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The Master

Tsui Hark , Jet Li    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 42.33
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Fans of Jet Li should check out The Master, an early movie by the Hong Kong action star. Li is the anti-Stallone, all sinew and smile. His boyish grace makes him seem almost weightless as he whips through his fight scenes in peak physical form. Though the story isn't as strong as the Once upon a Time in China series or Fist of Legend--the plot, about a student of kung fu (Li) from China who comes to Los Angeles to help his former master, is serviceable but generic--the action scenes are dynamic and give ample room for Li's sprightly charisma. Everything about The Master is a little cliché, but at the same time it's all much more enjoyable than you'd expect. The editing is brisk, the actors are enjoying themselves, and the direction (by dependable Hong Kong auteur Tsui Hark) keeps things hopping. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master = Bruce Lee! That's the Key! Oct. 1 2002
This DVD The Master, with Jet Li, is wonderful. Admittedly it may initially disappoint, but this should only happen on first viewing. It is a movie that requires attention to detail (as all masterpieces do) and knowledge of other martial arts movies and legends. Nonetheless, after first viewing (during which time the proverbial penny should drop and deeper understanding commence), there are amazing viewing rewards! In fact, if you should ever want to show off your knowledge to others of the deeper purpose of martial arts and/or Jet Li, well, this is definitely THE movie to have!
First, though, to find the deeper story! So, to help the penny drop and to help find full appreciation of the consummate mastery of this Tsui Hark movie (especially its script), consider the possibility that the Master = Bruce Lee, the first internationally-recognized master of martial arts. On another level, to move closer to the story's higher purpose, consider the Master as the true spirit and/or reason for the practice of martial arts.
Second, consider the possibility that the movie is an extremely respectful criticism of the post-Bruce-Lee commercialism of martial arts (and the resultant use of martial arts in street violence).
Finally, consider the possibility that the martial arts people of the East saw a need to reinforce (via another master: Jet Li) the true spirit and/or reason of martial arts to the people of the West. This last point helps explain why the movie is set in modern-times and why it deliberately avoided the high-wire tricks; the movie is introducing to America the real martial arts mastery of Jet Li.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't de too hard on the film! Sept. 2 2002
Some people had strong criticisms of this film. I thought the film was entertaining though. Yeah sure, I'd agree that there was no wire work, and that the fight scenes wern't quite as spectaculor as his more recent films. But that dos'nt make it a bad film.
It's set in the late eighties and in LA. Why should it have wire work? It would'nt fit. The fight scenes are filmed fairly well and look down to earth. The plot is fun and quite humourous. Especially Jet Li's American counterparts. Jet Li is his usually respectable self looking out for the under dogs.
There's a skilled American villan, Jonny, with a signature late eighties hair cut. He does a good job of playing the over confident jerk. (similar to the cocky kid in the Karate Kid) There's several confrontations between Jet's crew and Jonny's student lackies until the finale at the end.
In the end this film should be viewed as a fun down to earth Kung Fu flick. It was'nt meant to be the next kung fu master piece. If watched in the right light it should be a fun and familiar(if from the US and LA in particular) addition to your Jet Li collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very funny movie..really Aug. 25 2001
By A Customer
i know that a few people thought this movie didnt have enough fight scenes or what they were looking for. you cant expect fight scenes every 10 minutes in every single movie he was in. if you relax and just enjoy a good movie....then i think you can appreciate this movie for what it is. i thought it had a good amount of fight scenes with great humor. i laughed through out the whole movie. for those of you who does understand cantonese would probably understand the humor more....but to those who doesnt...there is english subtitles. the quality of the movie is not that great...it looked like it was transferred from vhs..because this is kind of an older movie. this movie is about a sifu(kungfu teacher)who gets challenged by his ex-white student who had no respect for his teacher and wanted to take over. when the sifu gets attacked....jet li. his student from hong kong comes to america and finds out what happened and teaches them a lesson. jet li is awesome as always. this movie really showcased some of his wu shu style...his real fighting skills that are masked up by newer movies like romeo must die, etc. i wish hollywood would make a movie with him showcasing his real skills to the american audiences who have never seen his real fighting abilities. i love this movie....and i plan to buy the dvd. i recommend to all to watch even if you dont plan to buy the dvd. jet li is hot as alway ;D
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li Rocks Baby! March 28 2001
Ok, I think I'm the only one who really liked this movie a lot! I think Jet Li was really hot, with his sexy body (as usual) in this movie! Woooo I liked it when he took off his shirt and was fighting in his muscle tank with Johnny on top of the car! (Ok, I'll quit being girly now) Although, it doesn't have that many fighting scenes, it's not boring as some people would say. Some parts are really great! Like when May teaches Jet how to drive and then kisses him (I loved that part! It's too bad Jet Li doesn't kiss anybody else in his other movies, hehe!) And I like the part where he was teaching the mexicans kung fu. If you really like Jet Li, you totally should watch this movie! Sure, it's not the best, but I own it, and love it! I payed a LOT of money for it too, so it's good that I like it! LOL
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Master June 29 2001
In 1989 one might have asked, "who is Jet Li?" But if you asked me, I would have boasted that he is a great martial artist. I could say this because I Also Starred with him in this movie. I played the part of Ruben (the short Latino gang member) :-). Let me first start off my critique of this movie by saying that I'd like to thank all those who took the time to share their thoughts with this forum. I personally thought the movie was full of down-to-earth, believable action. The overall acting is not that great, but the fights scenes are awesome. This movie could be enjoyable if you look pass the Hong Hong style of acting.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Jet's worse film of all time
Jet lee was dorky in this film, and the cholos he was teaching were just as bad. This film was made in a desperate attempt to relaunch his career in America. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Taddese Zicke
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible
Hard as it is to do, this film manages to make Jet Li look very, very bad. I kept having Karate Kid flashbacks! Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2003 by S. Ott
1.0 out of 5 stars NO JET LI DIDN'T!
I love Jet Li, I collect all his dvds but this movie really [stank]! Don't buy it even for the collection! Nobody will notice that you don't have it!
Published on Sept. 24 2002 by "konfused21"
2.0 out of 5 stars Bad Jet, Bad!!
I know this was one of Jet Li's earlier films based on the clothing, music, and hairstyles of the characters in the movie, and Jet Li looked much younger. Read more
Published on Sept. 9 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled
I have watched this movie along with many other Jet Li films. To be very honest with you this movie is one that you can keep out of your collection. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by "mr_dont_play"
4.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li In Action
This is a showcase of Jet Li's brand of martial arts...fast and furious. While this is no Fist Of Legend the movie has enough action to keep the exitement going. Read more
Published on Aug. 25 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Jet Li comes to America and Kicks Master jonny's butt!!!
Jet Li stars in this crazy but funny movie. Li comes to America to find his master and runs into 3 latinos who try to steal his luggage. Read more
Published on Dec 14 2000 by KING GHETTO
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining...
Although, Jet Li has better movies out on video and VCD, I thought this movie was entertaining and funny. Read more
Published on June 1 2000 by Thomas Yan Ong
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