Come Drink With Me
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Time Out saysAvailable at last on a digitally restored DVD, this was Hu's first foray into wuxia (martial chivalry) territory and already featured many of his future trademarks: a heroine in drag, fights in the confined space of an inn, music and percussion cues from Peking Opera and a plot which suddenly expands to a larger frame of reference. Posing as the knight errant Golden Swallow, Xiyan (Cheng) sets out to rescue her brother, an official held hostage by the Five Tiger Gang; she is aided, at first obliquely, by the beggar Drunken Cat (Yueh), who leads a raggle-taggle troupe of kids (great haircuts!) who sing for small change. He is actually Fan Dabei, a 'drunken master' in retreat since the murder of his teacher, and the plot shift occurs when he realises that the gang's mastermind is the traitor who did the foul deed. Less ambitious than Hu's later classics in the genre, but the charismatic performances and the overall sense of a form in transition give it a lasting freshness and charm.