Review: ‘Drunken Monkey’

Return to old-school chopsocky from genre pioneers the Shaw Brothers offers nothing special to the initiated and more cheesiness than latecomers might tolerate. But some of the fighting -- aided by wires but no CGI -- is so breathtaking many viewers won't care about shortcomings. "Drunken Monkey" could do some high kicking as a midnight pic.

Return to old-school chopsocky from genre pioneers the Shaw Brothers offers nothing special to the initiated and more cheesiness than latecomers might tolerate. But some of the fighting — aided by wires but no CGI — is so breathtaking many viewers won’t care about shortcomings. Colorfully shot “Drunken Monkey” is already in the DVD market, but could still do some high kicking on midnight-movie circuit.

Pic, which references the “Drunken Master” and “Mad Monkey” series — as well as a hundred other kung fu pics in which a single nifty move is enough to hang a plot on — stars veteran action helmer Lau Kar-Leung as Man Bill, who runs a Pony Express-type delivery service in 1930s China. His seemingly devoted younger bro (Chiang Chun-Wa) is actually running opium for a mobster who wants the master bumped off. Bill proves a tough Man to kill and, with the aid of a lovely young protege (Shannon Yao), her clowny suitors (Jason Wu Jing, Lau Wing-Kin), a government agent (Gordon Liu) and copious amounts of rice wine (“for strength”), the baddies are vanquished.

Drunken Monkey

Hong Kong

Production

A Super Film Prods. (Hong Kong) production, with the Shaw Brothers. (International sales: Celestial Pictures, Hong Kong.) Produced by Mona Fong Yat-wa. Directed by Lau Kar-Leung. Screenplay, Pak Ling Li.

Crew

Camera (color), Wong Po-Man; music, Tommy Wau; art director, Angelo Castibio. Reviewed on videocassette at Hawaii Film Festival (Heroic Grace), Nov. 9, 2003. Cantonese dialogue. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Lau Kar-Leung, Chiang Chun-Wa, Jason Wu-Jing, Gordon Liu, Lau Wing-Kin, Chi Kuan-Chun, Shannon Yao, Li Hai-To, Zhang Zhen-Huan.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading