August 6, 2006

Best Jet Li Movie Of All Time

I think the most memorable Jet Li movie of all time is not his recent work Fearless or Hollywood movies like Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 The Grave but the first Once Upon A Time In China where he brought to life legendary hero Wong Fei Hung (left picture).

Before Jet Li, when one thinks of this famous martial arts master, the image that comes to mind is Kwan Tak Hing's Wong Fei Hung (picture below right).

However when Tsui Hark made Once Upon A Time in China in 1991, the audience were so pleasantly surprised by Jet Li's balletic kungfu moves under the brilliant direction and cinematography of Tsui Hark that from then on he became Wong Fei Hung!

Actually, if you compare Jet Li and his other contemporaries in the Chinese action movie industry like Jackie Chan, you will realise that Jet Li's moves are more fluid and graceful whereas Jackie Chan's seem more fast paced and dramatic. However there is no denying that Li's kungfu looks and most probably is just as powerful as Jackie Chan's :-P

Once Upon A Time In China wasn't the first Jet Li movie I watched, in fact I had the good fortune of watching his very first movie The Shaolin Temple which was released in 1979/80. However, being his first movie, I felt his acting then was not very polished although his kungfu moves were just as good. But in Once Upon A Time in China, you can see that his acting had matured a great deal. This is most obvious in the way he essayed the shy romance between Wong Fei Hung and his Thirteenth Aunt (Rosamund Kwan) which was so sweet and delicate that it will put a smile on your face :-)

Once Upon A Time was so popular that three sequels were made. They are all all well worth watching if only just to watch Jet Li execute his spectacular moves!

[Pictures from YesAsia and]

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