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The Legend of Drunken Master (Jui kuen II) - Blu-ray DVD / action adventure DVD / comedy DVD / international and foreign language DVD review
(Jui kuen II))
Rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Jackie Chan, Lung Ti, Anita Mui, Felix Wong, Chia-Liang Liu, Ho-Sung Pak, Ken Lo
Director: Chia-Liang Liu Studio: Dimension
DVD release: 15 September 2009 Runtime: 99 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ratio 2.35:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - French; Dolby 2.0 Stereo - Spanish), Subtitles (English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish), Behind the Master: An Interview with Jackie Chan

In The Legend of Drunken Master, Jackie Chan plays Fei-Hung, the son of a martial arts master and respected herbologist (I'm not actually sure what to call him, but he gives customers the proper herbs to help with their circulation, gout, and what have you). On the way back home from a shopping expedition, Fei-Hung's package of ginseng gets switched with another man's jade bottle. That's the MacGuffin, the thin frame on which this film hangs all of its excellent martial arts action.

The man whose jade bottle Fei-Hung has taken is General Fu Wen-Chi (Chia-Liang Liu). His goal: to stop foreigners from selling China's prized historical artifacts. After a few misunderstandings, Fei-Hung is on board to help.

Fei-Hung's specialty is drunken boxing - a style of kung fu in which the practitioner imitates a drunken animal. His body becomes relaxed and loose, the strikes and blocks seem stumbling and clumsy. In the hands of Jackie Chan, it's amazing and amusing, a treat to watch. Naturally Fei-Hung's skills improve exponentially when he's actually drunk. This makes for some fun when Fei-Hung is trying to drink while being attacked. His stepmother, played by Anita Mui in an inspired casting choice, excels at goading him into fighting and providing alcohol.

While this might not be Chan's best film, watching the choreography is always worth it. The Blu-ray transfer is beautiful and makes for gorgeous freeze-frames and slow-motion replays - perfect for anyone who might want to see if they can imitate Chan's moves (though I wouldn't suggest the ones involving burning coals or red-hot iron rods).

The Legend of Drunken MasterHero is also newly available in The Ultimate Force of Four box set with three other contemporary martial arts on Blu-ray: Hero, Zatoichi, and Iron Monkey.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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