phone while brandishing a knife. A fight follows as Tung tries to kill her. Amy is getting beat up when Wai arrives, distracting Tung. The two on one struggle resolves in Tung getting stabbed dead by Amy. Have you noticed now the movie is now Generic Action Revenge Movie #4732? They didn’t want to make it all woman revenge so they through in the guy as well, so it’s both woman’s revenge and friend’s revenge. Too bad it doesn’t make the movie any better.
Amy and Wai go to fight Kuyama for revenge, and at a pre-aranged meeting they run into him at full speed. Full speed meaning they get our of their car and run at him top speed UNARMED! After a few seconds of being shot at by Kuyama’s goons, they make a mad dash back to the car. Back in the car, Kuyama’s twenty or so goons become roadkill fodder one by one as Wai drives all over the map splattering henchman goo all over the bumper of his car. Kuyama’s goons couldn’t hit the broad side of the Great Wall of China, they are the worst shots I’ve seen in a movie since the Imperial Stormtroopers. Wai manages to dispatch most of the bad guys via car before the car finally is totaled. The goons still can’t hit jack when Wai and Amy leap from the car for ACTION! All that is left is Wai, Amy, Kuyama, and Master Kak. By now Kuyama and Master Kak are out of bullets, and the score must be settled physically. Kuyama grabs a samurai sword to fight Wai, and Master Kak pulls out a sword as well, but Amy just steals the sword, and then tosses it at Kak, stabbing him through the chest. She and Wai then double-team up on Kuyama, and Kuyama cannot stand up to them, and is offed. Then they leave the building together, as the movie ends. This movie was pretty meh-tacular.
Rated 4/10 (dead fish, Army Medallion, illegal kickboxing, old warped guy)
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