So this movie picks up after the original Drunken Master, with Fei Hung (Jackie Chan) travelling with his father. Before they board the train, Jackie hides a box of Ginseng in order to avoid paying a tax. Then later, during the trip, goes off to retrieve it but runs into an older man who’s taking a similar looking item. During a bit of back and forth (and some very well done fighting under a train – yes the train had stopped) the two accidentally switch boxes.
Fei Hung is then left with a Jade Seal, that some men (that’s the bad guys!) are after. Of course from there Fei Hung gets into some humorous situations and fights as he tries to keep himself out of trouble and also fight the British Consul (same bad guys), who are trying to smuggle Chinese Antiques out of the country illegally.
The Comedy is still alive
They definitely made an effort to have this movie filled with humor, but it’s not as well done as the first. Some of the jokes are little over done and although they are still funny, they lack a certain natural feel to them. Jackie Chan’s performance and antics are still quite funny, as usual he find himself getting quite drunk in order to completely utilise his drunken boxing style, but more of his drunken stuper is shown in this movie.
There are scenes where Fei Hung is totally trashed, after a fight, and this seems to be a little much, and over exaggerates the point a bit.
Having said all that, the movie is good for the odd laugh or two!
Things are a bit more Serious
This movie definitely has a more serious tone than the first, especially towards the end as Jackie’s character seems to mature into more of an upstanding hero as opposed to a slapstick comic character.
He constantly has to deal with his father’s lack of approval (grumpy old prick), and his views on Drunken Boxing, stating that a lot of drunken boxers become alcoholics. Whenever Fei Hung drinks, he cops more than the full brunt of punishment from his father (a little overbearing), and you really start to feel sorry for him (personally I was hoping he’d whack him one!).
When the British Consul fires a bunch of employees, Fei Hung does his best to help out, and this leads to a dramatic end fight sequence that displays a very righteous and mature Fei Hung, in a very serious battle.
The Martial Arts make this movie
While I would say this movie’s plot, acting and comedy don’t measure up to the original (in my own opinion) the fight scenes are spectacular!
Even just at the beginning of the film, the fights are fast and show a lot of variety in the movement between Jackie Chan and his opponent. But the pace really picks up later in the more serious part of the film as he fights in the restaurant and especially at the end of the movie.
I find it interesting that after Fei Hung vowed never to drink again, he still fought, but was quite successful against his opponents sober. Of course when the going gets too tough at the end of the movie, he indulges in a little wine again and fights off his enemies.
There is a big difference in style from the beginning to the end however. At the beginning of the film Fei Hung is told the Drunken Boxing has no power, which could be taken as almost meaningless throughout he rest of the film. But during the film fight scene, his drunken boxing gets a lot more aggressive, with more powerful stances and less sway to his posture. He moves forward aggressively, and seems to deliver each strike with far more force than before. This makes the end fight sequence very aggressive in comparison to Fei Hung’s former fights (both in this movie and the one before it), and gives a harder edge to the martial arts of this film.
This movie definitely has some of Jackie Chan’s finest martial arts performances, mixed with the unique style of Drunken Boxing, is a must see for any Kung Fu fan!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Legend of Drunken Master on DVD
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Can’t find it!
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
and again! sorry 🙁