Drunken Master II
AKA: The Legend of Drunken Master
Directors: Jackie Chan, Lau Kar-Leung
Stars: Jackie Chan, Ti Lung, Anita Mui, Ken Lo, Ho Sung Pak, Lau Kar-Leung, Andy Lau, Louis Roth
Jackie Chan returns as Wong Fei-Hung, the folk hero he took to stardom in the first Drunken Master movie. While helping his dad bring back some medicine, Fei-Hung accidentally switches packages with a mysterious old kung fu master (Lau) and obtains a rare Chinese artifact. Eventually, Fei-Hung finds out about a smuggling ring taking some of China's most precious treasures and decides to try and stop them.
This was Chan's first "traditional" martial arts movie in about 10 years (after making cop pictures like Police Story), but Chan clearly hadn't lost a step. Not only is Drunken Master II his best traditional film, it's his best movie period. Watching this movie for the first time is a thing of pure enjoyment. The plot develops at a breezy pace; you never can really dwell on facts such as Fei-Hung's mother (Mui) looks younger than him. Speaking of Mui, she's a refreshing change of pace from the airheaded females featured in recent Chan films. She steals the show in every scene she's in as Fei-Hong's wise-cracking mah jongg-addicted mother. Ti Lung also gives a believably stern performance as Fei-Hong's exasperated dad.
But what's a Jackie Chan movie without action? Believe me, once you see the fight scenes in Drunken Master II, most others (even Chan's) pale in comparison. Words cannot do these masterpieces justice. If the climatic fight between Fei-Hung and two thugs (played by Ken Lo, Chan's real-life bodyguard and Ho Sung Pak, the model for many of the characters in the popular "Mortal Kombat" video game) doesn't get your pulse going, you must be dead or severely intoxicated. Supposedly, the fight took months to film and it shows. Chan has never looked better.
Do yourself a favor and hunt this down -- you won't be disappointed.
Note: the US version (Legend of the Drunken Master) is uncut -- save for the "retarded" shot of Jackie at the end.
A review of the DVD for this movie (US version) can be found here
View the Drunken Master II picture page here
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