This film has been dubbed as “The Original Kung Fu Comedy”. Jackie Chan is his good old self in this classic Kung Fu film, and the comedy and action are both fun to watch. The sequel entitled “The Legend of Drunken Master” does not hold a candle to this original, but that is also the case with most sequels.
“Won Fei Hung (Jackie Chan) is the mischievous young son of a martial arts schoolmaster who is constantly clowning around when he should be learning kung fu. After …is comic antics injure the son of a powerful local man, his father enlists the help of his sadistic uncle to teach his son a little self-discipline.
This strange man, who has a reputation for crippling his students, tries to teach Fei Hung a bizarre style of kung fu. At first, Fei Hung resists, but after losing a fight with a local assassin who has been hired to kill his father, he realizes he must master the special art of the Drunken Boxer.” – Columbia-Tristar
This disc contains two very interesting audio tracks. What makes them so interesting is the fact that both the Cantonese and English mono tracks both contain segments of the opposing language. While listening to the Cantonese track, there are segments in which it is dubbed in English, and vice versa. This can become somewhat distracting, especially with a terrible English dub in the first place. Other then this problem, the mono audio tracks are both very basic. The dialog is pretty clear for an old film, but the overall feel for the audio is quite weak… no surround use and no base track deter from the possibilities for this film on DVD.
The video quality started off looking very hurt, but turns out to be pretty good. The opening few minutes are full of grain and debris, but that cleans out nicely after that point. The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer is good for the age of the print. The colors are suitable for the film (meaning that they look old and faded), and the blacks are somewhat saturated.
This contains very basic still menus and a few trailers. The only main feature included on this disc is an audio commentary by Hong Kong Film Expert Ric Meyers and Jackie Chan Autobiographer Jeff Yang. The commentary is informative and interesting, and covers topics such as the film genre and the importance of the cast in this film. The commentary is worth a listen to if you enjoy films such as this.
Of the old Jackie Chan films that I have watched and reviewed, Drunken Master is the best. The story and fighting sequences are both entertaining, and the DVD quality is better then his other early works. Even though the audio tracks are a bit messed up, the overall feel for the disc is pretty good.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary