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|Index||148 reviews in total|
This is it. The single greatest Kung Fu movie ever made. This is the
ultimate Kung Fu movie with the ultimate Kung Fu star, Jackie Chan. His
entire career has culminated in to this one, great opus. Jackie performs
feats of physical agility that will blow your mind, despite being about 40
years old when he made this movie. The story is about the fabled fighter
Huang Fe-Hung who encounters corrupt industrialists that are exporting some
of China's greatest historical treasures to increase their profits.
Naturally Fe-Hung takes up the fight against them, and faces the deadly Ax
Gang and finally a dangerous Tae Kwon Do stylist in the movies eye popping
final fight scene. (That Tae Kwon Do fighter is actually Jackie's real life
body guard. He stepped in as the chief villain because Ho SUng Pak hurt his
ankle and was unable to perform the complicated fight sequences required.)
Fe-Hung doles out justice throughout the film with his unique fighting style, drunken boxing, despite ridicule by his opponents, insisting that drunken boxing is inferior. Needless to say, Jackie proves them wrong.
Historically speaking, the real Huang Fe-Hung did not use drunken boxing at all. In fact, he was a practioner of the much more effective style of Kung Fu called Hung-Gar. And his exploits can be alikened more to the Jesse James of America's old west. But Fe-Hung was more commonly found fighting for the underdog and battling tyranny. However, of all the innumerable depictions of Huang Fe-Hung "DRUNKEN MASTER 2" is by far the best.
This movie can be described as a "Big Budget" Kung Fu movie, done in a very traditional period style. The cinematography, direction, action sequencing, writing, and story line are all TOP KNOTCH. There has never been a Kung Fu movie made that is "better" than this one. And there has never been better fight choreography.
As you might well expect, there are some breath-taking stunts. And this is the movie that has the fire stunt responsible for Jackie's skin graft on his arm. He did not get burned so severly until the THIRD take! He wasn't happy with the first two. And if that is not painful enough to watch, then check out the fight against the Ax Gang, when one member gets knocked of the up-stairs portion of the restaraunt and slams into a cross beam before smashing in to the floor.
If you are looking for the best martial arts flick ever, this is it.
Well, Jackie Chan has had an interesting career. On one hand, he's made some classics like Project A and Dragons Forever. On the other hand, he's made some less-than-spectacular movies like Crime Story and First Strike. This movie is easily his best film ever...and also one the best martial arts movies ever made. He revisits the role that made him famous: Wong Fei Hung, the drunken master. The plot deals with smugglers trying to steal China's treasures, but in the end it isn't important. The fights are what matters, and Chan fights like a son of a gun. There are some excellent traditional fight scenes like him fighting Lau Kar Leung and one w/ a Choy li fut stylist. There's a memorable fight against an Ax Gang (Ax army is more like it). The finale, where he takes on the smugglers led by a super kicking Thai boxer, is probably the greatest fight scene choreographed. This movie doesn't cease to entertain. A must see for any fans of action, martial arts, HK movies, or just Jackie Chan himself.
I recently saw "The Legend of "Drunken Master" not knowing anything about it and it was a grwat suprise to find how good this movie is. I have new respect for Chan after seeing this film. The fights scenes in this movie are simply amazing, the final fight that takes place in a steel mill made my jaw hit the floor, it lasts for about 20 minutes and Chan does some amzing stunts. This is the best martial ats movie I have ever seen.
I'm not completely convinced that this is this best kung fu movie of all
time, but it's definitely in the Top 5. Being somewhat a purist, I was
disappointed to see Jackie and others wearing wires in many of the
sequences. However, the sheer energy and excitement of the fighting won
over. The use of wires adds to the humor and enhances the nature of the
drunken style. It seems like the goal of this movie was to entertain, and
it certainly achieves that!
I first saw this movie during the US theater release. I was impressed and bought it as soon as it came out on DVD. However, I was shocked by the lack of a Cantonese audio track. The English dubbing appeared to make the movie seem goofy, not funny, and I was getting sick of it. Eventually, I was able to get the original Hong Kong version on DVD. There are significant differences which make the original better. As expected, the humor level is much milder and not so queer. Also, the US version now seems to lack the ferocity of the original. The Hong Kong version uses the `traditional' low-quality sound effects for the fight sequences. This detracts from the realism, but it's an integral part of defining any true kung fu `classic'. The US version now appears to be more like sparring than fighting because the hits appear much softer. Also, the original musical score was better than the US release. Don't get me wrong: I am not Chinese, nor a student of foreign film -- I'm not even a major Chan fanatic. But, if you have a chance, please see this movie the way it was originally intended. I believe you will appreciate it even more.
Either way, I rate this movie a perfect 10 because I have not yet found a better fighting film.
