Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
Jet Li, Biao Yuen, Rosamund Kwan
Set in 19th century Canton, locals are battling to come to terms with the influence of the west. Martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (played by Jet Li) and his martial arts school are involved with battles with foreign forces.
Fei-Hung's Aunt Yee comes back from England westernised, and her thoughts about western culture are brought into question.
Martial Arts Styles Used
Chinese Spear, Chinese Broadsword, Umbrella (yes, seriously!), Guns (various)
Filmed in 1991 and with Hong King anxious about their reunification with China looming (which happened in 1997), Tsui created a film which echoed those fears, looking back at when the English first controlled Hong Kong. The result is a great film, which is rich with content, politics, cultural differences and impressive martial arts sequences.
From the moment you see the opening sequence with the cheesy Chinese music and Jet Li plus his disciples practising Kung Fu on the beach, you know you are watching a proper Kung Fu film.
And in this film Jet Li does not disappoint. His fights scenes are to their usual high standard and his portrayal of Wong Fei-Hung is very well executed.
An excellent film that tackles the cultural clash between the English and Chinese, whilst delivering a wonderful Kung Fu masterclass.
Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team