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Film / A Kid from Tibet

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Yuen Biao makes sure you get the point that he's directing and starring in this movie.

A Kid from Tibet is a 1992 fantasy-martial arts epic starring Yuen Biao, in his first, and only, directorial effort. Co-starring Michelle Reis (Fallen Angels), Nina Li Chi (Miss Jet Li), Biao's frequent collaborator Yuen Wah and Jackie Chan in an 8-second cameo, the film blends urban fantasy elements made popular by Highlander released a year prior and mixes them with Hong Kong martial arts and over-the-top choreography, resulting in some... let's say, interesting results.

Yuen Biao plays Lo Ba Wong La (Wong La the practitioner), a protege of a Tibetan monastery sent to Hong Kong to find an enchanted artifact called the "Babu Gold Bottle", which Wong La had its cap and is tasked with uniting the cap and bottle before either falls into the wrong hands. But when the evil Black Section Cult, led by the Black Section Sorcerer (Yuen Wah) and his sister (Nina Li) also seeks the bottle, Wong La had to take them on in an epic battle.

While its a shame that Yuen Biao never get to fight Jet Li during the peak of his entire career, at least over here he gets to fight Jet Li's wife. Ehh, close enough, right?

Tropes in A Kid From Tibet:

  • Accidental Pervert: Miss Miu often ends up assuming Wong La is being perverted due to his clumsiness and Fish out of Water antics, such as his insistence to sleep in her bedroom (to protect her from assassins), him reaching into his robes to show her his "treasure" (which the bottle's cap, but she assumed he was going to show her his penis) or almost stripping her naked with The Nudifier cloth incident (his magic was sabotaged).
  • All Monks Know Kung-Fu: The entire sect of Tibetan monks are martial artists and kung fu fighters. Wong La being their volunteer on his quest to Hong Kong.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Wong La turns the tide of the final battle, by hacking off the Black Section Sorcerer’s arm after the sorcerer is Left Stuck After Attack.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The film ends with Miss Chiu coming to Tibet and hiring Wong La to help her with another monk relic (much to his dismay as he expected she came there just to see him).
  • Bad Boss: The Black Section Sorcerer is shown to be quite ruthless with his minions, to the point that when his sister fails him, he tells her the only thing stopping him from killing her is the fact they're siblings.
  • Beard of Evil: The Black Section Sorcerer. Come together with his evil Fu Manchu ‘stache and unkempt black hair, to complete his Obviously Evil appearance.
  • Big Bad: The Black Section Sorcerer drives the plot with his desire to obtain the monk's bottle.
  • BFS: The final battle between Wong La and the Sorcerer have them wielding swords roughly as large as themselves in an epic duel.
  • Butt-Monkey: Much of the humor in the film comes at the expense of Miss Chiu, who not only constantly has to deal with Wong La's Fish out of Water antics, but during chase scenes ends up in all sorts of embarrassing situations, such as having rubbing herself on an animal's carcass or falling into a pool of mud.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: The Sorcerer's Sister is quite busty and wears an outfit that expose a lot of cleavage during her fight with Wong La, which causes him to get Distracted by the Sexy.
  • The Cameo: Jackie Chan shows up for 8 seconds in the scene where Wong La arrives at Hong Kong's airport.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The Sorcerer's Sister wears a trenchcoat while pursuing Wong La and Chiu in Hong Kong. While she still looks suspicious, it does attract far less attention than her Hell-Bent for Leather outfit would have.
  • Culture Clash: Miss Chiu is a privileged woman from Hong Kong and has a hard time acclimatizing in Tibet, specifically with an eccentric Tibet monk like Wong La. Wong La has a similar experience when going to Hong Kong.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Miss Chiu is cornered by a man trying to rob her, at first she looks helpless... but then she sprays his face with pepper and kicks him in the groin.
  • Dark Action Girl: The Black Section Sorcerer's Sister, who also serves as his dragon, whose name is never given throughout the movie.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Inverted when Wong La and the Sorcerer's Sister fights each other for the first time. She is wearing form-fitting leather pants, tall boots, tight corsets, and when Wong La manages to disarm her and pin her down, he ends up catching a faceful of her boobs and quickly releases her and backs away. She uses this chance to hit him back and tie him up with her whip.
  • The Dragon: Sorcerer's Sister acts as his second-in-command and is the one Wong La has to deal with for the first two thirds of the movie.
  • Evil Wears Black: The villainois Sorcerer and his sister both wear matching black outfits.
  • Fish out of Water: Wong La, a Tibetan monk protégé arriving in the metropolitan city of Hong Kong, leaving his rural Tibetan countryside for the first time in his life. Much of the middle part of the movie is spent on Wong La bumbling in the big city while being dragged along by Miss Chiu, much to her embarrassment.
