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The Master 1992
Description: Uncle Tak is popular for using Chinese herbal medicines to cure diseases. A martial arts expert, he also teaches the young how to defend themselves. One of his students, Johnny, dreams of monopolizing the teaching of kung fu throughout the United States. To accomplish this, he tries to slay Uncle Tak. Chuck, Uncle Tak's greatest student from Hong Kong, comes to Los Angeles to search his master. Chuck is willing to allow Johnny have his way, and tries to take Uncle Tak back to Hong Kong. But Johnny and his boys will not leave Chuck alone. Chuck, on his method back to Hong Kong, returns for the showdown.
Released: 28 May 1992 Director: Hark Tsui Writers: Kee-To Lam (screenplay), Tai-Mok Lau, Jack Maeby (english adaptation), Hark Tsui (story) Actors: Jet Li, Wah Yuen, Crystal Kwok, Jerry Trimble Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime
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The Master Reviews:

If you've seen Jet Li beat folks down difficult with kung-fu in ROMEO MUST DIE, UNLEASHED, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE and KISS OF THE DRAGON, then you need to check out THE MASTER, a fist-flying kung-fu gem that details loads of realistic war sequences that unfolds the extraordinary Wu Shu specialties of a then-unknown Jet Li.Tsui Hark, the visionary director who helmed two Jean-Claude Van Damme-headlined vehicles, DOUBLE TEAM and KNOCK OFF, presented this storyline about a young Chinese martial artist (Li) from Hong Kong who travels to the United States in hopes of finding his master, Uncle Tak (played by Yuen Wah, the Landlord in KUNG FU HUSTLE). When arriving there, he learns that Tak was badly beaten in a war by a former student called Johnny (Light Welterweight Globe Kickboxing Champion, Jerry Trimble), who is responsible for terrorizing martial art dojos across Downtown L.A. While Tak recovers from his injuries, Li tries to settle his differences with him while preparing for an all-out kung fu brawl vs Johnny and his group of students in order to regain his master's honor.Shot on zone in L.A., THE MASTER was sort of how RUMBLE IN THE BRONX was with Jackie Chan where a Chinese kung-fu expert travels to a crime ridden zone in America to achieve a easy target while encountering thugs and impressing folks with his combat methods. He teaches a Police Force healing secrets as if he was instructing a Tae Bo class, teaches a Latino gang kung fu to support them beat off thugs and faces off vs an American martial artist to save his master and another hostages held by Johnny's students. The film's easy plot allowed plenty of zone for non-stop martial art fights.One of the film's best achievements was the nicely choreographed war scenes, courtesy of co-star Yuen Wah who incorporated traditional kung fu and weaponry. The absence of fancy wirework and computer-generated results allowed the wars to be believable and realistic as possible. Yuen Wah revealed his wonderful kung fu specialties vs a group of warriors on a building rooftop. He uses close-range takedowns, Wu Shu-oriented butterfly kicks, acrobatics, and another war moves to present audiences that he is a real master of the art. Jerry Trimble exchanges blows with Jet Li on more than one opportunity but the one-on-one finale details Trimble using Tae Kwon Do to execute his cinematic footwork while dealing with Li's counter attacks, fast-flowing jabs, and Wu Shu Kung Fu. In addition to that, fight, Li gets his leg stuck in a circular pipe handle but is still able to pull off kung fu.Li supports his newly-befriended Latino gangster buddies war off Johnny's posse (two of them who were played by stuntman and martial artist Steven Ho- Liu Kang's brother in MORTAL KOMBAT and Ju Jitsu expert Stefanos Militsakakis- BEST OF THE BEST 2, MAXIMUM RISK, DAREDEVIL) before facing off vs Johnny on top of a car.Yuen Wah is popular for his newest role as the Landlord in KUNG FU HUSTLE and remembered by fanatics as the boy one who caught the apple in ENTER THE DRAGON and doubled for Bruce Lee in some of the sequences. He also had a tiny role in Chinese CONNECTION (aka FIST OF FURY) as the Japanese who taunts Lee by saying him to walk like a dog. He was a regular in old-school kung fu flicks produced by the legendary Shaw Brothers (recently saluted by Quentin Tarrantino in KILL BILL VOL. 1's opening).World Karate Winner and Tae Bo exercise founder Billy Blanks made a quick-second cameo as a gang thug but unfortunately, he did not do any fighting which was a disappointment. The reason why the filmmakers did not allow him war will be a mystery but with his martial arts skill (shown in countless B-grade Hollywood movies), he could have fought someone but instead, he is depicted as an unknown extra.Originally filmed in 1989, THE MASTER would not earn the 5-time National Wushu Winner his crown to superstardom. The movie was delayed until 1992 because Li and Tsui Hark were unaware of what was to come that year when they collaborated again to create ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA, which was a box-office success and Li's ticket to superstardom (in Asia).To support capitalize on Li's fame in America, the generally unknown film, THE MASTER finally got an international DVD release in 2002 by Miramax Movies to give viewers the possibility to witness the stunning talents of this kung fu master.Overall, THE MASTER was a terrible film with nice war scenes. It suffered form terrible acting and terrible antics but it still deserves a full view because it was one of a several modern kung-fu films to detail lightning-fast, raw and street-effective kung fu to create it comparable to fight-films like ONG-BAK and THE PROTECTOR.


Before I begin, allow me receive across everyone's complaint: the acting is horrible...from the white actors. It is far worse than the dubbing of old school kung fu films (although I prefer the dubbed dialogue of old kung fu films to many films made today, the dialogue is more quotable). But come on, what kind of person would watch a low-budget kung fu film and expect nice acting?The plot is right out of an old kung fu movie: Rival kung fu masters duking it out to see who is better. Jet is a fish-out-of-water who gets involved.The wars are why we see this movie...right? The wars are well-choreographed. Very tiny (if any) wires are used. Jet Li, Yuen Wah, and Jerry Trimble look very impressive. He now is better in this film than in items like Romeo Gotta Die, Hitman, Swordsman II, and Dr. Wai. The last war is very cool, one of his greatest overall. Overall, a cute nice movie...just don't expect much.


I noticed there wasn't a lot of notification on this movie, along with some weak rating and negative reviews. Nonetheless, I vowed to own each Jet Li movie, so I had to purchase this and watch it. And I gotta say, I was positively surprised! Jet Li plays the student of Uncle Tak (Yuen Wah), who is a kung fu master and has established a store for traditional Chinese medical treatment in America. Meanwhile there is an "evil" martial arts club that causes trouble, challenging and beating up kung fu masters all over town. Only with the support of Jet can these hooligans be stopped.You can't play this film if you over-analyze each feature and mission out the goofs, which are rather numerous. "The Master" is probably one of Jet's goofier movies, with a lot of miscommunication jokes and silly sidekicks. If this isn't your deal, test focusing on the nice non-wired action scenes with Jet Li and Yuen Wah, who are both perfect fighters. All in all, this film isn't for everyone, and it's definitely not Jet Li's greatest by far. HOWEVER, if you consider yourself a real Jet Li fanatic and can withstand some silly humor, then you could definitely see this movie. The wars were surprisingly good, which made me play "The Master".



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