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Tag Archives: Bamboo

Kung Fu Jungle, Kung Fu Killer, Last of the Best, 一個人的武林, Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Charlie Young, Michelle Bai, Alex Fong, Louis Fan, Xing Yu, David Chiang, Deep Ng

Kung Fu Killer (AKA Kung Fu Jungle, 一個人的武林, Yī Gè Rén De Wǔ Lín): a ‘Maritial Arts Maniac’ is making his mark by fighting – and killing – the best of the best in each of the traditional fighting disciplines. Donnie Yen fronts this movie, which is absolutely crammed with HK & Chinese action legends in supporting roles and bit parts – from this aspect it almost feels like a love-letter to the industry that has served up some of the most influential and heart-pounding action movies of the past few decades. Despite this, and including fights centered around boxing, kicking, grappling, swordfighting etc the film struggles to deliver. The the action scenes are a 50-50 mix of good old-fashioned kung fu and the worst of modern fights (shaky cam, quick cuts, too much wire work, lazy CGI) – leaving a lot of the action as sketchy and hard to follow. There’s also a lot of ropey and wholly unnecessary CGI of inane things like hanging washing, traffic and bamboo sticks – all of which should have been done in-camera given the budget of the movie. The choice of villain being a physically disabled person with an axe to grind also felt like a misstep. Despite the stellar cast, and grand ambitions this movie falls down through a distinct lack of originality – it feels like you’ve seen the story, fights, and characters do all of this before. I used to expect a lot more from Donnie Yen, but these days, he appears to be more interested in quantity over quality.

Score: 5.5/10

The Legend of Drunken Master: [Region 1 Import] Apparently this was deliberately dubbed in retro ‘Engrish’, lucky for everyone there’s not much dialogue. It’s also unfathomably camp, and terribly unfunny but what this one makes in is the action, and this is action like you’ve never seen before. Every fight and chase scene is mind-blowingly fast and intricate, yet universally enjoyable. The martial arts, especially drunken boxing, are great fun to watch and the physical prowess of a young(ish) Jackie Chan really has to be seen to be believed. It would be forgivable to think he was superhuman but there is absolutely no CGI involved – even when he’s scrambling over the hot coals! In particular the fight with hundreds of hatchet men at the tea house is suspiciously similar to, but infinitely better than, the computer-heavy Agent Smith fight in the Matrix reloaded: mostly because of the bravest, or dumbest, stunt guys in the world. Health and safety officers would have had a field day on that set! The story goes a bit pear-shaped around the middle, but on the whole is one of the best old-school action films available. Jackie Chan’s finest hour?

7.5/10