Drop Down Menu

Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Review Drunken Master II a.k.a. Jui kuen II (1994): The original, uncut Hong Kong version beats every other version out there!

genre: martial arts, comedy, drama

When I was living in Utrecht (The Netherlands) I happened to stumble upon a video rental shop (VHS) called Godzilla specialized in art house, Asian and cult films. For me this was paradise. They had quite a lot of titles I myself had trouble getting my hands on. It's here when I discovered the sequel to  Yuen Woo-ping's Drunken Master. I was almost floored because I couldn't believe there was a sequel to this phenomenal classic. 

And honestly I was completely enthralled from start to finish. In my opinion it was even superior to the original. In many ways it is. However I don't think it's really fair to compare the two since they are different in tone. While Drunken Master II can't escape Jackie Chan committing all kinds of mischief for better and worse the film is far more serious than the original. A lot of things are happening in the background where Wong Fei-hung is a little ignorant of until he is forced to come into action. Fei-hung might be a little scoundrel, he is a hero through and through. Several times in the film he encounters several people which naturally ends up in combat. Now let me tell you that martial arts wise this is easily among the best Jackie Chan has ever done. There are so many different styles used in the film it will make your head spin. Unlike in the original and similar old school Kung fu films not all of these styles are named or called out. What I liked the most about this film is that not only are there many fight scenes in this film. They also last a while. Nothing worse than a fight that is over before you can get into it. Each fight scene has a good buildup and equally good conclusion and usually these fights are connected to the main story in a big way. As the film goes on the fights become more serious and harder resulting in a climax you have to see to believe. It's epic!

Another good element of this film is the fact that there is a good combo of comedy, drama and action. Maybe at times the drama is a little forced but honestly it makes sense since these are the moments where Wong Fei-hung realizes that he needs to take responsibility for his actions since they can have real nasty consequences. I mean one of them is deliberately giving a customer a poisonous root instead of the ginger herb that was ordered. There is a very good reason why he did this. But does point out the fact that both Wong Fei-hung and Ling (Wong's stepmother played by Anita Mui) are pretty immature. Naturally this is done for comic relief. The chemistry between Anita Mui and Jackie Chan is amazing. Mui as the stepmom also is a little mischievous. The way she manages to get Wong into trouble is hilarious. Honestly I can't imagine this film without her.

I do have to add that I watched the original, uncut Hong Kong version. This was the one I watched the first time. The way it is supposed to be. Avoid the English dubbed version. Not only does that version cut away important scenes it messes up many of the action scenes. Another thing is that quality of the Blu-Ray is a tad disappointing. I mean it's good but it's nothing like the 4K Ultra-HD Remastered version of Police Story III. Perhaps it's not fair to compare this to that however it's a real good example of what can be achieved when a remaster is done right. But I do hope they are going to give this film the same treatment as it deserves that wholeheartedly.

Overall this is classic film that needs to be watched by everyone. Even if you don't like martial arts films. Certainly one of the best Jackie Chan has made in his life!

Also check:

No comments:




Join us for free and get valuable content delivered right through your inbox.


Reviews Netflix Originals


Popular Posts