Thursday, 7 May 2009
The Legend of the Drunken Master
Dir: Chia-Liang Liu
Starring: Jacky Chan, Anita Mui
Narry Borman laughed outrageously at these credits; there was something hilarious about the credit: Jacky Chan and His Stuntman's Group. In the light of day, it doesn't look that funny, but anyway it's a good way to start the film.
Everyone knows the original Chan Drunken Master film; it's a classic. Chan reprises his role in this 1994 film, although to be honest it bears little resemblance to the original except in terms of his fighting style.
Legend, then is effectively Drunken Master II. But it actually seems to borrow more from Once Upon A Time in China than anything else. It dispenses with a lot of the comedy of most Chan films, and adds political themes and some stuff about taking pride in your country's culture. Yawn!
In a classic bit of Hong Kong editting, there is a real mess of characters. Bad guys are introduced half way through, enemies become friends with no explanation, and character form strong bonds without saying why. I love incoherence!
The main thing, though, is Jacky's stunts, of course. And there's plenty to see. He is on top form. The usual array of props are there to help him (chairs, stools, and of course, alcohol). Anita Mui, who plays Jacky's mother, steals the show, however. What a lady! She has more spirit than two Jackys.
Great film, but I'm not sure why it made Time's Top 100 Films ever.