To describe Legend of Drunken Master is almost impossible. It has so
much, it does so much, and it delivers in so many ways, you cannot
really describe the experience. Legend of Drunken Master stands as
Jackie Chan's best film, and arguably the greatest martial arts film in
history. That's right Bruce Lee fanatics, it tops most/arguably all Lee
films. Surely Lee had the strength and the power; but did not have the
ensemble cast that Chan had, nor did Lee have any fights that can top
the ones the Drunken Master engaged in throughout the 105 minutes of
this kung fu madhouse.
With a decent plot, good acting, and a dash of humor to go along with the frenzied action, Legend of Drunken Master is one of those rare complete martial arts films that do more than just throw fights at you. Honestly, there has yet to be a perfect martial arts film. Whether its bad acting, a weak plot, too much focus on action, a pointless romantic story attached, or way too over-the-top substance, there hasn't been a martial arts film worthy of being up there with the best films in the modern era. Jui Kuen II (as they call it overseas) is the closest to the complete package as you can get.
We start the film off with Jackie Chan as the tough yet uncontrollable young kid by the name of Wong Fei-hung who accidentally takes a seal from British smugglers. The smugglers, also involved in overworking Chinese men in a factory resembling slave-like sweatshop of some sort, want the seal back. In the meantime, Wong's controversial fighting technique, drunken boxing, has been met by disapproval of his father, and wants him to refrain from ever using it. Drunken boxing also has a lot of competition and shun from others in the community. Chaos follows as soon as the British and their henchmen find out who has the seal, and vow to do whatever it takes to get it back and to spread fear in the community.
The plot isn't groundbreaking, but its something different than the average martial arts film. While it still contains the themes of family, honor, respect, and dignity contained in most Chinese movies of this genre, the preservation of Chinese art is a concept not used often. Nonetheless, it works, as we see the traditional values of the Chinese being threatened by the more modern mechanisms of the Europeans. There is also a major issue with honor, as Wong's father is morally against drunken boxing, and hates it when his reputation is damaged even a little. The acting involved with the tension amongst Chan and his family is at times a bit overblown, but for the most part gets the job right.
Jackie Chan is one of the few actors/actresses in modern cinema history that can both be taken seriously and lightly. We see Chan at his playful side, especially when he is drunk. But, take away the smile, watch him pose, and you will fear him. Seeing that look in his eye right before a major fight starts can send shivers down your spine, as you know he will not back down easy, and will use whatever technique necessary to take you out. His physical appearance isn't exactly intimidating, but his agility and amazing ability to be balanced and whip out an insane combo of punches and kicks remains to be matched by anyone else out there. The best of Chan is here in terms of acting, usage of props, and kung fu. Don't let his usage of props fool you, he can engage in a brutal victory without the use of any objects. Few Jackie Chan films prove this, but Drunken Master has its share of fights without any other objects floating around.
The fights are what Chan is best known for, and the fights are where the film excels towards jaw-dropping levels. From the first fight, involving swords and extending from underneath a train to a nearby house, to the final fight that lasts over 10 minutes without exaggeration; Drunken Master will wow you, will keep you on the edge of your seat, and will make you almost jump back in amazement. Hollywood does not have enough patience to spend four months on one fight alone, which is why we don't see fights in action films like the ones seen here. The final fight, involving a well-trained kicker and Chan at his drunkest stage is easily one of the best fights in historyit's so well choreographed, so well-timed, and so brilliantly executed, that it deserves a spot on one of modern film's greatest achievements. Raising the bar for generations to come, the last fight mixes speed, agility, humor, combos, fast movements, and unbelievable stunts. In truth, all the clashes prior do the same, but this one puts all the others to shame.
Bottom Line: Missing this film would be a travesty, especially if you enjoy a good martial arts film. This time its not Chan alone that makes the film; we have a good cast of characters and fighters, a decent plot, and never really drifts into an unbelievable level unlike most action movies of today. This is Chan at his absolute best; and this is famed director Chia-Liang Liu at his best. Almost a complete package in terms of quality and substance, Legend of Drunken Master is as close as you can get to martial arts perfection; and remains the greatest martial arts film of all-time.
Awesome movie! totally awesome fights!
Ken Lo owned the **** out of this movie. His final fight against Jackie is awesome. Jackie plays WFH (the often portrayed Wong Fei Hung), a martial artist of great skill and also a drunken boxer. His father, also a master, dislikes Drunken boxing.
The plot of this movie isn't all that bad, but you watch it for the action anyways and there's plenty to go around and it's simply astounding!
It's a classical Jackie movie, with some silly moments and prop using during the fights, wicked stunts (some of which are (naturally) really dangerous) and brilliantly choreographed combat!
