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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Drunken Master 3
Drunken Master 3
World Video and Supply // Unrated // July 9, 2001
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Gil Jawetz | posted August 14, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
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P R I N T
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THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
Jackie Chan's Drunken Master II helped cement his position as one of the world's top action-comedy stars. Unfortunately, the optimistically titled Drunken Master III (1994) has no discernible relation to Jackie or Drunken Master II. It doesn't really feature the drunken fighting style that was that film's trademark. There's a lot of wine and ample use of drunk fist kung fu, a subtle variation on other kung fu styles, but Jackie was smart enough to know that, in order to make a visual impact, drunk style meant taking it to the next level. (First get sloppy drunk, preferably by pouring a jug of booze over your head. Then, start flailing around like a madman, conquering your opponents as if by chance.) The fighters in Drunken Master III all fight extremely well, and they do mix humor in with the parrying, but nobody here aims for Jackie's brand of lunacy.

Actually, given the costumes, period, and semi-political bent of the film, it seems to take Peking Opera Blues as a model more than the Drunken Master films, which is fine. The plot is a convoluted mix of royalty and revolution, with statements on foreigners and cults thrown in for good measure. While the story may be something of a mess, and the finale typically abrupt, the film is fun to watch, with a huge cast of charismatic Hong Kong stars. One particularly unusual fight finds one of the heroes fending off a gay challenger on a primitive, slow moving bus. Eventually he tries to counter with what can only be called "gay fu." Hardly politically correct, but certainly something I've never seen before.

VIDEO:
The widescreen video is ok, but far from great. A good deal of dirt and occasional video flaws mar the print, as does a general lack of sharpness and color. It could be worse, but it ain't great.

AUDIO:
The audio is also weak. Soundtracks are available in 2.0 Mandarin and 2.0 Cantonese, with burned in Chinese and English subtitles. Most of the sound is a bit muffled, although one track emphasizes treble while the other is more muted (don't ask me which is which).

EXTRAS:
There are no extras.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
While the title may have been a marketing ploy, Drunken Master III overcomes the inherent disappointment in it's not really being a Drunken Master film with wit, energy, and sense of fun.

Other martial arts DVDs:
The Buddha Assassinator
Jackie Chan: My Stunts
The Last Dragon
Dragon Inn

Gil Jawetz is a graphic designer, video director, and t-shirt designer. He lives in Brooklyn.

E-mail Gil at buskerdog@yahoo.com

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