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A young Jackie Chan gives an energetic and funny performance as Wong Fei
Hung, an often fictionalized character in Chinese folklore but who
lived and is remembered with great reverence in China.
Here, Wong Fei Hung is the dissolute son of a town leader and martial arts master. Shaming his family, Wong is driven from the nest to suffer under the tutelage of a drunken uncle who happens to be a master of the fighting styles of the "Eight Drunken Gods".
Enduring excruciating exercises does not prove worth it to young Wong until he encounters "Thunderfoot" who beats the daylights out of him in a fight. Returning to his uncle, or "Drunken Master", Wong finishes his training just in time to face Thunderfoot again, this time for keeps.
As a casual watcher of Kung Fu films as opposed to a true devotee, I would highly recommend this movie for its humor, interesting fights, and often hilarious English Dub Track. The current DVD Release available through Amazon and other outlets (I found my copy for 9.99 in the big bin at Wal-mart) has a few flaws. Portions of the original soundtrack are missing, so dubbed-in english is substituted. Some of the renderings are just hilarious. However, the print is much improved over the old VHS release from 6 or 7 years ago.
At this point I have to comment on Jackie Chan's performance. The guy is simply a master of physical comedy. Chan is easily the equal of Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton -- every bit as daring and imaginative. Couple that with his martial arts skills and engaging personality and you have a modern marvel of cinema. I think Jackie Chan could well be the most accomplished master of physical comedy in movie history. He is THAT good.
Add to this the fact that Yuen Wo Ping directed this film. This is the same Wo Ping who later choreographed fight scenes for The Matrix series, as well as Crouching Dragon and Kill Bill.
No, Drunken Master is not, of itself, a masterpiece. It is a flawed but honest low-budget kung-fu flick with a load of good humor thrown in. I give it a solid 3.5/4 stars, and heartily recommend it for an enjoyable evening of good-hearted movie thrills and laughs, as well as for an early look at the work of a couple of real masters.
As hokey as this film seems, it is not without its charms. The plot seems almost formulaic, but the fight choreography is astounding. Try counting the number of moves per shot, and compare it to other, more recent, martial arts films. The characters are archetypal, but that doesn't keep them from being compelling. The use of second-long flashbacks adds deepens the characters (especially Chan) and brings an additional element of style to the final fight scene. The music is also very well done, much better so than other Kung Fu movies. And whatever you do, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE IN ENGLISH. It's painful. Cantonese with English subtitles, please.
This movie is one that made jackie really get noticed. there are so many
action sequnces that it is only topped off by the climatic end fight
jackie and whang jang lee.
P.S. jackie was "doubled" in this movie 1 or 2wice. once in the training scene where goes far back is yuen biao. the second i think is when jackie fights the stick king for the second time, i was some kind of acrobatic move also done by biao. But DONOT let that steer you away from this movie jackie still is amazing in this movie no doubt about it!
Jackie Chan has established himself as a powerhouse in the martial arts movie business. From his start as a lonely stuntman to his blockbuster U.S. hits, he has done it all. While many people are in awe of his recent hits "Rush Hour" and his US-breakthrough "Rumble in the Bronx", not as many are familiar with the 1978 masterpiece "Drunken Master". If you enjoy watching impressive fighting and stunning kung-fu choreography, you simply must have this movie. Of the nearly 2 hour running time, nearly an hour of the movie is pure fighting. From the goofy monkey kung-fu to the kung-fu of the eight drunken gods, Chan proves that he can give an on-screen martial arts/gymnastic performance that few, if any, can match. Chock full of comedy, fighting, and surprisingly decent dubbing, this movie is probably Chan's best athletic performance ever. Buy it.
This is one of the many near-indistinguishable old school movies starring
Jackie Chan, all set in the same village, same restaurant, same clearing
outside the village, same woods, . . .
The plot here is actually relatively low-key, which is a good thing -- the acting is, as always, pretty sketchy, and the humour is very much a matter of personal taste.
What this movie has going for it over, say, Fearless Hyena, is that there's next to no plot. There's a fight scene, about 30 seconds of plot, more fighting, a tiny bit of plot, more fighting, training scenes, more fighting, a shred of plot, etc. You get the picture.
The fight scenes are, as ever, incredible -- and there's a _lot_ of them. I can't really see anyone watching these films for the plot (though I may be wrong) so this one wins out because they don't waste any time with that, there's just fight after fight after fight..
I'm sorry about my other review for this title. My review was actually for the film DRUNKEN WUTANG. Anyway... I recently won this film on DVD and, well, what a film! While of course not as good as the later THE LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER, this film is still funny! I love hearing the wooshing of the wind and slam of the punches. It was very funny! This film answers the question of how Wong Fei Hung (here called Freddy) learned Drunken Boxing. From his uncle, Sam Seed! This is a very great film, and I recommend to all film viewers (except for the picky ones) and a must-see for all Jackie Chan fans!
Drunken master is an important film. Not only is it responsible launching
Jackie Chan into super stardom , it also revitalized an other wise
stagnant kung fu film genre . So is it any good ? well yes it is , its very
good indeed .
Featuring some brilliant and inventive fight scenes, well judged slap stick humor and a suprisingly coherent plot line for a film that is really all about fighting , drunken master makes for excellent entertainment . But the entire affair wouldn't work as well without the relationship and training sequences that occur between Jackie Chan and sui tien yuens characters, these moments are among some of the best in the film .
And on the action front drunken master does a good job of giving you a hard time deciding what your favorite fight scene was . Theres that excellent fight scene in the restaurant , the fight with Wong fei hungs aunt , the fight with the king of sticks , the final confrontation ... the list goes on and on.
So if you like your action , choppy , funny and fueled with alcohol, make yours drunken master !
(out of 5) : * * * *
now this is good, classic chan. i love this film, folks. everything about it. every punch, every joke, every time that drunk old man hits someone with his stick, every single badly-dubbed word. i have never seen another film that kept a stupid wide grin on my face like this one did. everyone needs to see it.
Drunken Master is, without doubt, the greatest Jackie Chan film I have ever
seen. It is also one that I have seen countless times. It is classic Chan -
everything you could ever want. Fight after fight with as little plot to
interupt the entertainment as possible. Plus, Jackie's very own brand of
physical comedy of course. The fights, as well as being plentiful, are all
beautifully and painstakingly choreographed and executed with great style.
The plot is far from original - Jackie is a naughty boy, gets sent to train with his cruel, and drunken, uncle and ends up a master, this time in Drunken kung fu. The acting and script is what you'd expect. The sets are basic and the film quality and sound and hardly top-notch. But none of this stops this being a thoroughly entertaining film. Even my kung fu hating housemates liked it. And that is saying something.
If possible, pick up the widescreen, English dubbed version of this film.
you can, you will see possibly the most unintentionally funny film in your
life. Choice dubbing and sound effects make the film a
I picked this film up at Blockbuster after enjoying 'Rumble in the Bronx'. Expect nothing like the polished films that Jackie Chan releases now (e.g. Rush Hour). This is pure, low budget, kung fu nonsense!
A gem! **** out of *****
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