Tuesday, June 26, 2007

JET LI’S FEARLESS

He claims it’s his last "kung fu/wushu" movie, and if that turns out to be true, then JET LI’S FEARLESS (HUO YUAN JIA, 2006) certainly allows the titular martial arts master to go out on a high note, with one of the finest films in the genre.

Directed by Ronny Yu (FREDDY VS. JASON), FEARLESS is based on the true story of Martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia (Li) founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. When an ill-advised fight destroys the reputation of the arrogant martial arts champion and his family, he must set out on a spiritual quest for redemption. Ultimately, this quest brings him to an exhibition match with the most accomplished fighters in the world – a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, a Belgian soldier, and a Japanese martial artist – a match intended to crush the spirit of the Chinese people.

Li’s performance is flawless, and the martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (THE MATRIX, KILL BILL) is astounding. The story is engrossing, and the cinematography is gorgeous. This is arguably one of the greatest martial arts films ever made.

Universal’s DVD includes both the theatrical cut of the film as well as an unrated director’s cut, both presented in sparkling 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. The disc is light on extra features, but there is a deleted scene and a short featurette in which Li talks about the project, and what he means when he says it’s last martial arts movie.

Universal’s JET LI’S FEARLESS is a great movie with a disappointingly average presentation.

BUY: Jet Li's Fearless (Unrated Widescreen Edition)