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Capsule Reviews

Once Upon A Time In China    (1991)
To remake a legendary Chinese hero, such as Wong Fei Hung, portrayed in about 100 movies is a bold bet that Tsui Hark managed however to win. The director revitalised the hero (who appears young now), he put him in a political background. Tsui hark didn't take Wong Fei Hung's story as the unique bare bones of the movie but as one of the bones of the plot. He multiplied the numbers or supporting roles (Yuen Biao's character for a start) and stories. This is more a kind of chronicles of the era than only a film about martial artist Wong Fei Hung. The result is splendid and this is one of Tsui Hark's best movies, with for instance, the anthology action sequences on ladders.
Laurent Henry  - top

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