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Dimension Films
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Director: Lau Ka Leung

Producers: Edward Tang, Barbie Tung, Eric Tsang

Written by: Edward Tang, Tong Man Ming, Yuen Chieh Chi

Cast: Jackie Chan, Ti Lung, Anita Mui, Lau Ka Leung, Andy Lau

Rating: ***** out of 5

LEGEND OF DRUNKEN MASTER is the American release of the Jackie Chan flick DRUNKEN MASTER II. It is the same film except for a different musical score and it’s dubbed in English. This is a Jackie Chan film in every way, with an incomprehensible plotline, cheesy bad guys, and many, many fights.

As the titular Drunken Master, Jackie Chan, like Popeye with his spinach, becomes even more potent with the consumption of alcohol. The plot as such revolves around him stopping the Evil British Ambassador from stealing precious Chinese artifacts (a premise revisited in RUSH HOUR). But enough about that. The real reason to watch this movie is to see the superhuman performer that is Jackie Chan. He continues to be a glory to behold, capable of physical feats that most people do not even conceive of. We are provided many opportunities to see his kung fu skills (An inconsequential fight at the beginning of the movie lasts ten minutes.) as the movie is laced with energetic fight scenes. They were so energetic that 30 minutes into the movie I felt exhausted.

For an American release, this was really good. The dubbing matched the lip movement and the voices were not annoyingly stereotypical. It was amusing that all the bad guys — even the Chinese bad guys — have British accents.

Even when Jackie is not fighting the movie continues to move, especially when focused on Jackie’s conniving stepmom (Anita Mui). When he is fighting, it is over-the-top, culminating in a fight with his real-life bodyguard, who went on to his own movie career after this film. A blast. A total blast.

—Woodrow Bogucki

HYBRID Ratings Guide:

***** Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

**** It’s worth a full-price ticket.

*** It’s worth a matinee ticket.

** Wait for video rental.

* Check out the video from the library, if you must.

0 While I would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

Mike Doughty

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