Martian....Arts? Is this a troll topic? When will you guys get that sarcasm doesn't read on the internet?
Unless you're serious. Then....hoo boy. Okay, so I saw that in this thread you enjoyed Sha Po Lang. Good man. A fine flick and great martial arts action. However I have a few issues with your criticism.
-You're very indicting of the slapstick style, but please try and understand that the comedy in this movie is very Chinese in nature. Without a Chinese upbringing in that time period, you might not understand the nature of the comedy. It's supposed to be loud, over the top, and overbearing. That's what was considered funny at that point in Chinese filmmaking. Many modern Chinese comedies are distillations of that style even today.
It seems you know a little about the slapstick style found in these comedies, but don't let it bother you so much, it's not what the main attraction of the movie is, and it's something you must understand in a cultural context.
-The choreography. This was one of Yuen Woo-Ping's greatest, earliest efforts. The rythmic style you are criticizing was the norm for many Gung Fu flicks of the time, if not all (Aside from Bruce). Fluid, single beat fights were not found until much later, and it's Yuen Woo-Ping that helped revolutionize this.
However, at this point, the Shaw Brothers style of 2 Beat choreography was still very much in vogue, and before going total experimentalist, Yuen Woo-Ping felt it was safer to transition into a single beat style instead of jumping head first.
In the choreography you can see a lot of changes, quick beats, and intricate movements. The adaptations to environment and technique is amazing. Not to mention the interesting hidden weapon opponent that Yuen Biao faces and the Monkey Staff vs. Tonfa/Broadsword battle that coincides with it. The cast is acrobatic and able to pull off some truly amazing tricks, spicing up the 1-2 beats every now and then with some truly impressive acrobatics that pre-dates the tricking of guys like Tony Jaa.
The fights have much more level and change in them than many of the Shaw Brothers movies. There is so much going on that the rich tapestry of physical prowess can be viewed again and again. All of the movements are so clean and crisp from the performers and there is some truly decent representation of Hung Gar and a few other Chinese styles in this one.
You say there isn't much Gung Fu, however there are many small, isolated struggles that are equally as well choreographed as the rest of the large pieces in the film. Every sequence has a clear, fun, and inventive idea in it and Yuen Woo-Ping half assed nothing here. Again, the performers from the legendary Kwan Tak-Hing to Sammo himself are all in great form, able to carry out the movements with precision.
All in all, Magnificent Butcher is a pristine example of 70's, studio-style Gung Fu movies, with ideas and movements in the choreography that are sizzling, interesting, and infinitely rewatchable.
"Bulls**t MR.Han Man!!"--Jim Kelly in Enter the Dragon