Hidden Flick: Intoxicadio – The Legend of Drunken Master

Sitting quietly, observing, seeking what may have been in the shadows, looking at the distant light with fresh eyes, burning brightly in some faraway future, a vision never quite dying out because it will also offer something new to those that listen to its poignant echo.

Well, that’s all sweet and dandy, but it’s the tail end of the holiday season and we are here to have fun. And in our current Undead Season, the season which follows the demise of the little thing we do around here exposing some primo buried cinematic loot, FUN is the key word right about now as we feast upon just about anything in sight. Dig in, mates.

Indeed. The perennial holiday classics are hitting us from all sides, and one would be remiss NOT to get in on all of the fun (that word again) without jotting a few choice words about yet another bonafide holiday bit of joy that is always played around the house this time of year.

Ahhh…yes, we wheel out that classic which transcends all religions, creeds, cultures, and keepers of public taste, as we take a look at a mid-period Jackie Chan gem, in this wee big ole lump of Merry Chan Master FUN called The Legend of Drunken Master.

Directed by Lau Kar-Leung and Jackie Chan, DM II was a sequel to the early groundbreaking Drunken Master made in 1978 when Chan was a rising star in Asia, but yet to be known in the western world. Drunken Master II was released in 1994, and subsequently released in the west in 2000 with a rather poorly dubbed English version that sidesteps the question of whether or not dialogue is even necessary in a huge bad ass of a martial arts film.

And as bad ass goes, The Legend of Drunken Master is near the top of the heap for its intoxicating (sorry, just had to throw that in) scenes of brilliant martial arts, incredible acrobatics, and high speed stunts that appear to defy not only gravity but sense, as well. Chan has never been one to sidestep a stunt, no matter how preposterous or dangerous, and he is certainly in fine form throughout this hidden treasure, as are his foes and cast members in the fine art of Le Martial.

The film has a side message of family commitment and government corruption, which is nice, especially around the holiday season, but its warmth is merely a footnote to the indescribably awesome action sequences. Do yourself a favor, in between the gigs, the food, the drink, the friends, the family, the onslaught of lounging around this time of year, and catch this Drunken Master. And, yeah, don’t forget to honor the family by kicking some serious ass if need be, too.

- Randy Ray

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