Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son: Limited Edition Set – Eureka Video (Blu-ray)
Theatrical Release Dates: Hong Kong, 1978 (Warriors Two), Hong Kong, 1981 (The Prodigal Son)
Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Cast: Ka-Yan Leung, Ho Wang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Chia-Yung Liu (Warriors Two), Biao Yuen, Ching-Ying Lam, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Frankie Chan (The Prodigal Son)
Release Date: January 24th, 2022
Approximate Running Times: 95 Minutes 38 Seconds (Warriors Two - Original Version), 90 Minutes 7 Seconds (Warriors Two - Export Version), 104 Minutes 40 Seconds (The Prodigal Son)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC (All Films)
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono Cantonese, LPCM Mono English (Warriors Two - Original Version, The Prodigal Son), LPCM Mono English (Warriors Two - Export Version)
Subtitles: English (All Films)
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £25.99 (UK)
"Two Hong Kong action classics from Sammo Hung, Warriors Two and Prodigal Son both depict a version of the real-life kung fu master Leung Jan, whose mastery of Wing Chun would make him a legend.
In Warriors Two, Sammo Hung and Casanova Wong play two students of master Jan (played here by Bryan “Beardy” Leung) who must use their skills to defend their town against an evil businessman and his gang of killers.
The Prodigal Son follows Leung Jan as a younger man (played by Yuen Biao). Lazy and spoilt, he believes himself to be a great kung fu master not realizing that his father has been bribing his opponents to intentionally lose. After being humbled in a real fight, Leung Jan decides to become a real Wing Chun master!" - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about Warriors Two's transfer, "TWO VERSIONS OF THE FILM, BOTH FULLY RESTORED IN 2K."
Warriors Two comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 45.9 GB
Feature: 27.8 GB (Warriors Two - Original Version), 14.9 GB (Warriors Two - Export Version)
Here’s the information provided about The Prodigal Son's transfer, "FULLY RESTORED IN 2K."
The Prodigal Son comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 44.9 GB
Feature: 30.8 GB
The sources for both versions of Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son are in great shape. The source looks clean, free of any source-related imperfections. Color saturation is very good, the image looks crisp, and though black levels look good, there are moments where they could be stronger.
Warriors Two, the original version, and The Prodigal Son each come with two audio options: a LPCM mono mix in Cantonese and a LPCM mono mix in English. Warriors Two, the export version comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English. All the audio mixes are in great shape. There are no issues with distortion or background hiss; the dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range-wise, all the action sequences sound robust. Warriors Two, the original version and The Prodigal Son, both come with two audio options: removable English for Cantonese audio tracks and a second removable English subtitle track for text in Cantonese and songs sung in Cantonese. Warriors Two, the export version comes with removable English subtitles for text in Cantonese.
The extras for Warriors Two include a stills gallery (15 images), the original theatrical trailer (4 minutes, Dolby Digital mono Cantonese with removable English subtitles), the international trailer (3 minutes 29 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an archival making of Warriors Two featurette (47 minutes 31 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English and Chinese with non-removable English subtitles for Chinese), an audio commentary with Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and martial artist/actor Robert "Bobby" Samuels for the original version, and an audio commentary with action cinema experts Mike Leeder and Arne Venema for the export version.
Extras for The Prodigal Son include an audio commentary with Frank Djeng and Robert “Bobby” Samuels for the original version and an audio commentary with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema.
Other extras include a limited-edition reversible poster, a limited-edition O-Card slipcase, and a limited-edition booklet with cast and crew information for Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son, archival imagery, an essay written by James Oliver, a reprint of Frank Djeng’s original liner notes for The Prodigal Son from the US laserdisc release, reprints of Warriors Two’s original sales notes and theatrical flyer, and information about the transfer titled Notes on Viewing.
Warriors Two: Warriors Two was one of the first martial arts films to feature the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu. Also, Warriors Two has a pre-credits sequence that features a voiceover narration that gives an overview of the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu.
Though the premise revolves around the all-too familiar theme of revenge, That way, the narrative unfolds, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment. The finale provides a perfect coda to the events that preceded it.
Though the action set pieces are Warriors Two's heart and soul, the narrative is a very satisfying balance of action and humor. With the standout action set pieces being a lengthy training sequence and an explosive finale,
The cast members all give excellent performances in their respective roles, particularly Sammo Kam-Bo Hung in the role of Fei Chun, who is the focus of the majority of the comedy. And when it comes to fight sequences, he delivers and then some. Another performance of note is Ka-Yan Leung in the role of a martial arts master who reluctantly teaches the protagonist.
From its opening moments, it is clear that Warriors Two is a special film. And, despite the fact that Warriors Two contains many elements that were synonymous with martial arts cinema at the time, The result is an exhilarating film whose impact on martial arts cinema is undeniable.
The Prodigal Son: From the first time that I saw Biao Yuen, I was immediately impressed by his ability to effortlessly perform ridiculous acrobatic stunts. He would be given the perfect opportunity to showcase his martial arts skills in The Prodigal Son.
The Prodigal Son, like Warriors Two, features the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu. The narrative revolves around a protagonist whose martial arts prowess is due to his father's paying off his opponents. Then one day, he encounters a fighter who humiliates him, and from there he sets out to become a true master of the martial arts.
Content wise, The Prodigal Son has all the elements that are synonymous with classic martial arts cinema. Revenge plays a role in the story at hand, and a lengthy training sequence that features some well-placed humor where the protagonist is being taught a fighting style that resembles going to the bathroom. That said, the fight sequences are spectacular.
The main attraction of The Prodigal Son is Biao Yuen in the role of the protagonist. He delivers one of his most memorable performances and when it comes to the fight sequences, he’s second to none. Other notable performances include Ching-Ying Lam in the role of a Chinese opera performer with extraordinary martial arts skills and Sammo Kam-Bo Hung in the role of another martial arts master.
From a production standpoint, there’s not an area where The Prodigal Son does not excel. The premise is well-executed, and the narrative is a good mix of action and humor. Another thing that sets The Prodigal Son apart from other martial arts movies is that all the main characters have flaws that make them human and add more depth to the story.
Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son are given a first-rate release from Eureka Video that comes with solid audio/video presentations and insightful extra content, highly recommended.
Written by Michael Den Boer