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Drunken Master
Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence and language
Directed by
Woo-Ping Yuen
Cast

Jackie Chan - Wong Fei-Hong
Siu Tien Yuen - Su Hua-Chi
Jang Lee Hwang - Thunderfoot
Time
107 minutes

Drunken Master
Joe Nguyen, staff writer
Feb. 16, 2004

Synopsis
"Drunken Master" follows the story of Wong Fei-Hong (Jackie Chan), the son of a famous Kung-Fu master. He is incredibly immature as he tends to do what he wants much to his father’s chagrin. After several punishments fail to set in, Fei-Hong is sent to be taught by Su Hua-Chi (Shun-Yee Yuen), a wanderer renowned for his legendary martial arts skill of Drunken Boxing.

Review
"Drunken Master" is considered Jackie Chan’s second big hit (aside from "Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow"). Like many Hong Kong movies, the story centers on the character of Wong Fei-Hong. What makes this movie different from the others is that Wong Fei-Hong is portrayed as a juvenile, anti-hero instead of a flawless champion. This was absolutely unheard of at the time.

Jackie Chan was perfect for this role. Prior to this movie, the majority of his roles were these serious, “Bruce Lee” type roles. "Drunken Master" allowed Chan to be in a more comfortable comedic environment, which we’re used to seeing him now.

Jackie Chan and Hsu Hsia in "Drunken Master"
Jackie Chan and Hsu Hsia in "Drunken Master"

The movie had five fight choreographers, including the director, Yuen Wo-Ping (best known in the states for his choreography of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "The Matrix"). This creates some very fun and elaborate fight scenes. One of the best is the one between Wong Fei-Hong and the Bamboo King (Hsu Hsia). The scene is hilarious as it shows Fei-Hong’s first usage of his newly learned Drunken Boxing.

I would definitely suggest watching this movie subtitled instead of dubbed. The dubbing is pretty bad for this movie (as are with many movies of this time) and it’ll lessen the experience. Just my personal preference – I’ve never really been a big dubbed fan.

Overall this was an enjoyable movie. The intense music, over-the-top sound effects and the bad hair were all represented in this classic 70s Hong Kong movie. Definitely worth a look if you’re a Jackie Chan or Martial Arts movie fan.

Joe gives "Drunken Master":


Joe Nguyen is a staff writer for asiaXpress.com. You can reach Joe at joe@asiaxpress.com.

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