While the quality of Jackie Chan films have gone up recently, with Hollywood-size budgets and scripts (Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon), the action has gone down. The Legend of Drunken Master reminds us of what Jackie Chan used to be like.
Released in the United States in 2000, but originally in 1994, The Legend of Drunken Master has the typical features of a Chan film. There is a lot of cheesy humor (usually too cheesy), bad acting, and bad dubbing. The story is pretty much worthless and is bad enough to be complicated. But it also has action.
Despite all the downfalls that plague just about every Jackie Chan movie (which would destroy most Hollywood pictures), The Legend of Drunken Master has some awesome fighting scenes, especially towards the end. Throughout the 95-minute movie (which still seems too long), the movie flashes in between some intense action and boring "comical" scenes, but the ending is pretty much 20 minutes worth of action. That's right, 20 straight minutes of action.
As mentioned already, the earlier part of the movie fluctuates. When the action starts, the entertainment starts. When it stops, the entertainment stops. I was incredibly bored during the scenes where there was no action. The movie tries to be funny, but because of the dubbing or the script or the acting, it really isn't that funny. The funny stuff comes when Jackie does something cool in or stupid in a fight scene, not in the dialogue.
The Legend of Drunken Master is a black and white film. It has all of the elements to make a movie bad, yet it has enough intense action to offset that and make it definitely worth your time. If you like kung fu movies this is a must see.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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