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- Drunken Master
- 111 min.
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The original 1978 Drunken Master put Jackie Chan on the map just as he was about to be black-balled, and in so doing, it revolutionized kung fu cinema. After this point, kung fu comedy was just about the only way to make a successful kung fu film for many years. I thought the movie would look cheaper (as often happened in non-Shaw Brothers films of the 70s, even if they looked more modern in contrast), but I've actually got no complaints. The movie is funny (some of the broad Cantonese comedy, including the cartoony make-up, may not fly with everyone, I admit), the action is spectacular, and flipping the legend of Wong Fei-Hung on its head like this still works (or for Western audiences, perhaps works better NOW that we've seen Jet Li's Once Upon a Time in China series). That said, the DVD has a strange technical flaw: Some of the Cantonese audio is missing and has been replaced, in spots, with the English dub. And wow is it awful. It's actually interesting to compare the poetic Chinese track's translation in the subtitles, and the macho nonsense of the dub (with just as horrible "dubtitles").
Somewhat fun, but also rather silly.
For sure one of my favorite Martial Arts movies :) Great fun!
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #16 in Action! The Action Movie A-Z
This movie ranks #34 in The Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures
This movie ranks #37 in 100 Classic Martial Arts Films
This movie ranks #57 in LoveHKFilm.com's The Best Hong Kong Films Ever
This movie ranks #71 in Golden Horse's 100 Greatest Chinese-Language Films
This movie ranks #92 in The Deuce Top 20
This movie ranks #274 in Masters Of Cinema
This movie ranks #374 in Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #472 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die