The Best Fight Scene Ever? | The Legend of Drunken Master – Action Masterclass



roger ebert set of the legend of drunken masters final fight scene coming at the end of a film filled with jaw-dropping action scenes this extended virtuoso effort set some kind of benchmark it may not be possible to film a better fight scene I would agree with him there are a few figures in cinema as famous as Jackie Chan whose run of films from drunken master in 1978 all the way through to I would say rumble in the Bronx in 1995 is unparalleled in terms of consistent output and even beyond that he still regularly put out impressive work up to even today as both a star and director martial artist and fight director and whatever else he is without a doubt one of the most important figures in film history quite near to starting his crossover to the American mainstream Chan returns at a film that arguably was a turning point to him becoming a megastar in his home country drunken master the sort of sequel in that it shares the lateral connection to the first film feels like a culmination of everything he had done up to that point directed by the sraw brothers legend Lau Kowloon along with Chan himself it returned to an old Chinese setting it often avoided in favor of what he considered more exotic locales in many ways it feels like him paying homage to his legacy in a watershed moment that would allow him to fully evolved into his next stage of global superstardom just before this he had starred in Police Story 3 which for me was still very funny but also an impressive embrace of the potential for darker more mature work Jackie Chan was changing and with the legend of drunken master finally leaving behind certain elements of his past I just want to say quickly this video is sponsored by Nord the pn i am a huge fan of nord and believe wholeheartedly most should consider using a VPN get 75% off a free air plan at Nord VPN comm / Rossiter on and for a short time use the code Rossiter on to gain an extra month of Nord for free and please remember to like and subscribe and hit the bell notification if you want to be notified of when I have a video out it helps the channel immensely and remember I do have a patreon as well if you would really like to support this the film follows Wong fei-hung a young man skilled in a drunken master form who disgraces his family for his seeming inability to settle down and not get into fights at the same time thanks to an elder law Kowloon he discovers a plot by gangsters who illegally smuggle ancient antiquities out of China using a forge they've taken over to act as a front the story is a simple one of redemption though whilst feeling like an excuse to set up as many extravagant fight sequences as possible is played perfectly throughout to feel like a true narrative arc demanded by his father not to use his drunken boxing during parts of fei-hung taking it always too far this gives our protagonist a personal aim to fulfill that takes Chan's trademark physical comedy and ties it directly into his characters internal journey that in itself is a masterstroke really that the humor is not only a pleasing addition to the film but a necessary part of a story itself this fight scene is actually integral to the power of the NCL discussed later not only is an exciting and humorous and in itself very impressive sequence but it showcases to us a perhaps less educated audience to help something that looks so clownish it could be so powerful it also gives us a counterpoint to that later fight in that this can be seen as fei-hung first true onscreen attempt our utilizing the power completely which by the end of the fight he fails to control driving him into the forge later to prove himself not just to his family but to himself we see here how the power of drunken boxing is in its unconventional nature again making humor a necessary part of the film's language like the Benny the jet fight in wheels on meals it is the hard-to-read nature of how he is fighting that is why it works so well and later when he uses those same moves again to greater success we understand that he was not just making this up this is a true power and won by the end he fully gains control of of course due to fei-hung then taking it too far and becoming inebriated to the point of not being able to fight back it leads to his downfall adding tension to that final fight once he begins drinking the industrial alcohol will he take it too far martial arts is about self-control and balance by the end of the final fight fei-hung must find a balance in himself both as a drunken boxer and as the son of his father of course any good hero needs a good bad guy and in Ken Lowe Chan's personal bodyguard who's studying when a previous actor didn't work out provides exactly the right villain for the scene and really for the film for a start the bad guy's not above using something similar to fei-hung zone unconventional style this is an opponent that is of course now a reflection of him in some ways but since he appears dressed in his English suit not true to who he is it aids in failings understanding that he must be true to himself to win this battle the villain even makes fun of drunken boxing which reflects fei-hung own words earlier further cementing that reflection hypothesis un wou ping of course the director of the original drunken master said fights with two people are the most fun to choreograph and probably also the most entertaining to watch and I think this fight shows why the emotion and energy that comes of a one-on-one the focus and determination and believability that they could be matched sets this kind of conflict apart that is a reflective image Chinese fighting in some ways makes it even more meaningful to his arc the best villains or even reflection of and counterpoint to a hero or someone they could become Vader represented what Luke could be if you took a certain path Saruman is a dark reflection of Gandalf he'll the shark in Jaws a random beasts is a reflection or direct opposite Aviva or the shark expert the man of the sea