I’ve been watching a lot of martial arts movies lately. I plan on making martial arts movies. (Every time I watch a movie, it’s research. I love researching. Work is play and play is work. )
Last night I watched Drunken Master 2. (Hong Kong, 1994. Released in the U.S. six years later as “The Legend of DrunkenMaster.” Six years! And Hollywood cut out the end of the movie! I’m still pissed about that.) After (and during) the final fight scene, I thought “Holy crap, this has to be the longest, most intense martial arts fight scene ever in the history of cinema.” The guy who plays the villain opposite Jackie Chan, Ken Lo, was Jackie Chan’s personal bodyguard. Think about it. To be Jackie Chan’s bodyguard, you’ve got to have some serious fighting chops. And he does indeed. I kept wondering if they sped up the footage or if that guy can really kick that fast in real life…
After watching that and coming to the conclusion on my own that it had to be best fight scene ever, I did some digging online and found that Roger Ebert (of Siskel & Ebert fame), said this after watching Drunken Master 2:
“When I did a seminar at the Hawaii Film Festival several years ago, comparing the physical comedy of Chan and Buster Keaton, martial arts fans brought in their bootleg Hong Kong laser discs of this film and told me that I had to see the final 20-minute fight sequence. They were correct. Coming at the end of a film filled with jaw-dropping action scenes, this extended virtuoso effort sets some kind of benchmark: It may not be possible to film a better fight scene.” (emphasis added. see whole article here.)
There you go. Synchronicity in action. Great minds think alike.
What say ye? What is your favorite fight scene of all time?