Film Review: Drunken Master 2 (1994) by Lau Kar-leung

The second “Drunken Grasp” might share a title, a protagonist in Jackie Chan, a foremost character in Wong Fei-hung, and the idea of Drunken Boxing, however in actuality, is a very completely different animal than the unique, on numerous ranges, with Lau Kar-leung aiming intensely in numerous sociopolitical feedback, in distinction to Yuen Woo-ping’s work, which targeted totally on leisure. This method has led the previous to be named one of many prime 100 greatest movies of all time by Time journal in 2005, whereas the British Movie Institute (BFI) chosen it as one among the many ten greatest motion films of all time.

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The story is about in early twentieth century China, when Wong Fei-hung, alongside along with his father Wong Kei-ying and servant Tso, return to Canton after a visit to the Northeast. The troubles begin from the practice already, as Fei-hung finally ends up preventing Fu Wen-chi (performed by the director right here truly) underneath a wagon, in probably the most spectacular scenes within the film. The battle, nonetheless, leads to a mixup of the packing containers the 2 have been carrying, with Fei-hung ending up with the Imperial Seal and Wen-chi with the ginseng that Kei-ying has purchased for a consumer. The mixups proceed, with Fei-hung’s mom Ling complicating issues much more, and within the typical, nonsensical vogue of the HK martial arts films, the protagonist finally ends up preventing numerous smugglers who’re cooperating with the British Consul, utilizing Drunken Boxing. Nevertheless, when his father finds out, he’s infuriated and kicks him out of his home, in a collection of occasions that find yourself with Fei-hung overwhelmed and publicly disgraced. His father ultimately takes him in once more, however because the smugglers find yourself preventing the employees of a metal manufacturing unit who demand higher wages (wait, what?), the hero can not however face them in a reasonably spectacular showdown. 

“Drunken Grasp 2” is taken into account by many certainly one of Jackie Chan’s greatest films, and this time, evidently “the numerous” are proper, for numerous causes. For starters, the presence of Ti Lung within the function of Wong Kei-ying and Anita Mui within the function of Ling, and notably their antithetical behaviors, as he’s all the time strict and critical and she or he all the time as much as one thing and fairly humorous usually, add a lot leisure to the film, together with some further star high quality. This side permits Jackie Chan to thrive in numerous methods than regular, since right here is certainly one of his few protagonist roles the place he isn’t a very good man, as his habits may be continuously described as that of a violent alcoholic. Moreover, the truth that each his mom and father don’t appear notably older than him provides an nearly surrealistic comedic factor, notably within the occasions when Fei-hung calls a girl who appears about his age, ‘mom’.

On the identical time the critique on the methods of the British Empire is kind of evident right here, beginning with the connection of the Consulate with organized crime (the infamous Axe Gang) persevering with with the truth that they need to smuggle stolen Chinese language artifacts outdoors of Canton, and ending with the way in which they abuse the employees of the metal manufacturing unit. This side additionally permits Wong Fei-hung to be a hero reasonably than a defective younger man, and in addition provides a lot depth to the narrative. 

On the identical time, nonetheless, the film is unquestionably a martial arts one, and the motion scenes listed below are really magnificent. Those the place the employees are preventing the Axe gang is probably the most visually spectacular, with DPs Tony Cheung, Cheung Yi-Tsou, Huang Wen-Yun and Jingle Ma taking full benefit of the manufacturing unit setting to current a very brutal struggle, because the constructing appears to get demolished together with the employees. The varied fights Fei-hung takes place in are additionally fairly good, however the one which undoubtedly steals the present is the ultimate one, between Jackie Chan and his real-life bodyguard Ken Lo, who displays among the best kicking strikes ever to look in an motion movie. Chan does his factor, even falling on burning coal for a very horrific scene, and the entire thing is sufficient to justify the entire film, even when the wires used are considerably extreme. The motion choreography by Lau Kar-leung and the Jackie Chan Stunt Crew netted awards from each Hong Kong and Golden Horse Awards, which have been completely deserved. Peter Cheung, who additionally obtained an award for his enhancing, helps probably the most in these scenes along with his cuts, whereas using gradual movement in probably the most intricate strikes, highlights the extent of problem right here. The tempo is considerably slower than the same old, frantic certainly one of HK motion, however picks up considerably after the center half. 

“Drunken Grasp 2” is a very nice movie, top-of-the-line in Jackie Chan’s humongous filmography, and a film that really transcends the style as a consequence of its context, with out neglecting, in fact, the motion half. 

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