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The Outlaw Brothers


Kickin’!

Rod Lott November 13th, 2012

In the heyday of DVD, 20th Century Fox brought a lot of contemporary Asian actioners to disc in affordable, collectible editions under the “Hong Kong Legends” banner: Eastern Condors, Magnificent Butchers, Knockabout, In the Line of Duty 4, City Hunter, Naked Killer, My Lucky Stars. Watching The Outlaw Brothers reminded me of those glorious times.

outlawbrothers

Yes, it comes from the Dragon Dynasty line — release No. 57, to be precise — but it’s sillier than the bulk of Dragon Dynasty product, which largely skips this period in favor of old-school Shaw Brothers.

But Frankie Chan’s The Outlaw Brothers? It’s as of-the-times as a 1990 flick can be, right down to the synth score and the leading lady wearing suspenders. The “bros” of the title are James and Bond, car thieves who specialize in swiping Porsches. On their trail is undercover female cop Tequila — yes, Tequila.

Like many films of this period, plot is nearly incidental — a vehicle to push as many martial-arts sequences to the forefront as it can. So you can try to revel in stories of racing and smuggled cocaine if you like, but The Outlaw Brothers is really interested in kicking ass: left, right, up, down, all around. Its climactic showdown is the best, utilizing everything from swords and fans to chickens and snakes!

And yet it also concludes with a freeze frame of one of our “brothers” kicking Tequila square in the back, which sort of reinforces my feelings that the film displayed throughout a rather cavalier attitude toward beating women. I’ll admit it’s somewhat difficult to overlook; it does leave a sour taste in an otherwise carefree experience.

While the print looks fine, this Dragon Dynasty release arrives bare-bones in terms of extras — unusual for the label. —Rod Lott



 
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