The Legend of Drunken Master (1994) - Chia-Liang Liu. Dubbed


r otherwise know as Drunken Master II, Jackie Chan's not-really-a-sequel foray back into his role as Wong Fei Hung, a young man with a really unorthodox fighting style. While travelling back home with his father, trying to avoid paying duty on some Ginseng, he stows his parcel in another person's luggage. Of course when trying to retrieve it he takes the wrong bag and finds himself in trouble with the wrong people. Cue lots of Kung Fu action....

It has all the characteristics you would expect of a 90's Golden Harvest production; over-acting, corny dialogue and a script that doesn't really make a lot of sense....and yet I really enjoyed it. Because while it is silly, it's playfully aware of that and is more a comedy (and quite funny at that) than a 'straight' martial arts film and, most of all, it has a real jewel in Chan. He glides across the screen, even when 'drunken' stumbling he has a grace and fluidity that is captivating on screen, bringing to mind a ballet dancer as he jumps, leaps, spins and weaves his way around the screen. Buster Keaton, the Three Stooges, Harold Lloyd are all very palpable influences and Chan has been the pioneer of weaving that into the traditional SE Asian martial arts to create his own, always watchable, idiosyncratic style.

Fantastic choreography abounds and some of the scenes are spectacular; the mass tea room brawl is an explosion of energy and flying limbs. Knowing Chan's almost perverse proclivity for doing his own stunts it's only more stunning to appreciate. It has it's faults but like Chan's drunken character you can't help but warm to it.