In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese ...
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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 ... See full summary »
The Cantonese hero Fong Sai Yuk becomes involved in the secret brotherhood "The Red Flower", who are trying to overthrow the Manchurian emperor and re-establishing the Ming dynasty. The ... See full summary »
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Brand new epic adventure set during a tumultuous time in China, when left without a leader, the cavalry is attacked by the powerful allies and pirate bands. A martial arts master, Wong ... See full summary »
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With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster and his martial arts school decide to retire to a distant mountain. Before leaving, he ... See full summary »
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult seeking to drive the Europeans out of China through violence, even attacking Chinese who follow Western ways. Wong must also defend Dr. Sun Yat Sen, a revolutionary, from the military. With his friends, loved ones, and the future of China itself at stake, Wong must once again use his martial arts skills to defend the innocent.Written by
Probably one of the greatest martial arts movies ever.
I will NEVER understand while so many people hold this movie in disdain.
Once Upon a Time in China II is the sequal (yup, who would have guessed) to Tsui Hark and Jet Li's classic Once Upon a Time in China. Wong Fei Hung is travelling to Canton to give a speech about the technique of acupuncture to foreign doctors. Unfortunately, an anti-Western cult is in the throws of rebellion, destroying and burning anything foreign. Wong Fei Hung makes an uneasy alliance with a military commander (played by the AMAZING Donnie Yen) as well as revolutionary Sun Yatsen, who is at odds with the commander.
Jet Li shows his brilliance once again as Wong Fei Hung, using many moves that will make you wide-eyed in surprise. His acting itself is nothing short of brilliant. Unfortunately, the character Wong Fei Hung is rather one-dimensional, not really changing his demeanor or attitudes throughout either this movie or the first one.
Max Mok replaces Yuen Biao as Foon, which in my opinion is a travesty, as Yuen Biao is just as good, if not better, than Jet Li. Max Mok, though, plays his role very well.
Donnie Yen, whom I'm a huge fanboy of, is best as a villain, which he is in this movie. Donnie Yen's first scene in the movie is a stunning one, with him training in a field of bamboo poles and lanterns, where he displays an eye-popping visual of literally turning a piece of cloth into a staff-whip of deadly power.
Rosamund Kwan, who's name I probably misspelled, reprises her role as Cousin Yee (english version), or Aunt 13 (chinese version). Her character is of course attracted to Wong Fei Hung ("cousins by marriage, not by blood," according to her in the last movie) and manages to add some romance to the movie.
Xin Xin Xiong makes an impressive debut to the series, playing Kung, the possibly insane leader of the White Lotus clan. He is supposedly impervious to sword, axe, and firearm. (Xiong goes on to play the Capoeria-using Clubfoot in the rest of the series)
I do not have any real qualms about the movie, as everything is told with well-organized scenes and is not boring for a minute.
I also do not understand what people have against this movie, saying that it is "blatant propaganda for the Chinese." I say to them:
Think about it, the Chinese were taken advantage of an forced to change, as well as forced to give up most of their land and natural resources, they were heavily taxed and given little autonomy. It sounds like a certain country if you ask me. A country that won independence from Great Britain in the 1700s. Add to the fact that even now, that certain country holds an "effortless superiority" complex towards every other nation because they've been told about how great they are and how inefficient, corrupt, or "evil" other countries are.
Original vs Dubbed version: The Original Cantonese version has some great acting, especially for a Chinese flick. The Dubbed version uses the same actors from the first movie, which aren't terribly bad, and for the most part, the lip-synching is not that bad.
I think I'd give the movie a 7/10, as so far, the only other martial arts movie I've seen better is Iron Monkey (which is far from perfect as well).
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