While not as accomplished as Ying xiong (2002), this film is successful, benefits from combat scenes particularly well choreographed and (it's sufficiently rare to be noted) a moral. Thus, if the first half might be reduced, by being slightly in bad faith, to a succession of d*ck comparisons, the second half highlights a philosophy of life based on respect, dignity and honor, even with the foreigners, even while knockin' on heaven's door. Nice! As a synthesis: 7/8 of 10.
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
Action / Biography / Drama / Sport
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Martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia became the most famous fighter in all of China at the turn of the 20th Century. Huo faced personal tragedy but ultimately fought his way out of darkness and into history, defining the true spirit of martial arts. His self-discovery, and the choices he made, inspired his nation. The son of a great fighter who did not wish for his child to follow in his footsteps, the bullied Huo Yuanjia resolves to teach himself how to fight - and win. Years of training enable him to ace match after match in his home region of Tianjin. But as his fame as a martial arts master grows, so does his pride. After an ill-advised fight leads to another master's death, members of Huo's family are slain in revenge. Grieving and ashamed, Huo wanders the country in shock. Near death, he is rescued by women from an idyllic village, and is offered simple kindness and generosity that help him heal and regain his equilibrium over a period of several years. Huo realizes that the future of martial arts lies in sportsmanship and not brutality, and he rejoins society to apply what he has learned. Returning to Tianjin, Huo takes steps to come to terms with his past and restore his family's name. His evolving, graceful Mizong (Missing) Fist method of fighting brings Huo renewed success, and he forms the progressive Jingwu Sports Federation. Taking note, duplicitous members of the Foreign Chamber of Commerce engineer a Shanghai tournament pitting Huo against four fighters, each representing the major foreign powers in China. Huo commits to the bout and faces off against, respectively, a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, a Belgian soldier, and a Japanese martial artist. What happened that day in 1910 has never been, and will never be, forgotten in China.
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What a wonderful martial artist!
"A masterwork in action filmmaking" Extraordinary ( Chines A+ Movie) My Ratings 10/10
I really enjoyed this movie it's so much more than an marital art film it centers around Li's character who is a young & arrogant marital art master, until a tragic event takes place leaving his life meaningless as he begins to find meaning he learns a lot & changes completey, he realises he was wrong & makes amends with his past actions to become a man of great understanding & wisdom. A lot of life lessons can be learned from this one.
One of the best films of its genre
This movie has it all: a good story, based on real history; very good imagery and soundtrack; nice fighting scenes; last, but not least, a moral.
Jet Li plays a very important character in Chinese history, one that made Chinese people feel proud in a time when all their traditions were torn up by the interaction with the West. One can interpret the message of the movie in many ways. It is a movie about conquering yourself, about the meaning of honor and what it really means to be respected. Jet Li's character evolves from basically a glorified bully to the founder of a true Martial Arts competition based on respect of people and of fighting art. It is also a movie about how industry screws up... everything, really.
I personally feel that the film had enough material to be turned into a mini-series. The time from his personal tragedy to his realizing the meaning of his father's words it's very short and could have been expanded.
In conclusion, this is a great movie of Jet Li's and it's not only for martial arts lovers. I feel that his last "block busters" were meaningless violence films. Fearless is obviously NOT one of these movies. Enjoy.