October 23, 2000 (USA)- This week marks the 20th Anniversary of the US release of Jackie Chan’s The Legend of Drunken Master. Released in China in 1994 as Drunken Master II, the film hit US theaters as a non-sequel in 2000. The original was released in 1978; however, the films stand independently for viewing purposes.
This film’s plot, centering around stolen Chinese Antiquities by the British, is a vehicle for showcasing Chan’s epic style of martial arts fight choreography.
The film was hailed by the late film critic, Roger Ebert, as a benchmark work and epic film making. It has been listed as one of the 100 all-time best films, one of Chan’s best, and one of the top 10 martial arts film ever made.
The film’s climactic “factory fight” against Taekwondo trained, Ken Lo, is a true feast for the eyes. This 20 minute jaw dropping fight scene was clearly shot without stunt doubles. The fight choreography is still unequaled, 20 years later.
Legend of Drunken Master is available on DVD and streaming services.
-by Marc Zirogiannis