This film is all the more fantastic because it is, however loosely, based
fact. Chan is in one of his finest roles as Chinese hero Wong Fei Hung,
fighting foreigners who wish to take artefacts out of China during the
An appreciation of turn-of-the-century China does help, but even without it, the film remains incredibly entertaining. The kung-fu choreography is interwoven with a well-written story which should instil pride in any Chinese moviegoer.
Even Chan's acting is excellent, as the young Wong Fei Hung who develops his "drunken boxing" style - a type of kung-fu which is aided by the consumption of alcohol. However, his father forbids his son's drinking, fearing that he will not know when to stop. His stepmother is encouraging, hoping to put her stepson on the map in the local community. The rapport between the characters is superb and realistically acted by the players. The martial arts' choreography here is among the best in any film.
Of Chan's movies set in an earlier time period, Jui Kuen II must rank as his best. An excellent example of the genre.
Jackie Chan is the trouble prone son of a local doctor and martial arts instructor. In an attempt to help his Dad avoid paying taxes on some ginseng he is bringing home for one of his patients, Jackie stows the root in luggage belonging to a local political official. When he attempts to retrieve it, he finds someone else digging in the same baggage and a battle ensues. Jackie is stymied at every turn, even when he uses his famous Drunken Boxing, but finally retrieves the precious package and makes it back to the train as it is leaving the station. Unfortunately as all Jackie Chan fans can figure, Jackie got the wrong box. It seems the official was smuggling out a famous Chinese artifact and the man who was going through the luggage was a special investigator trying to get evidence. This local official is using the factory in Jackie's town to hide all the other relics he has stolen and becomes enraged when he discovers the theft has been committed. He ships his men all over town searching and they final track down Jackie and his spitfire step-mother and try to steal the artifact back. Jackie is a ball of fire rolling through the group but is vastly outnumbered. His step-mother takes matters into her hands and begins throwing bottles of liquor at him since what could better help a master of Drunken Boxing than getting drunk. Jackie ends up beating the gang and disgracing his father in the process who has always told him not to use this style. His father knows that many practitioners of this style end up as drunks in the end and worries the same will happen to his son. Finally Jackie is forced into helping rescue some of his friends who are trapped in the factory. The battle that follows is a dazzling display of Drunken Boxing at it's finest. This movie succeeds at all levels. It doesn't promise any hidden agenda and fail to deliver. It promises a martial arts packed movie with dazzling stunts and comedy to boot...and it works. Jackie was trained in the Hong Kong Opera at an early age and his talents are never more on display. The opening fight which takes part under a train is something that must be seen to be believed. The two combatants use a spear and a sword in their battle and basically are in a crouch the entire length of the car. Subsequent scenes incorporating the drunken movies are both hilarious and awesome in the ease of the choreography. Another good point for this movie is the dubbing is better than any many I have seen. They even allow Jackie to dub his own voice which is something that doesn't always happen for English speaking foreign actors. As usual with a Jackie Chan movie you must also watch the deleted scenes that are shown during the credits.
Jackie Chan shows off (and delivers) the goods in this film. It follows a
tradition of Chan starring movies in America (Rumble In the Bronx, Supercop,
Supercop II, First Strike, Who Am I, Operation Condor and Operation Condor)
that were hits in China some time ago and have been re-released here (in
fact, except for Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon all of Chan's films are China
made). This is one of his best.
The plot follows Chan as a young man who is a master in the art of drunken fighting (drinking before and druing a fight to gain action) who has to go up against art theieves and family betrayers. This plot is somewhat thin, and the dubbing makes The Crippled Masters look like Das Boot. But, the entertainment factor kicks in, and we see terrific fun. Only liability: this is a remake of the film that originally made Chan a celebrity in China, but in this film he is playing the same character (and he's 40). But still, it is a good enough film to almost not notice. A-
I may be wrong about this, but I think Chan is responsible for the
avalanche of ironic performance fights we have now.
Here's the deal: movies need to be cinematic and fights are cinematic so we have them.
Movies fall into two rough buckets: various concepts of sincerity and those that have (incorrectly as it turns out) been conflated under the concept of irony. Anything that exists in the first eventually has a sibling in the second; that's the way the world works.
So if you have fights, even elaborate kung fu productions that are sincere, sooner or later someone will figure out how to annotate them. Chan was the guy that found a way to turn fights into a show and at the same time produce a simultaneous commentary that says: "watch this, its funny."
To do the annotation, a requirement is that first level be excellent. Chan IS an excellent fight performer, and key to this awareness is the much publicized fact that no cheating is done on the effects. But he also a great humorist as well.
This particular film isn't the turning point for all fight irony that follows. That was much earlier, but this is probably the best and most explicit.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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