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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.42%
Average: 5.26%
Pretty Bad: 1.75%
Total Crap: 2.63%

7 reviews, 72 user ratings

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Legend of Drunken Master, The
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by EricDSnider

"Could use a little more butt-kicking."
4 stars

"The Legend of Drunken Master" is not one of the Hollywood Jackie Chan movies, where Chan is teamed up with a zany sidekick. It's a mid-'90s Chinese film dubbed into English where Chan is teamed up with a bunch of guys whose butts need kickin'.

And kick them he does. Despite a convoluted plot and some broad, farcical comedy, the film eventually delivers on what Jackie Chan fans want: martial-arts fighting, and lots of it.

Chan plays Wong Fei Hung, the son of a prosperous doctor (Ti Lung). While traveling, the ginseng they're bring home accidentally gets switched with a jade stone of some cultural significance to the Chinese people. When British embassy officials -- aided by unpatriotic Chinese -- discover Wong Fei Hung has the stone, they figure the best way to get it back is to engage in a lot of hand-to-hand fighting. (The film is well more than half-over before anyone ever produces a gun.)

Aiding Wong Fei Hung is his stepmother (Anita Mui), a smart, strong woman who submits to the extremely patriarchal way of doing things while secretly outsmarting her husband every chance she gets.

The comedy that pervades the film is goofy and pleasant, if not terribly clever. The stepmother is actually very funny, and of course the fighting always has its amusing moments.

Ah, yes, the fighting. There should be more of it in the film -- really, who cares about the plot? -- but what there is, is incredible. It helps to know that Chan does all his own stunts, and that no camera trickery is involved. The man and his co-stars often seem to defy gravity and every other law of physics with their fast-paced battles. It truly is amazing to watch.

The title refers to an actual form of kung fu called "drunken boxing." Chan's character uses it, and it's where the fighter acts like a drunk man, bobbing and weaving around as if disoriented, when in reality the effect is to confuse his opponent. In this guy's case, he fights better when he actually IS drunk, but who doesn't, you know?

The drunken fighting -- both faked and actually inebriated -- is often comical to watch, not to mention amazing. Someone may seem to stand at impossible angles, taking stances that would make any normal person fall over, yet remaining upright and beating the crap out of someone, too.

The film is not high art by any means, though it could be argued that the fight sequences are as magnificently choreographed as any MGM musical dance number or Hitchcock's shower scene in "Psycho." And while the plot does get in the way of what viewers are really after, there's enough of the fun stuff to keep them interested.

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originally posted: 07/05/03 12:03:23
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User Comments

