Jet Li's FearlessDirector: Ronny Yu, Jet Li, Betty Sun, Dong Yong
Fearless opens in Shanghai, China, circa 1910, when wushu master Huo Yuanjia (martial arts superstar Jet Li) prepares to battle one Japanese opponent, Tanaka (Shidou Nakamura), and three American opponents (Anthony de Longis, Jean-Claude Leuyer, and Brandon Rhea) in a massive tournament. The picture then cuts back to Huo's boyhood in the city of Tianjin, in North China, circa 1880, when his father forbids him from engaging in martial-arts training. He must therefore slip off and train covertly. Around 1900, Huo -- then in his twenties -- continues to fight in tournaments. His determination is such that his entire life begins to revolve around championships, and the prospect of becoming the top-ranked fighter in Tianjin turns into a die-hard obsession, despite the repeated warnings of his best friend, Nong (Dong Yong), to cut back. Huo ignores these admonitions, then turns conceited and ultimately refuses to hear an additional word of caution, until his arrogance leads to the death of a fighter and Nong's decision to abandon him as a friend. Driven into exile, Huo journeys to southeastern Asia, where he works alongside rice farmers and divests himself of conceit, then gently touches the spirit of a blind girl. When he finally returns to Tianjin, he has transformed, internally, into a different person altogether. A huge hit in Hong Kong when originally released into theaters in 2006, Fearless was often touted as Jet Li's final film in the wushu school of martial arts. The picture is based on the real-life story of Huo Yuanjia, founder of the Jingwu school of martial arts.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Universal Studios
- [Wide Screen]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Jet Li||Huo Yuanjia|
|Dong Yong||Nong Jinsun|
|Shidou Nakamura||Tanaka, Anno|
|Collin Chou||Huo's father|
|Paw Hee-ching||Huo's mother|
|Anthony de Longis||Actor|
|Thomas Chong||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Wu Lala||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Jet Li||Executive Producer|
|Mei Linmao||Score Composer|
|Kenneth Mak||Art Director|
|Yuen Woo Ping||Choreography|
|Han Sanping||Co-producer,Executive Producer|
|Shigeru Umebayashi||Score Composer|
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Jet Li preformance as Huo Yuanjia is story about a martial arts champion. In the opening scene is face-to-face with the most ferocious fighters from the West and the final challenge - the Japanese for pride and redemption for China.
Jet Li has been an impressive presence in film as a martial arts practitioner and choreographer both in his native China and in his US films. He has selected FEARLESS as his final film as a martial artist and a better choice of story for a final bow could not be imagined. Based on the life of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia (1869-1910), the founder and spiritual leader of the Jin Wu Sports Federation still in existence internationally, Jet Li acts the role of Huo Yuanjia, a man whose father's heroics were surpassed only by his compassion, a trait the film shows us to be the lesson learned by Huo Yuanjia. Beginning with his childhood where all of his influences and those people who altered his life are introduced by child actors (the weakest portion of this film), he grows into the role as champion Washu fighter of his province, but his championship is not without problems: he inadvertently kills his final opponent opening a series of tragedies that drives him, a broken man, into the rural area of China where he learns the simple life and ideals of his people. He returns to his province to visit the sites of his family's memorials and the memorial of the man he killed. He further accepts a challenge to fight again only this time despite onerous odds he allows his spiritual awakening to govern the outcome. The film is lushly beautiful with some of the finest cinematography of China we have yet to see. The choreography of the fight sequences is superb and Jet Li commits his all to the role both as actor and martial arts fighter. The audience is left feeling a new sense of respect for the travails of China at the early part of the 20th century, for the field of Marital Arts, for the dignity of one of China's heroes, and for the performer/actor Jet Li. It is a most fitting valedictory. Grady Harp
I confess, I haven't seen every film Li has ever made and further, I am not a huge fan of martial arts films. BUT... I you were going to see one film by this Master of the MA, it should be this one. Jet Li brings a pathos to the story and the character that is every bit as deeply troubled, as profoundly changed by events as the best tormented soul penned by Willy the Shake. It is rare to find an actor who can bring such a tragic hero to full life without slipping into what is typically a characature of a man "pretending" to be tortured. I suspect that Li, after spending years on his own inward journey, a hallmark of a true Master, called upon those painful personal experiences to connect with his character and the results are no less than Oscar worthy. To find an epic tale told in Chinese cinema is easy enough because most deal with the sweep of history. But, the quality of this production, in all aspects, are well beyond what we would typically expect. From Director to second unit work, everything clicks and you absolutely care about this guy. That is the gold for any screenwriter you want the audience to feel what your hero feels and we do. Given that translation is difficult at best, here you'll note a quantum leap in value. Even though there is plenty of exposition -- telling us backstory instead of weaving it into the action -- it was appropriate to the overall storyline. Beautifully photographed, with rich set design, simple but effective dream sequences, clean point-of-view camera work and nicely done editing, this is a film worth seeing at least twice because the back story is historical and should be viewed from that aspect as well. But the one we all resonate with is that of the personal tragedy of Jet Li's character. This is a film that will be in my very small library to study and learn from. A simple story, well told, with characters you can and want to care about. Thanks Mr. Li. You will be missed from this genre of film by your ardent fans and you can now include me among them.
I loved this Jet Li flick! It's dubbed in english and has a good story. See this one!
What can us viewers do to change your mine…o well I got to say that director Ronny Yu has made the right choice of casting Jet Li as Huo Yuan Jia, after Jet portrays Huang Fei Hong in his remarkable ‘Once Upon A Time Trilogy.’ This has once again strengthened the image of Jet Li as the Chinese hero among the Chinese around the world. This is a glorified tribute to the famous Shanghai martial arts master, Huo Yuanjia. The above subject has also been visited by Jet himself in ‘Fist of the Legend.’ The movie starts with Huo Yuanjia's famous tournament against the champions of the Sphere of Influence nations. We get to the Japanese challenger and then are sent into a flashback to Huo's youth. We are given the details of Huo's early life, his trials and tribulations. How he was, what he became and how he got there. This section is full of all the other parts of martial arts that have nothing to do with fighting (at this point I'm thinking fondly of Bruce's ‘Circle of Iron.’All the fight scenes through out the film are choreographed well and are quite exciting. Fearless does carry the message not to resort violence to settle any problem, where we can see how violence did to Huo's loved ones. The showdown between Huo and other foreign fighters also promotes the idea of sparing your enemy a chance, no matter how deadly they could be. This, somehow, reflects on part of the idea and philosophy Jet Li understands and promotes from his one year Buddhism studies. As this is a semi-bio-pic, it runs into the same inherent problems in the genre namely that you must have something invested in the person already. The person must be someone you know something or care something about. Rarely does a movie in this genre make you care about the character if you are not interested. It is much like hypnosis, if you do not believe you will not be put under. As for this film being Jet Li's last epic, it breaks my heart but I really did enjoy it. In his own words, it's a representation of his own struggles as an actor/martial artist. It's all him (maybe a tiny bit of wire-work)! If this is what he identifies with, how he wants to end it, why should we expect him to do otherwise. I think I paid more attention to the time period, understood the dialogue, learn the lesson of respect, not everyone are vengeance driven, an eye for an eye... etc. If you are telling a story about a historical character, it has to be believable to a point, not over the top, but not everything is going to be completely accurate. Despite what others say about how boring it is... it’s simply not and I’m ending this with a recommendation.
I love the story and the fight scenes! how oftan can you say that? and the end even got me teary eyed... VERY GOOD! and if you like action action the unrated version dont play. YOU SEE ACTION!