As I've mentioned previously, growing up my heroes were Rocky Balboa, Conan The Barbarian, and James Bond. Later on in life my father, who has shaped not only who I am as a person, but also my theatrical tastes, introduced me to an actor who instantly ascended into my pantheon of heroes. That actor would be none other than Jackie Chan. Tonight’s film is Jackie's first real success as a leading man and one of my personal favorites of his gigantic career. So without further delay let’s dive right in!
Well, at first glance this seems like the normal 70s kung-fu flick with weirdly named styles and bad sound effects. Then we meet the main character, Wong Fei-Hung. Fei-Hung is learning kung-fu in his father’s school, but is getting bored with all the classes. He ends up getting himself into deep trouble in record time, so his father sends for famous kung-fu master Su Hua-Chi to teach his wayward son a lesson. Fei-Hung learns of this plot and decides to run off on his own. He gets into a scuffle at a local restaurant and is helped out by a very limber "old man". After they escape it turns out that the "old man" is the kung-fu master that his father sent for! After a small fight with Hua-Chi, Fei-Hung agrees to go with him and learn the ways of "Drunken Boxing".
This movie is the one that shot Jackie Chan to stardom in his home country of China and really shows off his flair for humor. His particular brand of "Prop kung-fu", where he takes ordinary objects and uses them to inflict copious amounts of pain in various ways, is showcased to great effect. Jackie's charm really shines through, and Siu Tien Yuen is hilarious as the wily old master. If you are in the mood for some classic kung-fu goodness, look no further than the martial arts comedy masterpiece that is Drunken Master.
Fun Facts from IMDB for Drunken Master:
For many of the more athletic sequences, the 66-year-old Siu Tien Yuen was doubled by his sons, Cheung-Yan Yuen and director Woo-ping Yuen.
Jackie Chan nearly lost an eye when Hwang Jig Lee kicked him in the head during the final fight scene.