If you have a soft spot for 1970's style kung fu flix where first rate martial artist fought it out on solid ground with little reliance on wires, then DRUNKEN MONKEY is the movie for you! If you've wondered what ever became of stars like Shaw Brothers' greats Chi Kuan-Chun, Liu Chia-Hui (aka Gordon Liu), and master choreographer Liu Chia-Liang now that the youngest of them is well into his 50's, then DRUNKEN MONKEY is the movie for you! If you don't object to some laughs with your martial mayhem and some nostalgia with your kung fu kata, then DRUNKEN MONKEY is the definitely the movie for you!
Directed and choreographed by Liu Chia-Liang ( in pinyin that's Lau Kar-Leung) and starring him as well, DRUNKEN MONKEY is just plain old fun from start to finish, with plenty of great fights and forms thrown into the mix not only by our old favorites mentioned above, but also by the younger generation represented by Wu Jing Jason, Lau Wing-Kin, and Shannon Yao.
The plot centers on opium smuggling within Liu Chia-liang's delivery service, an operation somewhat like Wells Fargo. The smugglers are headed up by the hero's own brother who is in cahoots with the evil Chi Kuan-Chun. Liu Chia- Hui (aka Gordon Liu, in real life Liu Chia Liang's adopted Brother, an honorific title) plays a constable investigating the smuggling. The evil do-ers plot to kill the hero, and think they have succeeded, but his almost lifeless body is pulled from the river by our heroine (Shannon Yao) who becomes his prize student in monkey fist while he recovers from his injuries. Meanwhile elsewhere our two young heroes (played by Wu Jing Jason and Lau Wing-Kin) are obsessing over putting together a book of monkeyfist techniques. Eventually everybody comes together and things get really good!
Seeing an old master like Liu Chia-Liang again is like a gift from heaven. Time seems to have completely passed him by; he's every bit as flexible, fluid, and graceful as he ever was--fast too. Chi Kuan Chun who co-starred in many Shaw Brothers films in the 70s along side the late lamented Alexander Fu Sheng is still recognizeable although it may take a second or third glance. As a fighter he's still sharp as a tack. And everybody's favorite bald headed monk Gordon Liu Chia-Hui is no slouch either. He'll remind you how he became a household name in case you forgot. The younger generation in this film (Wu Jing, Shannon Yao etc.) is fine, but its the old guard that really makes this film worth seeing.
I can't recommend DRUNKEN MONKEY highly enough, and every Blockbuster has a copy!. See it now!