The Legend of Drunken Master

"Excellent"

The Legend of Drunken Master Review


May AA never get hold of this film. If they did, we might face massive protests over a movie that suggests that your already tight Kung Fu gets tighter when you've downed alcohol strong enough to set things on fire. We might have it censored. We might have it edited. And we might, in the process of this, never have the chance to see some of the most impressive Kung Fu fightin' caught on film.

The Legend of Drunken Master (shot in 1994 and being re-released now) revolves around Wong Fei-Hong (Jackie Chan), binge drinker and kickass Kung Fu fighter. Hoping to save his herbalist father some tariffs, Fei-Hong puts a root of ginseng in the British ambassador's box. While retrieving this, he runs into an ancient Chinese general who happens to steal the wrong box. Cool Kung Fu ensues, and we are informed that Fei-Hong happens to be a master in the art of drunken boxing -- remember that skill Keanu was trained in during The Matrix? Same thing -- a showy form of Kung Fu that often results in alcoholism.

Back in some city, Fei-Hong is being pursued by the ambassador's henchmen who want the seal that Fei-Hong got during the mix-up. This is followed by more cool Kung Fu, anti-British propaganda, and nationalism so rank you can smell it miles away. Soon enough, Fei ends up fighting and his mother ends up feeding him whiskey, and, as Fei will tell you, "Drinking gives Herculean strength!"

Yep. Whenever Fei gets based, you know we're in for a treat. On his sober side, Fei is a master of the art. When shitfaced, you just can't beat the guy.

And so the rest of the movie plays out in that pattern: getting drunk, kicking ass, sobering up, and getting drunk again. And by the end, Fei is a hero and we have the not-so-slight suggestion that he may have started the Boxer Rebellion.

This would have actually been a great taste of pulp flicktion...the kind of damn-near-perfect Kung Fu you watch late at night with a bunch of friends (getting drunk while watching The Legend of Drunken Master... now there's a thought!), if it weren't for the fact that like most Jackie Chan movies, Legend is dubbed... and horribly so. People who are obviously speaking Cantonese are voiced by white Americans with no trace of accent. If the characters spent as much time talking as they do fighting, you'd have to forget it altogether. But luckily, this is Jackie Chan, giving us about 1:15 fighting, 0:30 talking. Drunken Master is funny, pulp flicktion with great Kung Fu, and it's just the king of movie that anyone who likes those Matrixy kinds of films just can't pass up.

Aka Jue Kuen II.

Jackie as a child. Almost.



The Legend of Drunken Master

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th October 2000

Box Office USA: $9.7M

Distributed by: Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 62 Rotten: 13

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chai-Luing Liu

Producer:

Starring: as Wong Fei-hung, as Wong Kei-ying, as Mrs. Wong, Felix Wong as Tsang, Liu Chia-Liang as Master Fu Wen-Chi (as Lau Kar-Leung), as John (as Low Houi Kang), Chin Ka-Lok as Ho Sang (as Chin Ka Lok), Ho-Sung Pak as Henry, Cheung Chi-Gwong as Tso (as Tseung Chi Kwong), Yee San Hon as Uncle Hing (as Hon Yee Sang), as Counter Intelligence Officer, as Fun, Chia Yung Liu as Marlon (as Kar Yung Lau), Lau Siu-Ming as Mr. Chiu, Suki Kwan as Chiu's Wife

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.