Total Recall: Jet Li's Best-Reviewed Films

We celebrate the best work of the famed wushu champ and Mummy star.


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The Legend
(1993, 89 percent)


One good turn as a Chinese folk hero deserves another, so for 1993's The Legend (or, if you prefer the original title, Fong Sai-yuk), Li suited up as -- you guessed it -- Fong Sai-yuk, the legendary 18th century hero. Tempering all the sweeping melodrama here is a plot that focuses on Fong's younger years, when he was more concerned with loafing -- and chasing after an illicit affair with the Manchu governor's daughter -- than concentrating on nobler pursuits. Fortunately, his mother is around to help keep him out of trouble; unfortunately, according to legend, his mom was such a formidable warrior that she regularly broke Fong's bones in an effort to make him nearly invulnerable. Painful as that sounds, The Legend (which satirized the Once Upon a Time in China series) extended Li's stellar track record at the box office, proving so successful that a sequel (titled, naturally, Fong Sai-yuk II) was produced in time to reach theaters the same year.

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