The Legend of Drunken Master

Bomb Rating: 

This film really breaks new ground in Jackie Chan movies by giving Chan's character a name other than "Jackie." I suppose this required some extra preparation on Chan's part, but it was certainly a nice courtesy of the film to suggest that this person was someone other than Chan himself.

Chan is so old these days that instead of making too many new movies, he rereleases old ones so everybody will have the impression that he doesn't age. I think it also keeps people from asking why his English isn't better. He's also implying that his best days are behind him. Why release a movie that's available on videotape anyway? It's not like any of his films are cinematic achievements. They're just close-ups of Jackie kicking and hitting people. In this case, I don't see any particular difference whether its shown on a television or a movie screen.

Chan plays an actual Chinese folk legend whose name is Wong Fei Hung and was apparently a champion of the poor as well as being the originator of many martial arts styles. The one focused upon in this movie is drunken boxing, in which the fighter either gets plastered -- or mimics an alcoholic -- in order to free his body and perform moves in an unorthodox manner that adds a great element of surprise.

What better film to release in the United States? Now, not only are we encouraging young kids to go out and beat the crap out of each other, we're telling them it would be better if they got soused before they did it. I may not think much of the Budweiser frogs, but at least they aren't advertising beer AND beating each other with sticks.

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