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cover: Legend, The (Jet Li)

Legend, The (Jet Li)

Director(s): Corey Yuen

Theatrical Release: 1993

Cast: Jet Li, Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Adam Cheng, Zhao Wenzhuo

Genre(s): Action, Comedy, martial arts, romance, Adventure

Countries: Hong Kong


Location in store: Please see staff for assistance

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Running Time: 97m.

Starring the fabulous Jet Li, this incredible historical epic with its deft blend of high drama, slapstick and more subtle forms of comedy coupled with breathtaking martial arts action, represents Hong Kong—filmmaking at its very best. The story contains many serpentine twists and a complex mixture of plots and subplots. The story is set during the Manchu dynasty in Canton. Li plays Sai-Yuk, a courageous young martial-arts expert who is the very best around, as can be seen in the opening kung-fu matches. Those he beats swear vengeance and a chaotic fight breaks out. All involved, including Sai-Yuk, end up in jail. Sai-Yuk's father is most displeased. Later Tiger Lei, a local official, decrees that whoever can beat his wife Siu Huan in a match will win his daughter Ting Ting's hand in marriage. Lei then builds an enormous scaffold on which the combatants will fight; the first fighter to touch the ground loses. Sai-Yuk gladly takes on the feisty mother. Unfortunately, after seeing the homely woman he takes to be Ting Ting, Fong decides to lose the fight. His own wild and crazy mother is mortified by the potential loss of face. To save the family honor, she masquerades as Sai Yuk's brother Tai Yuk and beats the tar out of Siu Huan. Unfortunately, Lei insists that the victor honor the marriage contract, something complicated by the fact that Siu Huan finds Tai Yuk irresistibly handsome. While that mess gets untangled, another brews when the family learns that patriarch Fong is a member of the notorious rebel Red Lotus Society, a group the governor has vowed to destroy with the help of Tiger Lei. Back again to the romantic travails, after much confusion, Sai-Yuk Fong and Ting Ting agree to marry and begin preparing for their wedding. They hold a pre-nuptial feast, one that the governor attends. Chop-socky chaos ensues resulting in the accidental shooting of Siu Huan and the capture of the elder Fong. This leaves the son to figure out how to save his father from losing his head to the vengeful official who makes some pretty tough demands of Sai-Yuk. The story's climax involves a major confrontation between the governor, Sai-Yuk, his lady, his crazy mother and a town full of irate citizens. A sequel Fong Sai-Yuk, II followed. — Sandra Brennan (allmovie.com)
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