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Once Upon a Time in China III
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Genre:Art/Foreign
Year:1993
Rating:R
Length:1 Hour 52 Minutes
Cast:Tsui Hark, Rosamund Kwan, Jet Li

Martial-arts superstar Jet Li once again assumes the role of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hung in this richly satisfying sequel, the third installment of the wildly successful, Hong Kong-produced series. Still crusading for the preservation of Chinese tradition in the face of changing times and foreign intervention, Wong is intent on foiling the schemes of an ambitious Russian diplomat (played by John Wakefield). With his beautiful but troublesome Aunt Yee (Rosamund Kwan) in tow, Fei-Hung arrives in Peking to compete in the prestigious Lion's Dance martial-arts tournament, hoping to restore his diminished family honor by defeating the vicious "Clubfoot" (Xiong Xinxin), who brutally assaulted his father. As always, the direction of Tsui Hark (Peking Opera Blues) is calibrated to keep viewers on the edge of their seats during the elaborately choreographed action set-pieces, but in this entry he also pays more than usual attention to the nationalistic theme that runs throughout the series. Li plays Fei-Hung with his customary mix of innocence and determination, and his quest to rehabilitate the family honor lends added intensity to the characterization. Sporting what are perhaps the best fight sequences in the whole trilogy, China 3 will provide rousing entertainment even for those unfamiliar with Chinese history or culture. This new DVD offers an English-dubbed version of the film along with the Chinese-language, subtitled edition; it also includes talent files and bonus trailers. Ed Hulse

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