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Jackie Chan's fourth starring role, and the one that put him on the map.
Wong Fei-Hung is a young, irresponsible martial arts student who, in the space of one day, manages to anger his kung fu instructor by demonstrating that the instructor was an incompetent in front of the entire class, antagonize his aunt by making advances towards her daughter, and a local nobleman for beating the crap out of his (very snooty) son. As punishment, his father sends him to train under Beggar So, who has a reputation for crippling his students. Naturally, Fei-Hung doesn't like this idea, and so he escapes, only to run into Beggar So, who gives him brutally rigorous training. At first, Fei-Hung hates his mentor, but he comes to respect him and becomes a much more proficient martial artist. At the end, Fei-Hung uses his new knowledge to defeat an assassin after his father.
Later, there was a sequel of sorts in the form of Drunken Master II, released in North America as Legend of Drunken Master. Wong Fei-Hung accidentally comes into possession of several valuable Chinese artifacts, which smugglers are trying to sell to Evil Brits. In 2005, Time Magazine declared this movie one of the 100 best movies of all time, and Roger Ebert rates the climactic foundry fight as one of the best fight scenes ever committed to film.
This movie provides examples of:
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Fei-Hung, before some Character Development.
- Badass: Fei-Hung (After mastering drunken boxing), Beggar So, and Yan Ti San.
- Drunken Boxing: If it wasn't obvious.
- Drunken Masters. If it wasn't obvious.
- Jackie Chan.
- My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: One reason Fei-Hung returns to Beggar-So and takes his training more seriously is his defeat at the hands of another martial artist, Yan Ti San. (Thunderleg, in the English dub)
- Old Master: Beggar-So is exactly the kind of wandering master one wouldn't expect to be a master. He's also usually drunk.
- Pec Flex: The restaurant bouncer, Iron Gorilla, enjoys using this technique.
- Training From Hell: The usual methods apply here. Scooping water from a bucket with teacups only to fill another bucket while upside down is this Troper's favorite.
- Trash Talk: Yan Ti San is a master of this.
- The Trickster: Fei-Hung is very sneaky, one reason why he's so in enough trouble to be sent for special training.
- Trickster Mentor: Beggar-So is equally sneaky, finding interesting ways to keep Fei-Hung from running away from his (often) brutal training.