8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Intense Action!!! 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer Great! But the First Drunken Master is BEST ACTION MOVIE EVER!!!! 5 stars
12/10/05 noops another gr8 movie frm chan 5 stars
10/12/05 Tom Burns great jackie chan action and comedy. 5 stars
7/28/05 Quigley The fights were pure movie magic. Chan rules as always; story was incredibly lame 5 stars
4/25/05 DM The action is so exciting you completely forget about anything else. 5 stars
3/15/05 Ronin Drunken boxing is the most spectacular style IMO. Awesome 4 stars
2/05/05 bongeezer Jackie is great, Story is not. 3 stars
2/02/05 Rodney Stephens DESCENT MOVIE BUT NOT PERFECT 3 stars
2/02/05 Carolyn Rathburn Hillariously funny, only Jackie Chan could do these stunts. Enjoyed it. 5 stars
1/24/05 keithers.. This is Chans way of Saying "I'm still the king of action!" 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz Funny 4 stars
7/17/04 Raymond Lee Great fights and action 5 stars
4/05/04 Stephen Crancher Brilliant film 5 stars
11/21/03 rony this movie was da bomb!!!! Jackie Chan kicks ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^_^ 5 stars
7/05/03 Zargo wierd... how everyone loves this but me... and I've seen 34 of chans so I'm hardly ignorant 3 stars
6/05/03 Maurice "The Predator" This movie is fucking sweet!! Jackie rulez like god 5 stars
2/09/03 cinkcool great 5 stars
1/06/03 Thomas Saylor this movie is the best movie I have ever seen 5 stars
1/21/02 keith langman This is Jackie chans big!!!!1 movie it's legendary 5 stars
12/28/01 Waylon Roundtree Saw long ago, and I never get tired of watching it! 5 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 THE reason why Jacki Chan is my hero...Amazing, I hope to watch with my kids one day! 5 stars
10/19/01 Daniel Paz Awesome Kick Ass!!! 5 stars
9/26/01 joe awesome 5 stars
7/29/01 Jennifer Gaissert I am proud to be of the same species as Jackie Chan 5 stars
7/23/01 Thor-Leo Nothing to add, just doing my part to boost the rating of a brilliant film. 5 stars
6/22/01 Tommy Wyvern Wonderful, that's the least you can say about this magnificent action movie!! 5 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart LOVED IT...Demonstrates perfectly the prestige class of drunken master in D&D 5 stars
4/25/01 Ben Gonzales Truly Awesome! The fights are the best Jackie Chan has done. Definitely Top 10 material. 5 stars
4/05/01 Breadpie This film belongs in my all-time Top 10. That's saying a lot. 5 stars
3/21/01 fifu wow!!! i give it a 5 out of 6 one of my favorite movies the best forien film i've ever seen 5 stars
3/06/01 Aytim Contains some of the best action scenes ever filmed 5 stars
1/13/01 Jake The best time at had at the movies in 2000 5 stars
1/05/01 Msitrab AMAZING!! The final fight in this movie will make your jaw drop 5 stars
12/29/00 Bruce The most amazing hand to hand fights I have seen 5 stars
12/19/00 John Palombo Dubbing was TERRIBLE, but these things happen. Makes you want to learn Drunken Boxing. 4 stars
11/23/00 T.F.M. The Best Jackie Chan Movie 5 stars
11/17/00 DJ Cones The Best Kung-Fu Movie Of All Time! 5 stars
11/16/00 Dane Jackson Great fun! 5 stars
11/16/00 Heather One of the best action movies you'll see this year 5 stars
11/05/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Saw this flick with some mates, they hated it. I was too drunk to care! 3 stars
10/30/00 thebigguy WEEEEEE! 5 stars
10/30/00 fishie Movements so fast it will make your head spin. An absolute must-see. Loved it! 5 stars
10/30/00 dennis bergkamp No action film beats it 5 stars
10/28/00 danh excellent - one of the alltime best 5 stars
10/25/00 Victoria OMFG NOT ANOTHER JACKIN CHAN MOVIE! 1 stars
10/25/00 Bob One of the best J. Chan movies I've ever seen. Fantastic action. 5 stars
10/25/00 chuckmfh Just like any other Kung-Foo movie with English dubbed in 2 stars
10/25/00 fuckin' swats 2 stars
10/24/00 Clarance Ban this bitch from making movies! 1 stars
10/23/00 Doughy Holy fucking shit! Extraordinary in every way. Pretty goddamn funny too 5 stars
10/23/00 Greyjack Un-fricking-believable. Probably Jackie's best movie. Excellent slapstick farce, too! 5 stars
10/22/00 Klute If action is what you're after, it gets no better than this. But the humour makes it a 5'er 5 stars
10/22/00 PJ The Greatest Kung Fu movie ever, period!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * * * * * stars 5 stars
10/19/00 angel the bomb ass kick ass jackie chan movie 5 stars
10/18/00 James Eldred This movie is the best Kung Fu flick of all time...period 5 stars
8/03/00 Bryan Wyatt Chan seems to be in the prime of his career and totaly kicks arse while totally drunk. 5 stars
6/29/00 Aiken Drum This and The Young Master are my two favourite Jackie Films, and I am a BIG fan 5 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte Awesome 5 stars
3/25/00 mrenwick All Jackie, all the time!! Great scene-stealing by (Chan's ex-girlfriend) Anita Mui too... 5 stars
3/08/00 Viper Greatest Jackie Chan film of the 90s 5 stars
12/20/99 Eric S. A bit overrated Jackie Chan film. The stunts are there, but the setting is terrible. 3 stars
11/11/99 Foxdvd One of the Best Jackie Movies. The action is equal to even Jet Li's best 5 stars
10/27/99 Ford Fuck Rush Hour, this is the ALL TIME Jackie chan film. Awe inspiring drunken boxing style. 5 stars
10/17/99 Kris Richardson Amazing action from the absolute King!!! 5 stars
9/02/99 Elman makes "matrix kung fu scenes"look like a Billie Blanks Tai-Bo workout 5 stars
7/02/99 Cris Morales Amazing, incredible, and satisfying 5 stars
7/01/99 Mike Lowrey INCREDIBLE! CHAN IS THE MAN! 5 stars
6/28/99 Steve Bashakus Not for pussy amateurs or poor readers (ie. subtitles) - amazing, simply amazing. 5 stars
4/11/99 sebo wrong wrong wrong wrong 1 stars
4/04/99 Albert Someone was drunk when they ranked this. 3 stars
1/18/99 Marcello Pietrantonio This is Jackie Chan's best ever movie. Great stunts, jokes, humor and Kung Fu action. 5 stars
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  20-Oct-2000 (R)


  02-Jul-1994 (M)

Directed by
  Lau Ka Leung

Written by
  Edward Tang
  Tong Man Ming
  Yuen Chieh Chi

  Jackie Chan
  Ti Lung
  Anita Mui
  Lau Ka Leung
  Andy Lau
  Wing-Fong Ho

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