Saturday, July 28, 2007

Jet Li's Fearless

I'll admit to being a sucker for a well choreographed fight sequence,
and I really think that Jet Li is the closest to Bruce Lee that we've
gotten in the the last 30 or so years. But that said, I can't say that
I've been particularly happy with Li's choice of movies here in the US.
I discovered him as the villian in Leathal Weapon 4, and was thrilled
when I finally found a DVD starring him called Black Mask. While Black
Mask is nothing to write home about storywise, but since the disk allows
you to watch the fight sequences only, and skip the story, I have to say
I enjoy it.

Since then, Li has done several American films, but none that I would
brag about watching. Lately, I've been seeing TV ads for what look like
historical films starring Li. One of those is "Fearless."

Fearless is the story of Huo Yuanjia, a chinese folk hero from just
after the turn of the century, a time when China was being overrun by
foriegners, and the country was fractured into many pieces, its people
confused by it all as they had always been told that China could never
be defeated. In the film, the young Huo is too sickly to study Wushu, a
form of chinese martial arts, under his father. But he hides, watches,
and learns, and then practices intensly when he should be studying. The
young Huo is full of anger at being beat up by a bully and eventually
becomes the champion fighter in the area, but his pride is eventually
his downfall. Like so many American films, his "awakening" and "rebirth"
are the rest of the film.

I went along for the ride and enjoyed it. Except for just a little "wire
flying" most of the martial arts combat looks possible, in fact, near
the beginning of the film, he combats several of the best of the western
countries in hand to hand as well as weaponry, which is fun to watch in
their differences.

I will admit to being a bit dissapointed in finding out that parts of
the film were fabricated to createmore drama. I'm a firm believer that
if you're doing a historical piece, then it should follow history, but
alas, that's the way hollywood does things. Apparently, western
influences are tainting China once again...

Nevertheless, I'd recommend watching it. Its showing on Cinemax this

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