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Wong Fei Hung III: Si wong jaang ba
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Reviews & Ratings for
Once Upon a Time in China III More at IMDbPro »Wong Fei Hung III: Si wong jaang ba (original title)

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Index 13 reviews in total 

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining and fun!

Author: InzyWimzy from Queens, NY
2 July 2002

After seeing this, I realized Tsui Hark really has a knack for period films. Jet Li is Master Wong in this third part of OUATIC series. Honestly, I really enjoyed the scenes with Wong and Aunt Yee (played by always lovely Rosamund Kwan). The way they play off each other is so innocent that you can't help have a smile on your face. It's also a chance to see a jealous Jet Li which adds to the humor. You really root for him to get the girl (lucky Jet).

The action is on point as Jet Li displays his martial arts prowess as he battles a lot of enemies. Great use of a jacket to ward off a street battle and the restaurant fight scene is classic Jet Li (you gotta love that shadowless kick). The Lion dance ceremony was interesting and I enjoyed how chaotic it was as all the dragons battled to get the bait. Foon adds comic relief and Club Foot was a cool character who knows how to get his "kicks".

Overall, I had to see this one after watching part one and two. Even though I expected to see superb fighting, I really enjoyed the romance in the film as well.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Jet returns as Wong in a lion dance extravaganza

Author: abentenjo from Swindon, UK
14 April 2002

Though nowhere near as good as its predecessors, episode three of the legendary series does have some memorable moments, though they may appear few and far between. On this occasion, Empress Dowager tries to cause hostility between foreign powers settling in China by holding the ultimate Lion Dance competition set to restore Chinese pride and heritage, only to have it quashed by martial madman Chiu Tin Bai who's intent is to annihilate the competition and win the Lion Dance himself. Wong Fei-hung steps in after his father is beaten down by Chiu's crazy henchman Clubfoot, and the stage is set for Wong's single-handed onslaught of all evildoers and the restoration of some kind of sanity in this crazy town. There's plenty of colourful lion dances to please the eye and Jet is still the most exciting thing around, yet what it really lacks in is purpose, setting no real moral high ground and merely acting as a relentless cash-in on its previous successes.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very good film, highly enjoyable.

Author: anonymous
3 February 1999

An extremely enjoyable and fun film. Xin Xin Xiong, Jet Lee and the other actors perform incredible martial arts stunts, including the obligatory fighting scenes with Lee looking startled at his weapon's rapid disintegration.

Overall, a reasonably good plot and a very interesting and fun film to watch.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A little dull, action-wise.

Author: megadoomer from Iowa, US
10 March 2004

As far as the fighting is concerned, I thought that this one was a little unimpressive. It's pretty slow, overall. I'd really only recommend it to big fans of the first two. There are some good bits of humor and we see some actual romance between Wong Fei-Hung and Aunt 13, but I don't think that that sort of thing is the main reason we watch this sort of movie. And even if it were, there's just too little of it.

I really think that Jet Li's talents are wasted when you try to use goofy camera angles to make it look like he's doing superhuman feats. The man is practically superhuman already. I think you're better off showing off the amazing things that he can do rather than focusing on trying to make him look like a cartoon. I'm sure that his work in the movie was very demanding, but it just didn't come off as too impressive on the screen in my opinion.

And way too much lion dancing.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good story-line but disappointing fighting

Author: Blake Matthews ( from Stockton, California
23 June 2001

In order to unite the people of China and strengthen their spirit, the Qing government decides to hold a lion dance competition to promote the study of kung fu. This only leads to violence and conflict. Wong Fei Hung, who is visiting Beijing, sees this and is disgusted by the way it's being handled. However, his efforts to get through to the government are futile. He finds himself having to join the competition when he discovers a plot by the Russians to assassinate President Li Hung Chang.

This was the first movie in the OUATIC series that I saw. I was actually quite disappointed when I first saw it. I thought the fighting lacked intensity and the end seemed anti-climatic. It's not that the choreography is bad. Jet looks fit and is in great fighting shape for the film. However, there are no good one-on-one battles for him. His duel with Xiong Xin Xin in the street is short and disappointing, as is the finale against the head of the oil factory. The lion dance scenes are cool.

The story on the other hand, is really good. It has just the right amount of romance, humor, and historical background to sustain itself between the fight scenes. This would be the last of the truly historically relevant entries of the series, as the following films were either over-the-top or would not even focus on historical matters.

