Identical twin brothers El Guerrero and Gemelo (Marko Zaror) have been trained in the way of The Condor, by the mysterious Condor Lady (Gina Aguad) one of the brothers will have a book passed to them containing the secrets of the Fist of the Condor. The book has been passed down from generation to generation since the ancestors used it against Spanish Conquistadors. The successor must protect the book against those that seek the Condor knowledge for evil. The book contains such secrets like how to overcome the limitations of the human body. Now, Martial Artists warriors from all over the world descend up the brothers to challenge them for the book, but which one of them has the book?
Marko teams up with writer director Ernesto Diaz Espinoza for this the most complete and best homage love letter to old school Kung Fu films that I have ever seen. Everything is in here; training montages (I love these) schools challenging schools, to the fighter having Achilles heal that they must overcome. The film plays out like a Shaw Brothers film of the 70s. At just a running time of eighty minutes, it does not mess around getting the set up done. Then it is straight into fight after fight, as it rockets to the finale and the last challenge for one of the brothers. I can`t praise Marko enough in this, he plays the brothers very well. Marko staged the fight scenes, and these are gritty and down to earth, mostly. There`s the odd fantastical little bit added now and again, especially in the third act of the film. I normally say who my standout performer is while I review a film. In this it is most definitely Marko, but there`s one other here. Eyal Meyer is like Marko a Chilean Martial Artist, his movement is fluent and cat like, and I really hope to see him in more after seeing this. My favourite scene is the homage to King Boxer AKA Fiver Fingers of Death, it is just so well down, and Marko makes it work so well.
I watched The Fist of the Condor three times before I started writing the review. I have edited the review down, because I ranted on for three pages. This is an exceptional homage to Kung Fu cinema. You can see that both director and star have a huge passion for all things martial arts cinema. Have fun watching the film, picking out the nice homages throughout it. Either way you are in for a treat, as this for me is the purest and the most enjoyable Martial Arts film of the year. I`ve read a few things saying that the running time plays against the film. I really feel that it doesn’t, there`s not fat here, no dragged out scenes. It plays fast, fluent and brilliantly as a traditional Kung Fu film set in modern times.
Finally, a wee side note to Marko Zaror, if by chance you read this, it could happen. We at Eastern Film Fans would love to chat to you. I`m such a huge fan ever since I saw you in Undisputed 3, which for me contains the best fight in those film. The final fight between you and Scott Adkins is amazing. Lastly to all fans of the genre – go and seek out The Fist of the Condor. It does not disappoint!