Late 1800s Foshan, Guangdong: Wong Fei Hung/Jet Li trains men in martial arts to help defend against foreign powers already holding Hong Kong and Macau. He looks after cute 13th Aunt, who's just returned from England. Lots of fight scenes.
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and American) plundering of China. When Aunt Yee arrives back from America totally westernised, Wong Fei-Hung assumes the role of her protector. This proves to be difficult when his martial arts school and local militia become involved in fierce battles with foreign and local government. As violence escalates even Aunt Yee has to question her new western ideals, but is it possible to fight guns with Kung Fu?Written by
Michele Wilkinson, University of Cambridge Language Centre, <email@example.com>
Jet Li's voice is dubbed in post-production because he is not a Cantonese speaker. In fact, he spoke in Mandarin entirely during filming. See more »
(at around 39 mins) When Aunt Yee is fitting Fei-hung for a suit, she sees his shadow on the wall. Standing a few inches behind him, she traces his silhouette with her finger, obviously without touching him. However, when she touches his shadow ear, it flickers, meaning she actually touched his real ear. See more »
No matter how good our kung-fu is, it will never defeat guns.
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A version distributed by 'Made in Hong Kong' UK has a running time of 140 mins. with a extra 10 minutes previously unreleased on video. See more »
Brilliantly made martial-arts film about legendary Chinaman Wong Fei-hung. One of the only movies in it's genre to really create a cast of meaningful characters that do not merely lay by the way side of the best martial artist (obviously Jet Li).
It is excellently shot and acted with a sensible balance of action and drama - although it does have a tendency to lay things on quite thick, what with excessively dramatic music and over-signified sequences.
Overall it is a very original film, and is set among the interesting clash of the British and Chinese cultures. Slightly "magical" kung-fu sequences may turn Chan fans off, but otherwise it is mostly engaging.
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