Overall, this is good watching. This is not one of Jet's greatest performances fighting-wise. The story makes up for it. Oh, and let me add that Rosamund Kwan is cuter than ever in this movie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not all as it seems!

Author: Terence Q from Singapore
1 October 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know that there have been a lot of reviews deploring the relatively lower standards of fight choreography, plot, etc. of this third installment. Yet of the 4, this was the movie that left the deepest impression on this humble reviewer - I remember being moved to tears after watching this as 12 year-old. I do understand, though, why other reviewers might have panned this one - it's much easier to understand tsui hark's intentions from the perspective of someone brought up in a more... "Chinese" environment, so to speak.

The theme song of the series (the one with the drums and Chinese-trumpets and people chanting "ahhhh... ahhhhhaahhhahhaahhahhh..." - yes, don't you know it) is about a man who wants to become a hero and win glory and honour - he calls others to join him in his quest, and sings of a fire burning in him that is "brighter than the sun" - an example of the sort of nationalistic, patriotic tradition that is very much ingrained into mainland-chinese culture (how much of it is part of a communist government's propaganda-package is anyone's guess). The character of Huang Fei-Hung is the embodiment of all the values inherent in The Patriot: a man unafraid of standing up to oppressive powers (foreign or otherwise) and fighting for the masses. This theme is emphasized throughout the series, and never so well-depicted as in Part III. ***Spoiler*** This episode ultimately ends tragically, as Wong realises that in fighting to "save face" and win honour for his people, he has in reality failed them. As such, the film (in a somewhat didactic approach) deviates from the stereotypical kung-fu-hero-kills-all-the-baddies-and-saves-the-day ending in an attempt to teach its audience just what it really means to fight for your country - that it isn't just scrabbling for some abstract, pedantic bragging rights, but to be prepared to make sacrifices to bring about change that is real and good.

For those who just want to watch some chop-socking action, catch the first film. But if you're looking for some insight into the source of Chinese nationalistic fervour, and what drives a man to put everything at stake for family and country, this really is one of the essentials.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Very enjoyable film that stands well with it's predecessors

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
26 June 2003

In order to demonstrate a show of strength to the foreigners, the Empress decrees a Lion King competition between the various martial arts schools. Wong Fei-hung returns home at this time to visit his father's school to find that the Tai-Ping school have set out to destroy the other schools before the competition itself. Fei-hung tries to bring peace between the schools but fails to stop the contest. Meanwhile Cousin suspects something more sinister going on around the contest.

I feel like I'm under pressure here to say this isn't as good as the previous two films, simply because that seems to be the consensus of opinion on among reviewers here and also conventional wisdom says that a series will lose quality as it goes along. I settled to watch this expecting to be a drop from parts I & II (both of which I enjoyed), however I must say I found it to be every bit as enjoyable as part II (which I considered a more enjoyable film than part I). I do, however, recognise that it has weaknesses over the other two films.

First off, the plot is significantly weaker and even needs a last minute conspiratorial shot in the arm to help up the drama and give the characters something extra to do. That said I still felt the film moved along well and wasn't too bothered by the lack of a real strong structure. The fights are free flowing and enjoyable (even if they have weak reasons for occurring sometimes). There is no one fight that really competes with the climax of part I but that doesn't mean they're bad. Certainly fans of Matrix and Crouching Tiger (who think this stuff is all a new invention!) will be impressed as indeed was I. The Lion King contest has been criticised for hiding the skills of the actors but I think it made for a different show of skill that did involve their martial arts skills and showed them in a big way. There are some scenes that are too clearly wire-work (although it is all wire work) but the majority of it flows very well.

The main reason this film worked well for me was the way that it kept the humour from part II. The gentle comic touches all through are laugh-out-loud funny and really binds the whole film together. I've always felt that part II's humour made it better than part I, and part III continues that well. The romance between Fei-hung and cousin is also played well for both laughs and romance.

The main reason the comedy works so well is the cast who all show a real skill for it. Mok's Yoon is the main reason for this and his little touches are great fun to watch. Jet Li also shows a real ability in comic acting that Hollywood has spectacularly failed to utilise (thus far). His interaction with the excellent Kwan brings a real spark to the film in the quieter scenes. His real skill of course is the martial arts and he is a real presence in every action scene. The addition of Iron Foot (Xiong) works well and he is a good character who is developed past the bad guy character he is first presented as.

