. There is some wire work, but it mostly compliments the abilities of the two stars. The first film is my personal favourite of the series, but there is very little in it, and this sequel has one massive bonus — Jet Li versus Donnie Yen! We are writers, martial arts practitioners and film-makers consumed by a passion for everything connected to the martial arts, and we love sharing it! Mok replaced Yuen Biao who declined the role after the first movie. Even today, the fundamentalism and xenophobia generated by the White Lotus Sect are relevant to current world affairs. Two of the best in the business going at it on equal terms, performing exquisite wushu techniques and postures. Most of his close-ups are only shot from one side. Action The opening scene introduces the White Lotus Sect with their strange, spirit-summoning rituals.
The superstitious setting of the scene, that the more powerful warrior has the highest altar, demands that a lot of wire work is necessary. He has been portrayed in over 100 films and television productions, most famously by Kwan Tak-hing. If you took a sepia coloured still from the film it would look like a genuine Qing dynasty photograph. Stuck in the confines of a warehouse full of bamboo scaffolding, they still manage to duel with long bamboo poles. Tsui Hark pulls off a masterstroke here in continuing on from what he had so successfully established in the first film and upping the stakes for the character of Wong Fei-hung in the casting of his opponents.
When anti-foreigner demonstrators attack 13 th Aunt and Leung Foon, Wong Fei-hung comes flying over the crowds and bursts into action. Just like Jet Li, Hung was a multiple time wushu champion. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Wetting a long cloth, Donnie winds it tight and unleashes it as a powerful cudgel. At the seminar Wong meets Sun Yat-sen and learns that Sun and his friend, Lu Haodong, are part of an underground movement seeking to overthrow the Qing dynasty and establish a republic in China. They are properly made, artistic films that can be enjoyed whether there was martial arts present or not. The local Military Officer Commander Lan and his soldiers try to capture Lu, who knows the whereabouts of a secret book containing the names of the revolutionaries.
The extended fight sequence against the White Lotus Sect gives Jet multiple opponents to take out. The core themes about living in turbulent times, coming to terms with the past, an uncertain future and the identity of the Chinese people, were very resonant in pre-1997 Hong Kong. Wong Fei-hung was a real-life martial arts master who taught the Hung Gar style of kung fu, which he learned from his father, Wong Kei-ying, also a popular master. Their speed and coordination is breathtaking, again caught in beautifully shot long takes. Plot In 1895, accompanied by his 13th Aunt and apprentice Leung Foon, Wong Fei-hung travels to attend a medical seminar in Guangzhou.
It also establishes in the story that Wong Fei-hung may have met his match. Hung Yan-yan has some impressive skills of his own and is incredibly agile. His lightning-quick kicking combinations take out multiple foes, all expressed in long takes and wide shots. Already familiar with working with fight choreographer Yuen Woo-ping, Donnie was ideal for director Tsui Hark to put opposite Jet Li to meet, and perhaps exceed, the action standard set by the previous film. In this film, Jet Li not only has an opponent of equal ability in Donnie Yen, but also gets to face off with his own stunt double, Hung Yan-yan. This sequel is just as well filmed, with authentic looking sets, costumes and props, although it is a little darker literally and thematically.
Chan also sang the Mandarin version. It is used in context however, and the physical skills required by the actors and stuntmen are no less impressive for it. The first two films in this series are absolute must-sees. Using it to strike the dusty floor and bamboo poles that surround him, there is little doubt that he makes a formidable and deadly foe. When the British Consul is attacked, Jet Li fights and somersaults on a staircase, before again performing his impressive kicking combinations. The final showdown is of course between Jet Li and Donnie Yen. Even so, the scene remains one of the all-time-great onscreen match ups.
When he is introduced to Wong Fei-hung, he initiates a duel with bamboo cudgels, this is what the fans want to see! As the action opens out, Donnie uses rope dart and whip chain applications with a tightly wound wet cloth to deadly effect. Jet Li is no slouch though and counters with his dexterous agility and skills with a bamboo pole. The situation there is chaotic, with protests in the streets against the signing of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, and the xenophobic White Lotus Sect attacking Westerners and destroying everything regarded as alien to Chinese culture. The noble martial arts master Wong Fei-hung faces his greatest challenge, to defeat the equally skilled Commander Lan and Priest Gao Kung, or many innocent lives will be lost. .
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