Born Invincible/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Born Invincible
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The ancient Tai Chi style is one of the most deadliest in martial arts. At the opening of the film we are introduced to Chia (Carter Wong), one of the two Chin Yin Chiefs who is a Tai Chi Master. We also learn that to become an invincible Tai Chi master one must start at a very young age. You must bathe in special lotions and eat special pills. Once the style is mastered the hair turns white and the voice tone becomes higher. The body turns into one solid muscle it can break almost anything. The fists can break stone. The energy of the style is at first concentrated in the head. Although the body is invincible, there are always secret weak spots which can't be moved. This can be fatal to any Tai Chi master.

Chia is one of the two evil Chin Yin Chiefs. The other being Chin Pah (Lo Lieh). The Chin Yin chiefs send two evil thugs out to find an old man named Lu Chin. Lu Chin is an old enemy of The Chin Yin Chiefs and they want to kill him and his young daughter. While the two thugs confront Lu Chin, a local group of kung fu students see it taking place and one of the head students named Ming Chu defends the old man. The two killers battle Ming Chu and he isnt able to defeat them on his own. His uncle, one of the head teachers at the Lei Ping school shows up and fights the two killers. They are defeated for the moment, but they swear to come back and kill the Lei Ping school.

Lu Chin and his daughter are taken back to the Lei Ping school for safe haven. While they are resting, The Chin Yin Chiefs come to the school demanding Liu Chin to surrender or die. The Master of Lei Ping school decides to stick up for Liu Chin and he takes on Chin Pah with his sword. Chin Pah has a special baton with which he can grab the opponents sword and then have the chance to wound him. Chin Pah defeats the Lei Ping Teacher and is ready for the next opponent. When the old man sees that The Master gave his life for him, he decides he must fight the Chin Yin Chiefs himself. He challenges Chin Pah and after the old man proves hes no slouch with a sword, Chin Pah quickly calls in Chia to help him out. Chia and Chin Pah deftly take the old man out, but not without a good fight.

Ming Chu realizes that to defeat The Chin Yin Chiefs the entire school must train in the mountains where they can hide out for awhile. They retreat to the mountains, but their Master explained to them that theyt were punished for getting involved with the Chin Yin Chiefs, so they must refrain from training for 3 years. First thing Ming Chu must do is defeat the Chin Yin Chiefs, so he challenges Chin Pah to a fight. After Ming Chu kills Chin Pah, Chia finds out and the war is ON! Ming Chu then takes on Chia but is killed.

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Brother Er tries to battle Chia, but hes defeated badly and almost killed. When Chia is fighting, he creates the Tai Chi insignia in the dirt with his foot. One of the female students tries to help Brother Er by fighting Chia herself, suddenly, in the middle of the fight, a strange white haired female appears and tells Chia to stop fighting and to live in peace. Chia agrees for the moment. The female Lei Ping student follows the white haired woman and asks her if Chia can be defeated. The white haired woman replies "When he's not being himself". Brother #3 comes to the realization that Chia's weakspot is his throat, when he laughs loudly at his opponents in a mocking way.

One of the coolest sequences in the film is when Brother #3 is developing his strengths. He concentrates his breathing, so he is able to move logs hanging on a string by blowing on them. Then he takes steel ballbearings and puts them in his mouth, he proceeds to shoot them out at a tree with a tremendous pressure. With each shot, the steel ballbearings are embedded into the tree deeper and deeper. He also trains on a dummy throwing knives at the throat area.

In the dynamic climax, Brother #3 fights Chia and uses all his knowledge of the secrets of the Tai Chi style to try to defeat him including trying to hit his 80 pressure points with a thumb spike. After a long brutal fight, he mocks Chia's high voice, it is really funny. Chia says "What did you just say?" and #3 replies in the same high voice "What did you just say?". Chia starts to laugh, when #3 sees Chia laughing, he sees his chance and throws a knife directly in Chia's mouth, in effect hitting his throat and striking his secret weak point. Chia dies. The Lei Ping school is safe once again.

One of the main things I really liked about this film was the way the entire Lei Ping school stuck together and used teamwork to defeat the Chin Yin Chiefs. I guess they had to seeing that Chia defeated each member that challenged him. Nevertheless, it made the story altogether more interesting and entertaining. The fight choreography is top notch as well. Yuen Woo Ping (Iron Monkey) was the main choreographer and his setups are just as good as it gets. Born Invincible has a great mix of wushu sword fighting, hand to hand combat and ancient kung fu mythology.

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Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. He is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life.
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