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The Legend of Drunken Master – Review May 15, 2009

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.

There comes a time in every persons life when they have an epiphany so mind-blowing, it forever alters her life, causing them to grow up far quicker than he or she expected too. My time came when I was a little boy, with the realization that Bruce Lee isn’t the greatest martial artist on screen the movie world has ever seen. No, in my opinion the infamous Drunken Master was the most exciting and best overall martial arts movie I have ever seen. To this day, it is still unmatched. It is my favorite Jackie Chan movie, it is my favorite martial arts movie, period. Period.

Jackie plays Wong Fei-Hung, a youth whose father teaches kung fu at the family’s school. Based on a real person, Fei-Hung is a master of “drunken boxing,” a rare martial art form whose practitioners act drunk to give them an advantage in combat. Acting drunk, they say, gives you more flexibility and the element of surprise. In this film, the form seems to work even better if you actually are a little drunk — not too drunk, but just enough to make you bolder and take away some of the pain. In this almost plot-overloaded movie, Wong Fei Hung (played by Jackie Chan), is constantly clowning around instead of learning Kung Fu, his father sends him to live with and study under his uncle.


Sober, Fei-Hung is good; but to do Drunken Boxing the way it needs to be done, he has to get good and toasted, which he does on more than one occasion. And what commences are some of the outright funniest skits and amazing martial arts scenes I’ve ever seen in one movie. This film has some of the most intricate, creative, and beautiful one on one fighting choreography you will ever witness. It’s also very funny and Jackie’s at the peak of his skills and charisma here.

You’re probably wondering why I haven’t touched on the plot that much. This film is a nice little piece of “leave the story out of it” filming. From the very beginning we get to see Jackie Chan fight a local martial arts teacher, and the action and comedy doesn’t let up until the credits role. However, it should be stressed that Drunken Master is about as B-rate as it gets in films. The original Cantonese audio track is also incomplete and has been dubbed over in English. Despite the film’s over-all poor quality, Drunken Master accomplishes the one thing it set out to do: entertain. I suggest you stop reading this review, watch the AMAZING youtube clip provided, and seek out this film. It’s one of the classics.



1. Heather - May 15, 2009

My husband came home from the store one day after making a little side cash and had a bag full of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. While I enjoy them, I wasn’t prepared for his marathon, until he put in Drunken Master. This is my favorite Jackie Chan movie ever. My favorite scene is the one in the restaurant in the clip you have above. It’s amazing martial arts and hysterical throughout. I agree with you and Love LOVE this movie.

2. Yi - May 15, 2009

When I was in Taiwan over winterbreak, they played this movie every single day. It was great.
The fight scene is indeed awesome.

3. goregirl - May 18, 2009

One of my all time favorite martial arts films!
This is definitely Jackie Chan at his best!

4. tanyams - May 20, 2009

I don’t know why you think my lame blog is good, you’re is so awesome! I wish I was so talented with a computer lol
But either way, I really appreciated you’re comment!

5. tanyams - May 20, 2009

Oh and I love Japan! Everything about it! hehe especially the movies and anime and everything!

6. ironanno - August 24, 2009

Is this film badass or what? I haven’t had a ride that compares to watching this movie in a while. Everytime Jackie takes up the pose for drunken boxing he gets a smile and a laugh out of me. I watched this with my eyes wide out of amazement at how funny martial arts can be.

While that last fight is very good I thought the funniest is the one at the marketplace with the four goons, where Jackie clowns the most. Truly a classic. I felt the plot served its purpose without getting in the way. I have to say that the youtube flick was a lot more fun to watch knowing the context of what is going on.

7. Noman Ali - September 9, 2009

Awesome movie, although, in my experience picking a fight when inebriated is the stupidest thing I’ve done. But JC rules.

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