The Legend of Drunken Master

1994

Action / Comedy

40
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 38377

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Jackie Chan as Wong Fei-hung
Andy Lau as Counter Intelligence Officer
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
877.87 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 3 / 15
1.75 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 42 min
P/S 11 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by diac228 9 / 10

With Jackie Chan behind the production and the time to perfect it, Legend of Drunken Master winds up becoming a martial arts legend itself

To describe Legend of Drunken Master is almost impossible. It has so much, it does so much, and it delivers in so many ways, you cannot really describe the experience. Legend of Drunken Master stands as Jackie Chan's best film, and arguably the greatest martial arts film in history. That's right Bruce Lee fanatics, it tops most/arguably all Lee films. Surely Lee had the strength and the power; but did not have the ensemble cast that Chan had, nor did Lee have any fights that can top the ones the Drunken Master engaged in throughout the 105 minutes of this kung fu madhouse.

With a decent plot, good acting, and a dash of humor to go along with the frenzied action, Legend of Drunken Master is one of those rare complete martial arts films that do more than just throw fights at you. Honestly, there has yet to be a perfect martial arts film. Whether its bad acting, a weak plot, too much focus on action, a pointless romantic story attached, or way too over-the-top substance, there hasn't been a martial arts film worthy of being up there with the best films in the modern era. Jui Kuen II (as they call it overseas) is the closest to the complete package as you can get.

We start the film off with Jackie Chan as the tough yet uncontrollable young kid by the name of Wong Fei-hung who accidentally takes a seal from British smugglers. The smugglers, also involved in overworking Chinese men in a factory resembling slave-like sweatshop of some sort, want the seal back. In the meantime, Wong's controversial fighting technique, drunken boxing, has been met by disapproval of his father, and wants him to refrain from ever using it. Drunken boxing also has a lot of competition and shun from others in the community. Chaos follows as soon as the British and their henchmen find out who has the seal, and vow to do whatever it takes to get it back and to spread fear in the community.

The plot isn't groundbreaking, but its something different than the average martial arts film. While it still contains the themes of family, honor, respect, and dignity contained in most Chinese movies of this genre, the preservation of Chinese art is a concept not used often. Nonetheless, it works, as we see the traditional values of the Chinese being threatened by the more modern mechanisms of the Europeans. There is also a major issue with honor, as Wong's father is morally against drunken boxing, and hates it when his reputation is damaged even a little. The acting involved with the tension amongst Chan and his family is at times a bit overblown, but for the most part gets the job right.

Jackie Chan is one of the few actors/actresses in modern cinema history that can both be taken seriously and lightly. We see Chan at his playful side, especially when he is drunk. But, take away the smile, watch him pose, and you will fear him. Seeing that look in his eye right before a major fight starts can send shivers down your spine, as you know he will not back down easy, and will use whatever technique necessary to take you out. His physical appearance isn't exactly intimidating, but his agility and amazing ability to be balanced and whip out an insane combo of punches and kicks remains to be matched by anyone else out there. The best of Chan is here in terms of acting, usage of props, and kung fu. Don't let his usage of props fool you, he can engage in a brutal victory without the use of any objects. Few Jackie Chan films prove this, but Drunken Master has its share of fights without any other objects floating around.

The fights are what Chan is best known for, and the fights are where the film excels towards jaw-dropping levels. From the first fight, involving swords and extending from underneath a train to a nearby house, to the final fight that lasts over 10 minutes without exaggeration; Drunken Master will wow you, will keep you on the edge of your seat, and will make you almost jump back in amazement. Hollywood does not have enough patience to spend four months on one fight alone, which is why we don't see fights in action films like the ones seen here. The final fight, involving a well-trained kicker and Chan at his drunkest stage is easily one of the best fights in history—it's so well choreographed, so well-timed, and so brilliantly executed, that it deserves a spot on one of modern film's greatest achievements. Raising the bar for generations to come, the last fight mixes speed, agility, humor, combos, fast movements, and unbelievable stunts. In truth, all the clashes prior do the same, but this one puts all the others to shame.

Bottom Line: Missing this film would be a travesty, especially if you enjoy a good martial arts film. This time its not Chan alone that makes the film; we have a good cast of characters and fighters, a decent plot, and never really drifts into an unbelievable level unlike most action movies of today. This is Chan at his absolute best; and this is famed director Chia-Liang Liu at his best. Almost a complete package in terms of quality and substance, Legend of Drunken Master is as close as you can get to martial arts perfection; and remains the greatest martial arts film of all-time.

