During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense.
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
Li Sun was scared by the leeches in the rice paddy. She originally tried to wrap her feet in cellophane, but it showed on camera. Director Ronny Yu had to order her to take it off. See more »
The bangs on Moon's forehead change drastically when she comes to see Huo off. See more »
because, "If you're sad", my Grandma told me "then cry", "After you cry, you still have to live life"
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The American PG-13 version is cut for violence. All of the shots of graphic bone-breaking are edited or shortened and the amount of blood is reduced (such as when Huo kills his family's murderer or when a fighter coughs up a lot of blood at the end at the climactic battle). See more »
Almost flawless, this new release improves on the style and genre in a significant way. The film is presented in a way that the viewer can appreciate it from several perspectives without heavily relying on the genre's standard formulas. We don't have to wade through the typical love triangle, the maniacal drug lord contracting a hit, or the beloved school's instructor being tortured and murdered before the ultimate revenge takes place. This film has a legitimate story line, skillfully presented in a clear and well edited manner.
Although the film was generally concerned with the development of a specific fighting style and philosophy, the audience is also treated to some authenticity of the then Chinese culture and the biography of a Chinese martial arts master. These features seem to give the production a much higher level of credibility than the average martial arts action movie.
Although we did experience some speed editing in fight scenes, it was done in such a way that it enhanced, rather than detracted, from the believability of the film. In "House of Flying Daggers", for example, the ballet and acrobatic like choreography of some of the fight scenes tended to undermine, rather than enhance. If there was any flaw in the fight scenes present, it was minor. This flaw may have been inescapable because of the inherent limitations of the style of the film itself. For example, trivial features such as disconnected striking combinations at the expense of speed editing, or the fact that the Japanese martial artist did not seem to be using a typical Japanese style of fighting. (It appeared to be a combination of Chinese and Korean oriented styles).
This film should, by all rights, reset the bar for the standards of martial arts films from now on. It was simply an outstanding film in every way.
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