or the lawman that nature of course does not respect Ken lo can be seen in a similar way and of course when talking about character I must take a moment to highlight Chan's performance well you get down your face get rep would pick a mix up on all the clothes get read so I have to create my own style before I do the fighting scene I have to you know like bend down I just then i standing up look so more people could SMI every shot he isn't just hitting marks remembering choreography or trying not to get hurt he is acting a character and a drunk one at that in a way he continues to act after he comes off the hot coals can lo attacks him even as he has finished the stunt it's something we've seen even back to project a with him continuing to act as he's pulled from the ground after this stunt chance dedication to his performance is remarkable and though Chan moving across hot coals might be a little bit on the nose in terms of the narrative it is all still in the service of the story in a film like John woos last hurrah for chivalry breathing fire like this is an exciting and impressive act but in this film it is a necessary part of the narrative it is not only props that Chan is turning on his aggressors but literally fire the front that the bad guys operate that represents their hellish vision for the workers chan is in part fighting for is now fully turned on them Chinese famous for using props of course but using fire in this way and while still maintaining his performance it is beyond impressive of course one reason it is also well thought-out both technically narrative Lee is how long chance spent on the scene it took four months to film for this scene in the raid took eight long days to shoot so you can understand the luxury chan had hit and it isn't just the macro storytelling and performance elements of the scene that stand out but the moment-to-moment technical side is just staggeringly well-done the cuts too wide a place perfectly to enhance seeing the movements and held long enough always to keep is able to track things without overstaying their welcome the mid shots a place for out and Campos enough to show the precision of the blows whilst close-ups show character performance and actual physical hits if something needs to be established or a prop fall into frame the camera does so it is kinetic but controlled the way the best fight scenes are the camera is part of the action but it never gets in the way of it it is actually one thing that infamously Lao car Leung and Jackie Chan clashed over we've long been dismissed from the set and Chan taking over directing of this fight scene word ranges from Leung wanting Chan to respect more the true form of drunken boxing which didn't fit chance quicker pace in the fights too long wanting to move the camera more on a dolly in utilizing why work and so on one thing is clear what Chan wanted to do here work for the film to me this is the ultimate version of his brand of kung fu on screen now we're Cham to director Lao car longshore brothers classic one would expect fully that Leung would have the right to dismiss Chan for not executing his vision properly to say that this is a masterclass in action is not at all to dismiss lungs own master works in anyway I just wanted to clear that up now to go into how Jackie Chan filmed and edited things let's take a closer look at how the fight comes to an end the flow of the setups from one shot to the next is just magnificent now look how we are pushed into low angle just as the characters are we are with them we then remain low angle as Ken Lowe is pushed to the stool low using the stool forces Chan and then our perspective up and though Chan is being pushed back and on the defensive he is now dominating the frame as he then destroys the stool he forces low back again this is over several quick cuts Chan is not against using quick cuts in any of his scenes to keep up the energy after all we then reset to a wide to just quickly see where Lowe is in the frame again which handily is stood by barrels we may not have noticed in the previous wides he grabs the set dressing in the same shot so he's bringing what was previously not noticed into play in an organic manner the stool could be cut around quickly when it was destroyed as we'd already seen him use it and now we need to reset our understanding of what property is using at this point it is actually quite a similar attack to the woman to stool but now at a high level as this Chinese moving higher and higher in power low angles after all the design to show someone as dominating the frame which very quickly Chan does he is now tilted fully into a powerful low angle at a time when he is rather than fighting low almost making fun of him there is little else for Lowe to do at this point having lost so much face so he's kicked away so far that in the wide he looks very small in the frame he is defeated Oh in that barrel you saw earlier it was conveniently placed exactly where it needed to be for Chan to get into this position and finish the fight for good and finally Lowe from a high angle weakening position as he drops unconscious it is just stunning filmmaking with an immediate simplicity hiding an incredible complexity the storytelling the performances the choreography the stunts the camera the editing it is without question an absolute masterclass in directing and performing action now as someone who relies on the internet and data protection in almost everything I do be it for work or entertainment security online is of the utmost importance to me browsing without a VPN especially on things like public Wi-Fi is getting more and more dangerous a VPN allows you to browse securely and nobody does it better than Nord VPN I work from home I work from coffee shops doing YouTube videos you know I'm gonna be using public Wi-Fi so without a doubt it's a necessity for me and handily it's an incredibly easy to use and 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41 thoughts on “The Best Fight Scene Ever? | The Legend of Drunken Master – Action Masterclass”

