Jui Kuen II [Drunken Master II] [The Legend Of Drunken Master] (1994)

(In theaters, October 2000) Maybe not Jackie Chan’s overall best film (uneven pacing, some feeble comedy, unconvincing plotting) but that would be unjustly belittling the exceptional individual sequences that make up the rest of the film. At least four great battle scenes truly showcase Chan at his best and teach the rest of the filmmaking world about action scenes. Jaw-dropping, amazing stunts, fights and choreography should impress even those who don’t particularly care about this particular genre. Maybe not the best martial arts film ever, but definitely in the running.

(Second viewing, On DVD, September 2001) Comedy doesn’t translate language barriers very well and so a first view of Drunken Master II is understandably focused on the action rather than the comedy. A second viewing, though, might ease some flaws (such as the difference between Jackie Chan and Anita Mui’s ages versus those of their characters), make you appreciate some jokes a bit better and still knock you over with the action sequences. Mui’s comic performance is much better the second time around (“Help!”) and the various ginseng antics are, for some reason, much funnier. The Canadian DVD version of the film has a lot of trailers for other martial arts film (great), French and English dub (good), an interview with Jackie Chan (fine), not enough chapter stops (annoying, especially given that they bury the action sequences, which is why you want to have chapter stops) and no original Chinese soundtrack (Atrocious! Eek!)

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