review by Jerome

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When Wong Fei Hung accidentally tricks his female cousin into kissing him, he finds himself troubled by his aunt's defence. After being beaten by her, he travels down Fat Shan and encounters a villager being cheated out of money and beats up the person responsible for the villager's loss. Upon returning home, he tries to avoid his visiting cousin and aunt but when confronted by his father Wong Kei Ying, is sent to So Hat Yee for his troublesome behaviour.

Wong Fei Hung's at first reluctant to learn from So (Yuen Siu Tin), because of stories heard about his training methods. One day, Fei Hung tricks So and escapes from the training regime. Hiding away in a nearby village and drying up, he is confronted by the assassin, Yim Tit Sam (Hwang Jang Lee) and told to get off his turf. A fight ensures with Yim the victor, forcing Fei Hung to humiliate himself by crawling through his legs. Upset and demoralised, he returns to Master So to learn the 8 Drunken Fairies style of kung fu to aid in his revenge and prevent his father, Wong Kei Ying being killed.

Yuen Wo Ping's collaboration with Jackie Chan is spectacular. Originally on loan from Lo Wei via Ng See Yuen, Jackie added comedic elements to the style of film that Bruce Lee had used in his previous films. Jackie's slapstick gets him into all sorts of strife, notably when he gets cheeky with one of the Wong family's martial arts instructor's and is punished by doing horse stance with cups of hot water to be carried on him, while a joss stick burns from underneath.

Of particular note, is the training regime for learning the 8 Drunken Fairies kung fu. Jackie shows us that hardship pays off in the end and his approach to it is hilarious. The portrayal of the Ms Fairy Ho stance although looks quite weak and sissy like, is adaptable and is certainly the most funny in execution. Even when the alcohol is added, Jackie shows us the true power of drunken boxing.

Due to Jackie's success, two sequels were made, Drunken Master II and Drunken Master III, the latter not starring Chan. Also in 1978, Jackie starred alongside Yuen Siu Tin in The Snake In Eagle's Shadow, another success at the time…

Jackie's comedic contribution to Drunken Master set new standards for the Hong Kong film industry in its action comedies.

I rate it 9/10

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Director: Yuen Wo Ping
Cast: Yuen Siu Tin, Jackie Chan, Hwang Jang Lee, Hsia Hsu, Dean Shek, Casanova Wong, Pan Pan Yeung, Yuen Shun Yee

Genre: Martial Arts/Comedy