Legendary in Action!

WORLD PREMIERE

Legendary in Action!
大俠Action!(Daaih hahp Action!)

Hong Kong, 2022, 92’, Cantonese
Directed by: Justin Cheung, Li Ho
Screenplay: Gary Chan
Photography (color): Christopher Tang
Editing: Eddie Chow
Art Direction: Li Tsz-fung
Music: Peter Kam
Producer: Yau Tsz-kit
Cast: Justin Cheung (Bill “Tiger” Cheung), Chen Kuan-tai (Master Dragon), Jiro Lee (Andy), Wiyona Yeung (Greta), Harriet Yeung (Bill’s wife), Lam Yiu-sing (assistant director), Buber Mak (production manager)

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA

 

Hong Kong cinema focuses its lenses on itself for a story of perseverance in Legendary in Action!, the plucky feature-directing debut of Justin Cheung and Li Ho. 
At the centre is Bill “Tiger” Cheung (Justin Cheung), a Hong Kong film director who suffered an immense career comedown. Years ago he’d won a best director trophy at the Bucheon film fest in Korea and he was riding high with promise. But an early feature flopped at the box office, investors lost interest and he became mired in shooting crummy shorts. When the chance comes to make a wuxia film for a dodgy backer, he leaps at the opportunity and gives it a shot – not for financial gain, but for deeply personal reasons.
As a child, Cheung had been enthralled by the martial arts TV series Seven-Star Sword. Yet his memories of the show were soured by its sudden turn in the 30th and final episode. Star Master Dragon had been booted out for that instalment and now, decades later, Cheung still feels the show is incomplete. Studio space is booked for a remake, and through chance encounters Cheung stumbles into hiring the now elderly Master Dragon (Chen Kuan-tai) as lead actor and a beer girl without acting experience (Wiyona Yeung) as co-star. As the production moves from minor farce to the risk of failure, and with Cheung’s devotion to the film causing marital strife at home, the director must work miracles to make everything come together.
Legendary in Action! starts off with the advice that “what’s sleek in front of the camera is bleak behind the scenes,” and then paints an affectionate portrait of Hong Kong filmmaking as its die-hard director struggles to achieve his dreams. Shooting amid the pandemic and against the long-running backdrop of many Hongkongers looking down on local productions as inferior, Justin Cheung and Li Ho push for a spirited tale of tenacity and throw in vocal support for industry peers, no matter how bad their films may end up being. The wuxia angle plays up the craft and heritage of Hong Kong movies, showing sets not unlike those of old Shaw Brothers flicks, while many scenes shot at the run-down Clear Water Bay Film Studio capture a vintage filmmaking landmark.
Co-director Justin Cheung scruffs up for an endearing performance as Bill Cheung – a role he reportedly gained 50 pounds in weight for – and he’s joined by an attractive supporting cast. Not least among them is Harriet Yeung, playing the wife who suffers as her hubby focuses his attentions on film, and veteran Chen Kuan-tai, making a fun martial arts comeback while also handling heavier personal material. With their contributions and more, what starts as merely a look at the pains of birthing a film becomes something rousing and inspirational – not just for Hong Kong’s troubled cinema but for moviegoers too as they trudge through challenging times.


Justin Cheung

Justin Cheung is an established Hong Kong actor, having appeared in a wide range of films including Due West: Our Sex Journey (2012), Project Gutenberg (2018) and Breakout Brothers (2020). Cheung has also been active as a producer, and he became a director with Legendary in Action! (2022), in which he also starred as lead actor.

FILMOGRAPHY

2022 – Legendary in Action! (co-director)

Li Ho

 

A graduate of the Academy of Film of Hong Kong Baptist University, Li Ho has served as director, director of photography, art director and editor. Li was director of photography for River of Desire (2020), made for the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival, and he has directed shorts including Hell in Venus (2017). Legendary in Action! (2022) is his feature-directing debut.  

FILMOGRAPHY

2022 – Legendary in Action! (co-director)

Tim Youngs
Film director: Justin CHEUNG, LI Ho
Year: 2022
Running time: 92'
Country: Hong Kong
28/04 - 9:00 AM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
28-04-2022 9:00 28-04-2022 10:32Europe/Rome Legendary in Action! Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org

Photogallery