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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> April 2001 >> The Legend of Drunken Master

The Legend of Drunken Master

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
April 2001
IMDB Name:
Legend of Drunken Master, The (2000)
Chia-Liang Liu
MPAA Rating:
R for violent content.

Seeing Red

I enjoy most Jackie Chan movies because they represent an intricate weaving of balletic movement, slapstick, and good-natured charm. Drunken Master blended grace and humor in all of its fights. Props were incorporated into the action as quickly as they could be picked up, and they created a new level of awe and enjoyment on top of that created by the formidable skill of Chan and his colleagues. The seemingly- serendipitous antics of the Drunken Boxing style, no doubt some of the best action choreography of all time, only made things more fun.

Legend of Drunken Master is not the same type of film at all. The entertainment value is sapped by including a message in the plot about China retaining cultural artifacts being illegally exported by evil British beaurocrats. Worse, the violence is presented with too much realism and not enough levity. When Jackie is fighting with the broom-like bamboo stick, I was put off by the henchmen stumbling back screaming about the blood pouring from cuts on their faces. On the brighter side, Anita Mui plays a wacky stepmother who wouldn't be out of place in a Marx Brothers film. She's amusing as a character, but she only works because the father character is so oblivious. I also wanted to see a lot more of the famed Drunken Boxing. The English title "Legend of" is appropriate since there is more talk about the style than there is demonstration of it. The scenes of trying to drink and fight are almost completely missing, perhaps because they couldn't think of anything different enough from the first film.

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Copyright 2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.