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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s — Jackie Chan, Man of Action

 Drunk as a Skunk

Drinking is cool! It makes you invincible!

Drunken Master II is another choice of mine that is just as equally deserving of the top spot. In fact, I think it’s probably one of the best martial arts films ever made. This just goes to show what an inexact science these kinds off lists are.

Here’s what I said about the movie awhile back:

Drunken Master II is perhaps Jackie Chan’s finest film, if not the best kung fu movie ever put on celluloid. It has some of Jackie’s best stunts, mixing original director Lau Kar-Leung’s old school choreography with Jackie Chan’s contemporary kung fu comedy shtick. A word of warning: don’t analyze the plot too closely (Oh Andy Lau, where art thou?), and you’ll be just fine. Just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Chan’s last stand against the amazing leg-fighter Ken Lo is probably one of the best ending battles in cinema history. Really.

What some of you may not know is that this movie actually had a troubled production. Shaw Brothers legend Lau Kar-Leung was the film’s original director, but when Jackie Chan screened the film for the Hong Kong Stuntman’s Union, he realized that Drunken Master II had some problems — namely, it was a little too old-fashioned for modern sensibilities. According to Chan, he offered Lau Kar-Leung the chance to make changes, and when he wouldn’t comply, Chan himself had to step into the director’s chair and rework the ending fight. Although I’ve not heard Lau’s side of the story, Chan claims that he would have kept all this under his hat, but it was Lau who complained publicly, announcing that he’d do a REAL drunken kung fu movie. However, the resultant film — the  misleadingly titled Drunken Master III – was a complete disaster and a real embarrassment for Lau Kar-Leung.

Drunken Master II, however, is something to be proud of. Sure his team-up with Michelle Yeoh in Police Story 3: Supercop is certifiably awesome, this is the Jackie Chan movie that you show friends when you want to show them Hong Kong action done right.  Sure, the early Police Story and Project A films showcase Chan in his physical prime, but Drunken Master II is the pinnacle of his career — his best film of the 1990s and, to many, his last great Hong Kong film.

*     *     *

Introduction: Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s
Part 1: Tian Mi Mi
Part 2: Once Upon a Time in the Cinema
Part 4: A Cop Named Tequila
Part 5: WKW is A-OK
Part 6: Epilogue

One Response to “My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s — Jackie Chan, Man of Action”

  1. CeeFu Says:

    Go Jackie Go!

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