The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk 2 (1993)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Historical Epic, Martial Arts  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - China , Hong Kong   |   MPAA Rating - R
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The magic flying and wall running popularized in the U.S. by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2001 is on ample display in this 1993 sequel to Jet Li's The Legend (also from 1993). The robust, eye-boggling choreography is not the only thing Legend 2 has in common with Dragon: The women in the film deliver as many bone-crunching chops as men; there's the pursuit of a fabled object (a rather ordinary looking "sacred" box), and there's ultimate confusion by the hero as to his true love interest. What the films do not share is Legend's periodic tone of silliness amid the danger, a trait traditional to Hong Kong action fare, although near the end things get quite serious as the villains crank up the villainy. Li, who is hardly recognizable in a half-shaved tonsure (despite the U.S. box art, which has him with contemporary hair), is a self-confident, self-effacing, and utterly charming innocent who is compelled by forces (the Emperor, his mother) to do things that seem far beyond the abilities of mortal man. The chair-juggling final sequence alone is worth a look.