  • Healing Hands: Wong La can cure injuries and remove disabilities by transferring his inner qi to others. In his first scene, Mr. Bao arrives at the Tibetan temple while hobbling on his walking stick, but with Wong La sending his qi into Bao within seconds Bao is walking perfectly fine again.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: The Black Section Sorcerer lifts Wong La over his head with both hands in their first one-on-one fight.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Wong La has no idea how most technology works. When he calls Chiu's house to apologize, he gets the answering machine, but doesn't understand that it isn't her and keeps trying to have a conversation, then assumes she's giving him the cold shoulder.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: The Sorcerer's Sister has a hypnotic gaze which she attempts to use on Wong La to capture him, but it doesn’t work.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Wong La eventually defeats the sorcerer, by shoving his BFS through the sorcerer's midsection.
  • Instant Knots: The Sorcerer's Sister can use her whip to grapple into objects or people, which happens effortlessly the moment it connects.
  • Intangibility: One of Wong La's powers is to make himself intangible, being able to pass through objects.
  • Jerkass: Michael, Chiu's boyfriend, not only attempts to cheat on her by hitting on another woman but also acts like a bully towards Wong La, for no reason other than thinking he's a worthless country bumpkin.
  • Kick Chick: When not using her whip, the Sorcerer's Sister uses kicks to fight.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Miss Chiu wears a white suit for most of the film, as a sign she's a serious businesswoman from the city.
  • MacGuffin: The magic Golden Bottle that the Black Sorcerer and Miu's boss are after.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Wong La is on the receiving end by the sorcerer's sister when she get her hands on him and starts flinging him around like a ragdoll.
  • Mind over Matter:
    • The Sorcerer's Sister briefly displays this as part of her powers, using her mind to telekinetically lift barrels and steel drums to hurl at Wong La as projectiles.
    • Wong La himself also has this power, when he reads an incantation which allows him to lift two of the sorcerer’s mooks through the air into a ceiling.
  • Naked People Are Funny: During Mr. Robinson's banquet scene where Wong La is showing off his powers, a slip-up caused by the Black Section Sorcerer's Sister screwing with Wong La's powers causes more than a dozen party guests to have their clothing disappear when going through a cloth, causing several Naked Freak Outs. Including a focus on the buttocks of an old man crawling away from the scene. When the cloth falls on Miss Miu, several of the Dirty Old Man in the room get excited at the prospect of seeing her naked, but it turns out Wong La managed to turn off the magic just in time, but she doesn't realize and keeps freaking as though she were naked in public.
  • No Name Given: The Black Section Sorcerer and his sister are never named onscreen.
  • Official Couple: Wong La and Miss Miu falling in love is one of the primary plots of the film.
  • Opposites Attract: The Official Couple of the film is a prudish businesswoman from Hong Kong and an eccentric monk from Tibet. Wong La is smitten by Miss Miu from the start, but his attempts to flirt with her only make him look weird and bizarre to her, but she eventually falls for his innocence and sincerity.
  • Phallic Weapon: The Obari pose is featured in the climax when Wong La got his hands on a BFS.
  • Rump Roast: Wong La accidentally sets himself on fire when he falls down, butt-first, on a fireplace. And just in case the audience can’t tell what’s happening, the movie had him yelling, "My ass is on fire! Save my ass!"
  • Sexy Silhouette: To try and prevent himself from getting Distracted by the Sexy, Wong La tries to avert his eyes from the Sorcerer's Sister figure for a moment, only to face her shadow, which highlights her hourglass figure even more.
  • Shock and Awe: The Black Section Sorcerer can generate electricity through his fists and hands, which he frequently uses for combat.
  • Shoulders-Up Nudity: When the magic cloth starts vanishing people's clothes at the banquet, most of the nude guests are shown above their shoulders or waist, with a few Scenery Censor shots.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After Wong La is defeated by the Black Section Sorcerer, the Sorcerer then proceeds to unleash electricity on Wong while Wong is down on the floor, imitating Palpatine shocking Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi 6 years earlier.
    • The magical Tibetan bottle, which Wong La spends the whole movie trying to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, ends up being opened by the sorcerer, whereupon its opening ends up unleashing beams of light energy and spiritual aura that kills off most of everyone in the area, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style.
    • The final showdown between Wong La and the Sorcerer in a darkened warehouse, with electricity buzzing all around them, plenty of Stuff Blowing Up, both combatants engaging each other in a Sword Fight, pays homage to the first Highlander movie’s ending.
  • Sibling Team: The Sorcerer and his sister both work together as the main antagonists, though it's clear he's the one in charge.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Miss Miu has a habit of throwing objects (often her own shoes) at Wong La when he starts to frustrate her
  • Torso with a View: The Sorcerer’s Sister gets killed in this way when a stray beam of light energy goes through her midsection.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Wong La is subject to being hung by his wrists on chains by the sorcerer after his penultimate defeat. Despite his predicament, he still has time to snark and banter a bit with Miss Chiu when she came to save him however.
  • Whip of Dominance: The Sorcerer's Sister is a stern and domineering Dark Action Girl clad in a dark Hell-Bent for Leather outfit and uses a whip as her primary weapon. She is also prone to use it to lash or strangle anyone who disrespects her brother and seems to enjoy playing with her opponents.