Monday, August 17, 2009

Legend Of Fong Sai Yuk, The - 3/5

As a person that has grown up with America's image of Jet Li (I don't agree that he has to be paired with rapper's every other film - but alas that's how I know him) going back to his early films from China is a bit of a stretch for me. Particularly "The Legend Of Fong Sai Yuk", as this film has a bit of that comedic side that I don't necessarily pick up on.

The film is about a young man who falls in love with a the daughter of a wealthy government official type (off hand I can't remember exactly what) and finds out that his family is involved with a secret society that is out to start up some shit. Being of course the lead role of Fong Sai Yuk, Jet Li is again a man that can constantly kick ass and is rarely challenged in his awesomeness.

I'll give it to this film though, it has some very interesting and well put together fight choreography. There are a few battles that just simply astound. The fight in the courtyard on the heads of the crowd. The fight with the governor on the little bridges over the water. The final fight where part of it takes place under a wooden stage. There is a lot of pretty stellar martial arts going on in this movie and its by far the reason to watch it.

My largest complaint is the odd humor of the film. I have never in my life wanted to see Jet Li in drag and after seeing this film I never want to see it again nor claim that I ever did. But I'm sure some of you out there will find the 'comedy of errors' style humor in this film funny, but it just made me want to see a slightly more serious film. There are a few special effects moments that were laugh out loud funny (although this time unintentionally). Watching an obviously fake and poorly built horse fly from a dock to a ship in the beginning was one moment that I can never erase from my brain but I almost had to stop the film I was laughing so hard. This is just one moment of many where some of the special effects are little dated.

This film was all right when it comes to martial arts films/Jet Li's catalog, but too many odd moments in the film ruin what seriousness of story and action it had going for it. It's worth a watch just for the fight scenes honestly and that's what I recommend. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider 

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