Legend of Drunken Master (1994)

Roger Ebert praised Jackie Chan as one of the greatest of all physical comedians. In 1994’s Legend of Drunken Master, the 40 year old ageless wonder delivers this incredible sequence in which the action and his skills speed up with every swig of alcohol. Returning to a character he played in 1978’s Drunken Master, Wong Fei-hung gets stronger, the more drunk he becomes, darkly reminiscent of Popeye’s relationship with spinach. But whereas Popeye encouraged kids to eat their green vegetables, this film uses its absurd, antithetical dynamic for inspired comic purposes, and scenes like this one. If you’re hung up on the dubbing or the dialogue, you are truly missing the point, and something special in Chan’s physical ability and the film’s creative action choreography. My personal favorite moment is when Chan, caught up in chugging a bottle, lies on the back of an adversary, then gets lifted a few feet off the ground where he hangs, overcoming what we mere mortals call gravity.

-Walter Howard-

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