Chia-Liang Liu


(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

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Chia-Liang Liu, or Kar-leung Lau (1934), directed The Legend of Drunken Master/ Drunken Master II (1994), the sequel to Woo-ping Yuen's Drunken Master (1978). The humor is dubious, and the action is very slow because of the endless ridiculous kungfu battles. During the time when China was ruled by an emperor and Britain had infiltrated its territory, a master of kungfu is traveling with his son Fei-hong and their servant Cho. Before boarding a train, they have to stand in line to pay customs duty. The master points out that the British diplomats, who arrive in a fancy limousine, don't need to stand in line and are not requested to pay duties. Fei-hong decides to hide the precious ginseng that they are carrying in the suitcase of one of the diplomats. They board the train and Fei Hung wreak havoc in the first class car to reach the suitcase and take the ginseng back. In doing so Fei-hong catches a thief who has opened the same suitcase and stolen something from it. Fei-hong chases him under the train and then outside until the train is about to leave. During the fight the two end up switching packages: the ginseng remains with the thief and Fei-hong finds an ancient jade seal in his box. He narrowly escapes the British agents who are searching the train for the stolen antiquity. The British ambassador orders his thugs to find Fei-hong and retrieve the jade seal, that he has already sold to the British Museum. At the same time he appoints a new cruel foreman in charge of his steel factory, where the workers have had enough of the brutal work conditions. The foreman uses violence to force them to work overtime. Back at home Fei-hong is help by his stepmother Ling to replace the missing ginseng with roots found under a bonzai tree in their backyard, so that the master won't realize that the ginseng has been lost. These roots are handed to one of the master's customers. The master seems to both run a kungfu school, specializing in "drunken boxing", and act as a physician. Now his young wife Ling, who secretely plays mah-jong with her female friends when the master is away, needs money to buy real ginseng, knowing that the customer will eventually return the fake ginseng, and so she decides to pawn a necklace. Just then the British thugs attack the woman and steal the box with the necklace, thinking that it contains the jade seal. Fei-hong challenges them at drunken boxing, which literally involves him drinking huge amounts of alcohol, and easily kicks their ass, humiliating the foreman and retrieving the necklace. Ling roots for Fei-hong and is happy that he defeats the thugs, but the master catches him in the act and punishes both: he had specifically forbidden his son to fight and he quickly realizes that his wife has been deceiving him. At the same time the customer's wife comes with the news that the fake ginseng has poisoned her husband, so that a drunk Fei-hong has to confess that he lost the real ginseng. The master loses his patience and expels Fei-hong from his house. Fei-hong gets even more drunk at a restaurant and is easily captured by the British thugs, who then hang him naked from the arms at a gate, for everybody to see. His father takes him back into the house, and Fei-hong swears to never drink alcohol again. The thief of the train finally finds where Fei-hong lives and shows up one night. Thinking he works for the British, Ling attacks him (she's a skilled kungfu fighter herself although she pretends to be a weak peaceful lady in front of her husband) but the master recognizes him as a patriot. The "thief", Wen-Chi, explains that he is trying to recover the jade seal that was stolen from a Chinese museum by the evil ambassador. The British thugs ambush Wen-Chi and Fei-hong, but friends, among which fellow kungfu master Tsang, come to their rescue. Fei-hong is saved but officer Wen-chi is killed and the jade seal is stolen. Tsang and Fei Hung independently break into the embassy trying to rescue the jade seal but are captured, beaten and tortured. The ambassador blackmails the master into selling his school if he wants to see his son alive again. The master reluctanctly accepts to sell the kungfu school that has belonged to his family for centuries. Fei-hong and Tsang are released. The ambassador is ready to leave the country with the loot, that includes many more ancient pieces. The steel factory was just a cover: now he shuts it down and lays off the workers. The steel rod are simply used to hide the antiquities inside the boxes that are to be shipped out of the country. Some of the workers find out the truth and one runs to alert Fei-hong. Fei-hong has promised his father not to leave the house, but the moment his father steps out of the house for some business his own stepmother encourages him to run to the factory and help the other patriots fight the evil British. After a long series of kungfu duels, Fei-hong, drunk with the inflammable industrial oil of the steel mill, defeats everybody. The antiquities are saved, and Ling makes sure that her husband gets some recognition for his son's achievement (which was actually carried out against the master's will). (Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2014 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )