Jet Li's Fearless
Movie Stats & Links
||Jet Li, Nakamura
Shidou, Sun Li
||The fighting is
pretty intense, so keep it to your teens and older.
||Only if she's a
martial arts fan.
||Lots of fighting
but little blood.
||The fight scene
with the boxer O'Brien.
||William Kong, Jet
Li, Ronny Yu, Yang Buting
Going to see "Jet Liís Fearless" I wasnít ready to do a
lot of reading, but then again, I forgot that this was going
to be a movie in Chinese with English subtitles. Donít
worry, though, because there isnít much dialogue for you to
trip over reading while you wait for the next fight scene.
Hereís the storyÖ
Jet Li's Fearless
A Movie Review
Jet Li plays Huo Yuanjia, who in real life is credited at
bringing back respect to China in a time when most
westerners were making fun of its culture. He did so by
challenging foreign fighters who kept bragging of their
superiority, but Huoís true legacy was in his helping
establish the Chin Woo Athletic Association which kept
martial arts alive in a time when western influence was
eroding Chinese culture. This seems to be the parts of the
movie that are true to the life of Huo, but thatís not a
great movie, is it? Fine, for "Fearless" we are introduced
to Huo as a young lad, wanting to learn the art of Wushu,
for which his father was famous, but his father not wanting
to teach him. But alas, Huo learns on his own, then gets
some training, and suddenly he is kicking ass all over his
town of Tianjin. He is treated like a rock star, likes to
drink and party a lot, but never learned the true lessons of
Wushu. When an act of revenge goes horribly wrong, Huo
realizes the monster he has become, leaves home, and finds
himself recovering and rebirthing his life in a small
farming town where Moon (Sun Li) takes Huo under her wing,
teaching Huo the lessons in life Huo seemed to have missed.
A changed man, Huo returns to his hometown to find that
the corruption of foreigners is ruining the grand traditions
he once remembered, and is disgusted at the taunting of
foreign fighters calling Huoís countrymen "chickens" and
"weak." Getting some cash from an old friend, Huo heads to
Shanghai to fight OíBrien (Nathan Jones), a boxer from
Europe who was a monster of a man, and of course Huo wins
the fight and also teaches OíBrien about honor in the ring
by saving OíBrienís life. So now Huo is a hero, he opens up
his martial arts school with the funding of his buddy, but
the foreign folks who have been working to decimate the
psyche of the Chinese people come up with a match to show
just how weak the Chinese people are. They would have Huo
fight four of the foreignerís best fighters, and only if Huo
wins could the Chinese hold their heads high. The final
fighter would be Tanaka (Nakamura Shidou), a Japanese
martial arts expert. In the days prior to the match Huo
meets with Tanaka where they trade philosophies, and in the
final match, Tanaka knows Huo was the true champion, and
shows it so, much to the dismay of the foreign folks.
Alright, thatís enough of the story. Is the movie
any good? I hate to say it but the easiest way for me
to gauge this movie is that it is only an hour and forty
five minutes long, but at times it felt like it was way over
two hours, and it wasnít because I had to read. Nope, Iím
blaming my not liking the film pretty much on the general
pacing of the story. The story is nice enough, showing a boy
growing up into a man who craves being the champion, only to
learn it isnít always worth being the champion when it
conflicts with your morals, and then ending up a true
champion in the eyes of those around him. But for too much
of the movie this just dragged on and on, I suppose
especially when he was learning the lessons of life at the
small farming village and developing his feelings for Moon.
I get it, Huo has to learn the true meaning of Wushu, it
just takes him too damn long.
The fight scenes are well done, but the other problem I
had was that you pretty much knew the outcome of each one,
that Huo would win (except for his first fight), even in the
final match with Tanaka when, honor aside, Tanaka did win.
Jet Li says that this is his last martial arts epic, and
he did an okay job, but itís not his best work. I suppose
for me this is a 2 stars out of 5 movie. I wanted to like
it, I really did, but it just took too long for many of the
scenes to develop, and I even enjoyed reading the subtitles.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!