Returning home with his father after a shopping expedition, Wong Fei-Hong is unwittingly caught up in the battle between foreigners who wish to export ancient Chinese artifacts and loyalists who don't want the pieces to leave the country. Fei-Hong has learned a style of fighting called "Drunken Boxing", which makes him a dangerous person to cross. Unfortunately, his father is opposed to his engaging in any kind of fighting, let alone drunken boxing. Consequently, Fei-Hong not only has to fight against the foreigners, but he must overcome his father's antagonism as well.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
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 me 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.
38 of 45 people found this review helpful.
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