Jet Li’s Fearless
DVD Reviews | Dec 19th, 2006
Starring Jet Li, Sun Li, Nakamura Shidou, Harada Masato, Collin Chou, Nathan Jones, Dong Yong
Written By: Chris Chow, Christine To
Directed By: Ronny Yu
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In what could be Jet Li’s final martial arts epic, Fearless, the actor has accomplished one of his best films to date. Directed by the great Ronny Yu, the duo gives fans exactly what they want to see, a monster epic film showcasing Jet Li’s talents as both a physical and emotional actor. Portraying martial arts legend, Huo Yuanjia, at the turn of the 20th century, was one of the greatest martial artists in all of China, possibly the world. Through time, Huo is determined to become the best fighter in the land, even though that leads to many sacrifices most of which lead Huo to a dark road. Reborn and poised through victory, Huo will go down in 1910 as an unforgettable warrior.
What many learned from Jet Li’s fearless was that this would be his last martial arts film. 42 years of age and counting, Jet Li has decided to move on to other things in life after studying martial arts & acting in those films for many years now and is looking forward. With that decision, Jet wanted to bring in a great director, Ronny Yu to really capture the masterful fight sequences and most of all, try and avoid as much wire, and CGI work if possible for that more raw, real look.
The story goes as the turn of the century, Huo Yuanjia was a powerful fighter in the village of Tianjin and if it was up to his late father, it wouldn’t have gone that way. You see, Huo’s father was great fighter as well and had plenty of students and a huge following, but he did not want his children to follow in his footsteps. He would much rather have them be educated and be scholars than brutal warriors. Huo did not follow that advice and eventually became bigger than his father. It all began with Huo losing a fight with a rival, part of a different clan of fighters. Ashamed at losing so badly, Huo vowed never to lose another fight ever again and that would be true for the rest of his life. Battle after Battle, Huo would easily beat the competition around Tianjin except for one fighter yet to be faced. When things occur outside the ring with one of his students, Huo is forced to defend his student against his rival Chin and battle him to the death. This leads to a very dark time for Huo. By making this decision and the aftermath that occurs, Huo is left wandering the countryside after his family is killed. Near death, Huo is rescued in a river by a lovely girl who is from a small village that helps Huo about kindness, respect for one another and tranquility for several years. After coming to terms with some of the choices and things that have led Huo down this path, he returns to the village and looks to apply what he has learned to fighting again. Again successful, Huo makes the decision to compete in a tournament against the world’s best, featuring a Belgian soldier, a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, and a Japanese Martial Artist. China that day, saw a hero emerge that wouldn’t be forgotten.
Extras on the unrated DVD of Fearless were minimal but provided some good entertainment including a nice deleted scene which shows Huo in the small village recuperating and leads to him returning to his past so to speak. Also you get a nice featurette that has mostly an in-depth interview with Jet Li regarding his last martial arts epic and the reasons behind it, as well as a look at his role in the film and how he prepared for it. Also included are interviews with the director and the stunt and choreographers regarding the fighting, which was very well planned and looked excellent on film. Fearless was definitely a much better film than Jet Li’s last and even though its subtitled I couldn’t stop watching. I must say if its Jet Li’s last film, than what a way to go.
-A Fearless Journey – Join Jet Li as he explains the making of this definitive martial arts epic.
-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
-MANDARIN: Dolby Digital 5.1
-Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
-English, Spanish, French
Favorite Scenes: Opening fight sequence, Fighting as a child, Rising in the ranks, Huo vs Chin
Running Time: 104 minutes