  1. This is up there but i still think the end of Operation Condor is one of Jackies best, the part with the moving platforms and railings etc not the gaint fan room, though that was fun.
    It's hard to call Jackies truly best fight scene though as there are so many to pick from. I also adore the park fight in police story 2.

  2. Note that from the actual drunken style (drunken master 1) he takes the essence of it and adds acrobats humour and dynamic rhythm. He simplifies the style and broadens the action with wild movements and environmental context. Every frame in his fights has a technical mastery. Here’s a good a excercise – count how many times he wires up something. The man is defying physics all the time. Tricking you but creating an illusion that you’ll take. See that spinning head butt ( it’s editing and wires) love it!

  3. I find it interesting that in the original ending Chan ends up as a drooling vegetable from all the industrial alcohol he drank. (Wikipedia : In addition, a 35 second cut was made to the concluding scene of the film which showed Wong blinded and mentally crippled as a result of drinking industrial alcohol during the film's ultimate fight. Played for laughs, the scene was considered to be in bad taste by the American distributor, Dimension Films)

  4. Allow me to be the only one in the comment section that doesn't like this type of action. It looks more like a dance than a fight. Everything feels so fake and weightless.

  5. Once again Ross you hit the nail right on the head. Love the move maybe the best ending fight ever. great video!

  6. so much good stuff in that fight alone its mind-boggling how much effort jackie chan put into it all. that is an amazing movie my fav jackie chan movie by far

  7. I miss the flow of scenes like this. It is a great thing that a Movie like John Wick re-entered this "Ballet of fist" instead of quick cuts and a shaking cam.

  8. SOMEONE finally appreciating this classic. IMO one of the best martial arts movies ever. My fave Jackie Chan film anyway. I can recite the goddamn entire movie by memory.

  9. Watched this movie yesterday on Netflix
    and I can say that this is one of the best martial arts movies of all time.

  10. Thank you for this video. I always go back and forth between this and Police Story for my favorite Chan film, but I can’t deny this has probably the best choreography of any of his films I’ve seen. Everything about these scenes, the movement, the editing, the sound effects and music (at least in the original Cantonese version) is just perfect. That’s not to say the non-action scenes aren’t great (Anita Mui really steals the show), but when I think of action perfection I always go back to the ending fight and that long but great buildup to the final confrontation with Ken Lo.

    It’s just such a shame that the undubbed/non-rescored version hasn’t been readily available on physical media till recently, and even then Dimension Films is being very hardheaded for not giving it a good release in the US (though I haven’t been above fanmade restorations)

  11. New videos from The Discarded Image and Rossatron, both on the same day?! Oh what a day! What a lovely day!

  12. Some fun facts about this legendary fight scene:
    1).The whole thing took more than 4 months to shoot,because both Jackie and Ken Lo suffered numerous injuries during filming.
    4 months for a single fight scene is something unheard of in Hollywood, where the shoot entire movies in half the time.
    2).Ken Lo,who as mentioned was Jackie's real-life bodyguard and he's also a Muay Thai expert and Tae Kwon Do black belt,who won several freestyle martial arts tournaments in Southeast Asia before Jackie hired him.He's also a senior member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team,who has appeared in dozens of movies and has trained other stuntmen.
    You can see his TKD background in his amazing kicking technique,that he employs in the fight.
    3). The legendary scene,where Jackie falls into the hot coals,is not done with any special effects,he actually fell on burning coals! Jackie wore protective clothes and his hands and face were covered with special gel,that is used to protect stuntmen during ''fire-stunts'',but still…
    What makes this stunt even more crazy is the fact that Jackie,beeing the perfectionist he is,was not satisfied how it looked.
    So.. the absolute mad lad let himself getting kicked into burning coals for another 4 times,until they got it to look right!!

  13. Always enjoy your uploads Rossatron. Who hasn't pretended to drunken box after watching this movie?! Matter of fact, I'm going to pretend to drunken box right now!

  14. So surreal that you showcased this. I recently rewatched Drunken Master 1 and 2 recently just for fun. That ending sequence of DM2 is honestly one of the most energetic and creative fight scenes shot on film. It's jawdropping.

  15. Another action classic is Ong-bak. The fight club, well, fight is amazing. Maybe you should do a video on it.

  16. This fight scene and also both of Benny the Jet’s scenes against Jackie from Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever…top three fighting scenes ever!

  17. The choreography is spectacular and the cinematography compliments it so well. But this isn’t a fight, it’s a dance; very clearly too. All fight scenes in film are, but the more you can convince your audience otherwise, the better your fight scene will be.

    This scene is great, but extremely dated by today’s standards compared to other much more gritty Asian martial arts epics like The Raid films and recently The Night Comes for Us and because they feel more like real fights, this will never come close to them. IMO

  18. What is the best Blu-ray or DVD version? It's ridiculous that one of the best martial arts movies doesn't seem to have a proper disc release. Please help.

  19. I remember paying a what I thought was a pretty high price for an import HK laserdisc from the guys at Eastern Heroes in London back in the day. Of course once I got to watch it at home, I realized I would've paid 4 times the amount for a gem like this.

  20. 7:40 "jack moving across coals is a little on the noes for the narrative.."
    Yea, i gotta stop you right there, obviously you're unaware that him falling on the hot coals was a complete accident that worked out to be included in the film. Those things were real! And were hot! The stunt went bad (he was supposed to wobble over the coals and pull himself back last second but lost balance and fell). Its shown in the extras. In fact they actually all ran to him and sprayed him off with fire extinguishers and he got medical attention, but they fix it in the film to look like one continued sequence..and it looks amazing.

  21. I first discovered Jackie Chan films in the wake of Rush Hour, and it wasn't long afterwards that I learned about the great reputation of Drunken Master 2/Legend of Drunken Master. But it was a long time before I was finally able to see it! In the early 2000s, the first Drunken Master was readily available in the UK on Region 2 DVD, thanks to a great release by Hong Kong Legends. But the sequel seemed to be out of print in the UK for a very long time.

    I didn't get to see the film until about 2012, when LoveFilm put it on their streaming video service (before Amazon bought them and incorporated their streaming infrastructure into Prime Video). IIRC I think it finally received a UK Blu-Ray release around the same time, though I never got round to buying a copy of my own.

  22. I love showing this movie to people that are only familiar with Chan's American work. They are left speechless.

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