Jet Li's Fearless (Huo Yuan Jia) (Legend of a Fighter) Reviews
Fearless is one of the single greatest martial arts films I have ever seen by any scale, because as well as being an awesome action packed experience, it's an enlightening journey about the art of wushu.
The directors cut of Fearless is superior to the theatrical version because it is a lot more spiritual than the aforementioned version as within its extra 40 minutes it conveys more of the life changing aspects that made Huo Yuanjia develop as a human being. Even though the story doesn't focus much on answering who he is aside from being a fearless warrior, it does reveal what it is to be a master of the martial arts. So it's an educational experience and an enlightening film.
But it's also an unforgettable visual experience. Fearless has some immaculately choreographed action scenes which go on for extensive periods of time. With only a touch of CGI, the fight scenes entertain viewers while filling them with tension and a lack of predictability for what could come next. Fearless had some of the best fights you could see on film and they are all unforgettable sights which are shot as well as they are choreographed and edited perfectly just as the sound effects and musical score is.
Really, Fearless combines a powerful story with some incredible action and makes it a powerful experience. One example is that the scene in which Huo Yuanjia stops Hercules O'Brien from dying in the battle between the two and expresses a sense of honourable greatfullness is one of the most iconic images I've ever seen in Martial Arts cinematic history. This is because as a person who has trained in martial arts for 7 years I know the meaning of honour within fight, and when Hercules O'Brien accepts the futility of his life and the fact that it is not a trivial thing to someone like Huo Yuanjia it is truly a strong character development moment, even though it's brief. It's a scene I admire for its sense of honour, and it reflects the positive nature of the entire film. There is just so much life in Fearless, and had I not seen Fearless before years ago and known of its plot, I would have cried at its end.
And like a great martial arts film deserves, Fearless has a strongly talented cast.
Jet Li completely storms the role of Huo Yuanjia. Even though Fearless is supposedly historically inaccurate and the film is more about his life regarding wushu than him as a person, Jet Li gives it the best talent he can offer as an actor and fully dominates the screen with his acting talent and skill as a martial artist constantly. He never let's viewers down, and he really convinces everybody that he truly is fearless. His character development is at an all time strong in Fearless.
Dong Yong also supplied a strong supporting role and played a pivotal role in proving Jet Li's talent for creating a strong chemistry between actors, and he does a good job himself.
Nakamura Shido II played a good part in the film's climax by giving a dominating performance and putting up a hell of a fight.
Nathan Jones also put up a great fight in his role and delivered his few lines with a graceful strength.
So Ronny Yu and Jet Li give it their all in Fearless, and the result is a powerful visual experience which teaches of honour in Wushu.