Film Reviews, News & Competitions

 
 


Drunken Master

 
 
Film Information
 

Plot: A legendary Chinese folk hero is punished for his frequent troublemaking by being forced to study under a martial arts master who is as notorious for his drinking as he is for leaving his students crippled
Release Date: Out Now
Format: Blu-ray | DVD
Director(s): Yuen Woo-Ping
Cast: Jackie Chan, Yuen Siu Tien, Jang Lee Hwang, Bolo Yeung, Hsia Hsu, Dean Shek, Casanova Wong
Running Time: 106 mins
Country Of Origin: Hong Kong
Review By: Paul Hammond
Genre:
 
Film Rating
 
 
 
 
 
5/ 5


 

Bottom Line


Drunken Master showcases Chan at the hight of his powers - as sure-footed as a goat, and as elastic as Mr Fantastic.


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Posted April 30, 2017 by

 
Film Review
 
 

Frequently ranked as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time, Drunken Master revolutionised modern action cinema. It also introduced the world to martial arts superstar Jackie Chan, who burst onto the scene in 1978 with a one-two punch of kung fu masterpieces.

Rather than try to ape Bruce Lee, Chan knew that his skills lay in physical comedy and breathtaking, ingenious moves. Drunken Master, with its slapstick and flawlessly choreographed fights, was his second outing and the one that really showcased his talents.

Chan plays Wong Fei-hung – a legendary Chinese folk hero – who is punished for his frequent troublemaking by being forced to study under the martial arts master Su Hua Chi (Yuen Siu-tien), who is as notorious for his drinking as he is for leaving his students crippled. Wong proves himself to be a keen student, and his new skills are quickly put to the test when his father is targeted by a brutal assassin (Hwang Jang Lee).

In many ways, Drunken Master has all the tropes that you’d expect from a 1970s kung fu movie. Lots of macho posturing, some (very minor) sexism, and car-doors slamming whenever someone is punched. The fun comes when you realise that the Drunken Master actually has to be drunk to be any good at his own ‘secret’ style of kung fu – and much of the humour comes from the Keaton-esque moves that ensure.

Chan and Yuen Siu-tien are never less than entertaining and, while modern audiences might appreciate some faster cuts and less comedic mugging, this is dazzling stuff. Forget The Matrix. This is the real deal. No strings. No SFX. Drunken Master showcases Chan at the hight of his powers – as sure-footed as a goat, and as elastic as Mr Fantastic.

Eureka’s 4K digital transfer comes complete with the original Cantonese soundtrack  and alternate English and Mandarin audio options. Interviews with Chan and audio commentaries by Hong Kong film experts, Ric Meyers and Jeff Yang, are both enlightening and entertaining.


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

 
Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com


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