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     " Legend of Drunken Master, hands down, puts just about everything else you’ve ever seen to shame. "

      Title: Legend of Drunken Master by New Line

      Format: Chop Saki DVD

      Reviewing Monkey: Dungapult

      The Hype: From his mouth to your ears- it’s Jackie Chan’s "Best Movie." ‘Nuff said.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Story: Evil, evil men during the turn of the century are out to steal China’s greatest treasures and pawn them on the international "nick knack" market. The government, growing fat on kickbacks, won’t stop them, the country is in the midst of a revolution (I believe it’s set against the Boxer Rebellion…But it’s never mentioned), and no one can seem to stop them except the mild mannered martial arts master’s son, Jackie. Much fighting ensues.
           So, obviously, plot ain’t this movies strong point. Which wouldn’t normally be a big deal (it is, after all, a Hong Kong action flick) but lost among the blasé plot and attempts at political intrigue is any sense of humor and light heartedness the movie would have to offer. They obviously want it to be there…Certainly, there are places where the movie tries really hard, but it just doesn’t come through. Oh well…You’re not watching for the drama. 2 out of 5

      Acting: Unlike pretty much every American action star, Jackie Chan can actually act. And act he does! Running a gambit of emotional traumas and jumping from one high stress situation to another, you actually do get a good feel for this poor and simple man stuck in some really chaotic times. Further amazing the action going audience are some remarkably persuasive performances by his supporting cast as well. Almost all very well done. Hell, if it weren’t for the crappy plot and script, the actors would manage to completely suspend your disbelief. 3.75 out of 5

      Action: You know, as a stunt man I’ve often been asked what I think of our US action stars…and it’s usually between choked laughs and schoolgirl giggles that I explain that, in vast, vast, vast majority they all suck ass. Most of them (Schwarzenegger, Stallone) are just frickin’ jokes. Idiots who, while granted are in great physical condition, can’t move much less fight and barely seem to know which end of a gun to hold. The rest (Van Damme, Segal) like to pretend to fight but are little more than half trained, ego stroking, incompetent wanna-bes. Now, granted, there are a couple that actually know their shit (Snipes, Norris) but they tend to be few and far between.
          And before you even think of arguing with me about it, you should check out the best Hong Kong has to offer. Legend of Drunken Master, hands down, puts just about everything else you’ve ever seen to shame. Amazing movement, phenomenal stunts, incredible situations, and beautiful storytelling all join together to create what is, debatably, the greatest fighting in cinematic history. Add to that Jackie’s ridiculous propensity for risking his ass jumping off high things and lighting himself on fire and you would have to be dead or lobotomized not to enjoy this movie. It’s beyond genius. 6 out of 5

      Visuals and Directing: Really, all of the visuals in Drunken Master boil down into two categories: Period backgrounds and fight cinematography. Both of which, I’m happy to report, are handled admirably. The backgrounds and costuming reflect a surprising level of historical accuracy and the fights are filmed to allow the best possible views at all time. 3.5 out of 5

      Sound Track: Truthfully, the soundtrack is neither here nor there. It’s nice, fitting, and unobtrusive. Nothing to write home about either way. 3 out of 5

      DVD Extras: Depressingly, there are really no extras on the disk. I say depressingly because I know there was a ton of stuff they had (out takes, behind the scenes filming, etc.) that they could have added and did none of it. Instead all you get is a short interview with The Man. Very unsatisfying. 2 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: You know, I already owned two copies of this movie before the DVD came out. One copy of "Drunken Master 2" (the movies Chinese title) straight cut from Hong Kong and another of the exact same movie sub-titled. Even with that in mind, it was worth more than the retail cost to run out and buy the DVD just for the amazing picture clarity and the ability to jump to the fight scenes. 5 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       If you like action movies…or hell, if you just like to watch incredible athleticism, you need to check this out. It’s worth every frickin’ penny.

      The Good: It’s amazing to watch.

      The Bad: Hurtin’ plot and no fun extras.

      The Overall Ugly: You need this DVD if you want to dare call yourself a Monkey.

      What it's Worth: Your left leg.

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