5 hours ago
Thursday, November 02, 2006
 THE YOUNG MASTER: Jackie Chan's directorial debut! The plot is rudimentary, and actually distracting at times, since it's about Jackie's harsh master throwing him out after he loses a dragon puppet race. So it's sort of jarring when we forget all about that for awhile and go right into Jackie's comedy stuff. There's a chair fight with Yuen Biao that's pretty good, and a much better fight with Lily Li where she uses her skirt as a weapon--something Jackie himself repeats later when he's taking out a couple of toughs. I thought the final fight againt Whang In-Sik was on the verge of going too long (it felt like at least 15 minutes) because Jackie was taking a beating--that's what he does--and of course he's going to come back and win (he hulks up at one point and becomes nigh invulnerable) but it's such an enjoyable fight I ended up not caring about the length (or the hulking up.) It's quite a brutal fight, by the way; it's not overchoreographed, and Chan pumped up the audio on the slaps and on his own ragged breathing during the part of the fight he was getting his butt kicked. Not a complete film by any means, but the fights that I mentioned are fantastic.