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Great, fun martial arts flick. Very tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted. Excellent chemistry and performances from all the main actors.Jet Li plays a serious, heroic character like something out of a comic book - this is one of the earliest movies I've seen using this comic-book technique. His son is simply amazing and funny as a very disciplined young martial artist. On their journey they come across a couple of con-artists (mother and daughter) with the most hilarious results. A hero's quest with a range of other fantastic characters thrown in make for a great comic, action-adventure story.Also great for all the family. It explores themes of loyalty and traditional Chinese father-son, mother-daughter, peer, and romantic relationships in a silly but highly enjoyable manner.Make sure you see the full, subtitled version though. Not the cut-down version or the poor dubbed version.
I watched the dvd dubbed version of the movie. It was 80 minutes of fun and entertainment. I'm a big Jet Li fan and have seen many of his films and I must say this is on the top 5 list he is in. The casts were a great mix. The movie kept a fast action, high octane flow from the beginning to the end. I was either excited by the awesome action scenes, laughing out loud on the humorous scenes, or just enjoying the beautiful sceneries. The music to the movie was awesome too. It was shear enjoyment. I'll definitely watch it again and again in the future. Jet Li played a martial art master skilled in the magic spear and in this movie you get to see his skill with spears and the amazing things he can do with it from the opening action scene.It's short enough to be watched on some idle evening but believe me you are in for a treat...especially if you are into martial art and period movies. A happy fan.
An entertaining Jet Li period vehicle, which Li co-produced. Li plays a Chinese folk hero, a rebel who battled a violent, repressive Manchu government. Li teams with 10 year old martial arts prodigy, Xie Miao, who effectively portrays Li's kung-fu fighting son. The duo have some similarities to the "Lone Wolf and Cub" team in numerous, more atmospheric, very gory Japanese movies of the 1970's. Li and son are joined by a sly mother/daughter con artist team to protect 5 young boys who each have a segment of a rebel map tattooed on their back.Fine photography and inventive action sequences, especially the opener, and one with a clever Trojan horse variant. Li's fight scenes are wondrous, as usual, but his part seems too stiffly written for a fluffy, child-oriented action film with much comic relief. Deannie Yip and sensual Chingmy Yau are energetic and funny as the kung-fu mother/daughter scammers.The English dubbed version, made in 2000, has excellent, witty dialogue and appropriate voices. Prolific Hong Kong writer/director Wong Jing cameos in the closing scene.
Definitely a movie worthy of watching. I have a complete set of all Jet Li's movies (Chinese and American made) and feel that it deserves a higher rating than others have given it. Reviewers must realize that kung fu movies are fun movies with lots of action and a weak plot. You can't compare them to Hollywood's finest productions, because people have to realize that they were meant to be released in Asia only and that they are to be compared to other Asian fighting shows. Now that I've finished ranting about other's reviews let's get back to talking about the show. Jet Li plays a different character than the usual Master Wong or Master Fong. Jet usually plays the master of the kung fu club or society, but in this case him and his son are rebel outcasts of the main society. I'm not going to spoil the movie for you, but it's the usual plot of a kung fu movie - he fights the true bad guys, picks up a sexy girl who falls in love with Jet, and he fathers and trains his son. By the way, I only watch the Chinese original movies because I'd rather read the sub titles and hear the original music and read the proper meaning of the show. I understand that influences my reviews because others may be seeing badly translated dubs with stupid voices in them.Rent or buy the proper versions if you can. The theme song for Fong Sai Yuk (Jet's character in the 'Once Upon a Time in China' series is an awesome instrumental song) If you're picky about production quality, quality of plot, etc. etc. then don't watch Chinese produced Jet Li movies. Some of my other favourite Jet Li movies are 'Last Hero in China' and 'Hitman'
This movie is crazy, and i mean it!! The Martial Arts in this movie is awesome. It was a shame that Jet Li used his Spear in the whole movie, but he did a great job any way. I especially liked Tze Miu as Man-ting, his Martial Arts skills is incredible. The story is about Hung Hey-kwun and his son, who is escaping from an invincible evil Manchu(Nice Martial Arts). I give this movie 10/10
This movie doesn't take itself seriously, but it's one of my favorites of all time. Amazing action sequences with fighters that do not observe the laws of physics, and a plot that gets stranger and stranger.
I'm sure that in it's original Cantonese version this was a fairly serious and good quality film. The absolutely cheesy overdubbing has turned this movie into a real B movie gem....silliness at it's best. I haven't been this entertained since the old Japanese Rain Delay Theater was cancelled! Any rainy afternoon you can pop this in and have an entertaining day just for the fun of it! The young actors involved in this film are talents and the adult martial arts can be enjoyed on an grown up level...they can't be spoiled by the artlessness of the dubbing!
Not very clever, not very elaborate, and far from original. Yup, it's another Wong Jing movie. The opening scene is stolen directly from Kazou Koike's Lone Wolf and Cub, that's our first clue. As Wong Jing movies go, this really isn't one of the best. It doesn't match the violence and frantic pace of High Risk (Meltdown) or the exploitation fun of The Naked Killer. Yuen Kwai's choreography here isn't up to the standards of his work on My Father is a Hero (The Protector), but it isn't as bad as Romeo Must Die or Fong Sai Yuk (The Legend). If you just want to see another kung fu movie, and you don't care about the specifics, you should be able to enjoy it. Just don't expect too much.
The American re-release of this film, "Legend of the Red Dragon", is a mess. Shows how important seven minutes can be to a film. Deannie Yip's part (Red Bean's mother) is ripped to shreds for no discernible reason whatsoever, which unfortunately makes an important plot twist seem trivial. Also, she has the best comic moments in the original film. Columbia-Tristar is the villain here. They must think 'Fu film fans are stupid - which only goes to show how stupid THEY are. A real insult.The original film is by no means a great film; intentionally anachronistic and overly dependent on special effects, it is clearly a kind of throwaway for Jet Li and director Wong Jing (although certainly not as trashy as their Wong Fei Hung parody, "Great Hero/ Last Hero of China"). Still, it is entertaining to a surprising extent, largely thanks to Yip's comic performance. If you can find the original (I saw it on a Tai Seng tape), don't expect much, but you may find yourself enjoying it for the characters if not the martial arts.