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Drunken Master
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Length:1 Hour 51 Minutes
Country:Hong Kong
Cast:Jackie Chan and Simon Yuen
Credits:Directed by Yuen Woo-Ping.

International superstar and kung fu clown Jackie Chan is a soaring, slurring sensation in Drunken Master -- the 1978 landmark that has spurred multiple sequels and imitators. Using the tried-and-true kung fu framework of focusing on one fighting style, the slim story follows Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hong (Chan) as he is sent by his father to learn a little discipline while studying "drunken boxing." But conventional chop-socky ends there. Needless to say, to truly master drunken boxing, one must be truly tipsy, and with a teacher like the red-faced Drunken Master (Peking opera legend Simon Yuen), Chan's character learns the hard way: Portraying Wong more or less as a scrappy brat, Chan gets into plenty of mischief, which leads to a succession of fight sequences that recall Buster Keaton's uncanny comedic choreography. By the time of the lush 1994 sequel, billed in the U.S. as Legend of Drunken Master, this brand of kung fu comedy had already become Chan's calling card. The thoroughly entertaining approach is also thanks in part to director Yuen Woo-Ping (the fight choreographer of The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). It is one of his earliest films, yet he already displays the genius that would make him one of the most sought after martial arts movie magicians in the world. Tony Nigro

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