Reviewed by quinimdb 9 / 10

The Legend of the Drunken Master

Rarely do films manage to find humor in tension anymore, as the action comedy genre seems to only be carried on through Edgar Wright. There is a lot of dumb slapstick out there, but the legitimately inventive and death defying stunts that could be traced all the way back to Buster Keaton. Jackie Chan is one of the rare actors that seemed to have endless stamina and complete physical commitment to his visual gags and fast paced action scenes.

Fei Hung is a well intentioned but arrogant fighter who learned his technique from his father, a master of drunken boxing. Yes, you read that correctly. Jackie Chan wobbles around, moving as if he is about to fall over at every second during his fighting, while simultaneously performing completely ridiculous moves such as the "flirting woman" and the "wheelbarrow", making a fool out of his enemies, and occasionally himself in the process. Due to its comedic tone, a lot of sound effects that I would regularly find exaggerated blend right in, because the movie is just that. His father, the master, encourages passivity and restraint in fighting, while his mother, who also happens to be quite skilled, encourages him to fight every fight with all he's got. However, when his type of fighting is fueled by drinking loads of alcohol, this is a recipe for disaster, and despite always trying to help others, he is torn between the encouragement of his mother and the restrictions of his father.

Credit is certainly due to Jackie Chan for his physical performance, but much of the effect of the action scenes is due to the director, Chia Liang Liu. He knew that the way to direct Jackie Chan was with wide angle shots that only cut when necessary, to see the full view of his stunts and choreography. Also, our hero doesn't always win. We see him disowned by his father and beaten down by his enemies again and again. This allows us to feel that our hero is imperfect and it's possible that he could lose with each set piece. It also shows that what really makes him a hero is his perseverance and eagerness to get back up and try to improve despite being knocked down so often. This is what allowed for such creative, intense, and hilarious action set pieces as the fight against the crowds of men with axes, in which he ducks and dodges and uses wooden benches and tables and anything in his environment as weapons to defend himself, narrowly avoiding defeat each time. Or the fight in which he takes on several men at once, while simultaneously being thrown bottle after bottle of liquor and proceeding to pour each one down his throat. With Jackie Chan constantly pulling off this perfect balancing act, it's easy to ignore that the reason the English ambassador fires all his workers is never really explained, and his motivation for letting Jackie Chan and his friend go doesn't quite make sense, because those really are small complaints in what is really one of the rare movies that continues to genuinely surprise, impress, and entertain for its entire runtime.

Reviewed by Riley Porter 6 / 10

Herring is actually a bit better than I thought it would be.

So this film is fairly uneven. On one hand, its story is either lacking in tonal coherence or is generally scatter brained. On the other hand, the fight choreography and stunt work is genuinely breathtaking.

The story isn't necessarily incomprehensible, though it seems to try very hard to be. I get the distinct impression that there was either difficulty in getting all the coverage required for the plot, or that the editor had a very fuzzy understanding of how to put all the scenes together in a way which made sense, mostly it feels like the former. At a certain point it literally feels like scenes are missing from the film. It doesn't ruin the experience, but it makes it difficult to be especially invested in the characters and their motivations. Speaking of characters, they're mostly fine I guess. Jackie Chan at least represents some kind of arc or emotional conflict that the audience can get involved in. For the most part though, a lot of characters feel underdeveloped to the point of being sort of place-holders. I guess the main takeaway is that this film would be kind of bad if not for the martial arts.

The martial arts and accompanying stunt work in this film is of the highest caliber. It's sort of to be expected of a Jackie Chan feature, but even so, there are some fights in this film which seem to defy all conventions of action and the laws of physics. Admittedly, a lot of it is pretty cornball. The sort of levity which is characteristic of a lot of the action is very fitting I think. It better compliments the light comedic tone of this film than more serious encounters might have. I mean, the fighting can often be a lot funnier than the sort of weird attempts at humor that come during the "down time". I'm not trying to undermine the legitimate tension that comes during some of the fighting. I'm just saying that the tone of the action fits very well into the rest of the film.

Despite the largely messy story, the martial arts action in this film is executed with absolute mastery. It's worth checking out by virtue of its highlights. Go for it, it's good.

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