This is the story of Huo Yuanjia, a fighter who represents Chinese martial arts to a nation; a man who fought his way out of darkness and into history.
Director: Ronny Yu
Starring: Jet Li, Nakamura Shido, Collin Chou, Shun Li
Huo Yuanjia always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a great fighter, but he refuses to teach him. Instead stealing his father’s Wushu manual and teaching himself to fight, Yuanjia gets a taste for his new skills and as the years go by becomes a powerful fighter. But as his fame grows, so does his pride, and he is soon an arrogant hothead always spoiling for a fight. When a master injures one of Yuanji’s young apprentices, he vengefully kills him with no remorse. The victory costs him dearly and sets Yuanjia on an odyssey that takes him thousands of miles to the home of Granny Sun and her blind granddaughter. When he is one day forced to save a child from a Siamese tribe, Yuanji’s love of martial arts is stirred and he begins to experiment with a lighter, more refined style that would eventually become the legendary Mizong Fist.
Realising the future of martial arts lies in the spirit of sportsmanship, Yuanjia knows he has to return home so he can do the same for Chinese martial arts. But the Foreign Chambers of Commerce worry Yuanji is fanning the flames of anti-Western sentiment in the Chinese people, because this is a pivotal time in China’s history when the country is shrouded under the imminent threat of invasion. In a bid to humiliate him, they pit him against four fighters who represent the major foreign powers in China - a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, a Prussian soldier, and in the mother of all showdowns a Japanese competitor. ‘As the two men stand face to face in the arena, the thousand-strong audience waits with baited breath. What happened on September 14th 1910, is something that nobody would ever forget.’
Jet Li’s incredible final Wushu film, made by an equally legendary director and with fight choreographer supreme Yuen Woo-Ping. Not to be missed.
Screenings of this film:
|2006/2007 Autumn Term – (35mm)|