"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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The Legend Of Drunken Master

06 Apr 2002

So what do you know? Someone at Dimension Films has finally clued in that Jackie Chan's films make money, and so they're now slowly mining the vaults and releasing some of his Hong Kong Golden Harvest opus.

Excellent.

Let me give you a couple reasons why you should see this film, especially if you've never seen a Jackie Chan film, and if you're expecting badly dubbed fighting and leaping:

  1. Chan's films are usually a mix of comedy and kung fu. He doesn't take himself very seriously, and so it's permission to have fun.
  2. The fight sequences are more like dancing that fighting. Of course they're choreographed; if they weren't, people would surely die. Chan is the sort of perfectionist that drives film producers crazy. He would spend six days on an inventive fight sequence to get it absolutely right, even if it was just a couple of minutes on screen. That kind of care shows, and it's beautiful to watch.
  3. The outtakes. While the credits play, he shows you what went wrong when they made the film. Sometimes it's hilarious, but often someone is hurt and medical staff rush to the actor's aid. I think the message here is "Don't try this at home."
  4. It's all Jackie. No stunt doubles. If you see him duck a falling oil drum, you can be sure that it's he.

As stories go, it's a bit thin, but thick enough: the evil British Ambassador is smuggling Chinese antiquities out of the country. The government wants to preserve its cultural heritage and keep them for generations to come. Jackie and his pals team up with a G-man to put the Ambassador out of business. And then there's relationship between Jackie and his family -- a stern father and a wonky mother whose kung-fu is as good as Jackie's.

It's bales of good fun. Grab your best mate and go see it.

Related Sites

Official Site (Dreadful)
Drunken Master (IMDB)