Frank Dux has spent most his life being trained by Tanaka to participate in the Kumite, the ultimate martial arts tournament, where participants are seriously injured, even killed. Frank ... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
Martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia became the most famous fighter in all of China at the turn of the 20th Century. Huo faced personal tragedy but ultimately fought his way out of darkness and into history, defining the true spirit of martial arts. His self-discovery, and the choices he made, inspired his nation. The son of a great fighter who did not wish for his child to follow in his footsteps, the bullied Huo Yuanjia resolves to teach himself how to fight - and win. Years of training enable him to ace match after match in his home region of Tianjin. But as his fame as a martial arts master grows, so does his pride. After an ill-advised fight leads to another master's death, members of Huo's family are slain in revenge. Grieving and ashamed, Huo wanders the country in shock. Near death, he is rescued by women from an idyllic village, and is offered simple kindness and generosity that help him heal and regain his equilibrium over a period of several years. Huo realizes that the future ... Written by
Brandon Rhea insisted that the long stick weapon, known as "mao", be equipped with a proper sharp point, else it'll look strange. He demonstrated his accuracy by having one of the extras hold a stack of newspaper three meters away from him. He did one lunge and thrust the point straight through the middle of the stack. Even Woo-ping Yuen was impressed. See more »
During the climactic fight scene, Huo Yuanjia wipes his face on his sleeve, and some vomit gets on the chest of his shirt. The next time you see his sleeve, it is clean, and the next time it is also clean. See more »
Let's get to the point. This is Jet Li's best movie in years. Not because of the fight scenes, but because the plot is engaging throughout and the emotional tension of the movie works, even though it was a bit tangled with a bit of preach.
The plot is simple. I think everyone here knows about it, so I won't spent time talking too much about it. Jet Li plays Huo Yuan Jia, an arrogant young man that has no regard for human life so to speak, and in one brash move, he indirectly caused the death of his family. He journey to a remote village to learn humility. This is probably the weakest part of the film. Mainly because a large part of it was cut out from the theatrical release. Huo had a few dialogues with Betty Sun, who played a blind girl. Their relationship was very underdeveloped. And Huo's return to Shanghai to fight was with brevity, and hardly explained. He returns to Shanghai and defends his country's honor.
I thought Jet Li did a great job acting both as the arrogant man and as the wiser wushu master. But people of course, came to see Jet Li fight. And to me, the earlier fight scenes are good, but have too much computer effects and slow motion. Still, it was refreshing to see Jet Li return to using Chinese Kung Fu.
The best fight scenes in the movie are definitely the battle between Huo and Nathan Jones, the hulking giant and the weapons fight between the Japanese Samurai and Jet Li using the sword against the three sectional staff. The ending was very emotional, and it was refreshing to see a different take unlike most endings of old Jet Li movies.
The movie could have been better of course, but I was very satisfied with it, both the plot and the action sequences.
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