Overall I can understand why many would feel that this is a lesser film but I must say that I find it hard to put a wedge between any of the first three in the series (I have only seen these thus far). However, I enjoyed the action and felt that the comic touches worked very well and made this a very enjoyable film that was very easy to watch. The plot may be weaker than the previous films but it has other strengths that are used well. I can't comment on the rest of the series but this film made parts I-III a very strong and enjoyable series of films.

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Over-complicated and sometimes silly...

Author: Dave from Ottawa from Canada
12 April 2012

...but still entertaining for the most part. This third move in the series is the weakest and least ambitious of the group, seeming satisfied to ignore the actual politics of China's tumultuous 19th century in favor of some made-up nonsense about Russian spies.

There is a martial arts tournament at the movie's center which Wong Fei Hung (Jet Li again) enters and must win for some reason, plus the always welcome Rosamund Kwan is back as Aunt Yee and the movie contrives to put her into danger again and again to keep things lively. The resulting mish- mash of a plot is rather hard to keep straight and honestly there is little profit in doing so. The producers themselves seemed to have a poor awareness of where everything was ultimately leading.

Enjoy the good period look and the quite impressive martial arts on display in the tournament and try not to take anything too seriously.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Another Fantastic Chapter In This Amazing Series!,And It Introduces us To Another Great Character Club Foot!

Author: callanvass
19 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is another fantastic chapter in this amazing series, and introduces us, to another great character Clubfoot!. It's not quite as good as the 1st 2 however, it's still grand entertainment and everything was still brilliant plus Jet Li is simply amazing once again!. The fight choreography is as good as ever, and the romance was great, plus Foon is hilarious once again!. Some of the dialog was very funny, and the fight scenes were amazing, plus the character development was very good once again. Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan had very good chemistry together once again. The end fight is spectacular, and it did tend to concentrate a lot on the romance angle, plus the story was excellent!. The villain was really good, and once again it send a great message, plus all the characters were awesome!. This is another fantastic chapter in this amazing series, and it introduces, us to another great character Clubfoot!, and i say it's a must see regardless. The Direction is excellent. Hark Tsui does an excellent job here, with fantastic camera work, amazing shots during the action scenes, some other incredible shots and keeping the film at an incredibly fast pace. There is a bit of blood and violence. We get Extremely Gory wounds,impaling's slit throat and a couple gunshot wounds. The Acting is fantastic!. Jet Li is AMAZING as always, and is amazing here, he adds a great comical touch, really seemed to be enjoying himself, kicked that ass, had very good chemistry with Rosamund Kwan once again,and was just tons of fun to watch!. (jet Rules!). Rosamund Kwan is great here as Aunt 13 once again, she is as likable as ever!, and is very beautiful. Shun Lau is awesome as Jet's dad and also added a great comic touch as well. Siu Chung Mok is fantastic as Foon!, and cracked my ass up.Xin Xin Xiong is Fantastic as Clubfoot i just loved him!, one of my favorite characters. rest of the cast do great. Overall a must see regardless. ***** out of 5

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Disappointing! 2/10

Author: leonblackwood from United Kingdom
14 December 2014

Review: I couldn't really get into this movie because the acting was terrible, along with the poor storyline. The showdown at the end wasn't that great and I found the love story annoying. Once again, the film is based around foreigners taking over China, but this storyline gets a bit silly after a while because people are fighting each other for no reason. I was hoping to see some of the old characters from the first movie, but the director chose to stick with the annoying sidekick from the second one. I did like Thunder Foot, who looked pretty strange but his martial arts skills was brilliant. In all, I was very disappointed with the film especially because the first one was so good. Disappointing!

Round-Up: They should have called this movie "Return Of The Strings" because some of the action scenes was ridiculous. The fighting in mid-air went way too far and a lot of the action was unrealistic. I doubt that I'll be watching any of the other movies in this franchise because it went downhill after the first movie and they also don't star Jet Li. Once I started to see the flying in the air, I knew that the rest of the movies might go down this road so I've chosen to stay away from them. 

Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: HK$27.5million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their Jet Li movies and who are familiar with this franchise. 2/10

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