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True Legend

Wenzhuo Zhao , Xun Zhou , Woo-ping Yuen    R (Restricted)   DVD

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  69 reviews
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great HK movie Aug. 30 2011
By Adam Chandler - Published on Amazon.com
I watched this movie a few months ago while I was on deployment. A buddy in my shop had a bootleg copy and at the time I had no idea what the movie was called. After googling the plot and some quotes I finally figured out it was True Legend.

Anyway I really enjoyed the movie as a whole. Great fight scenes and interesting story (although the story itself is pretty depressing). The background scenery and cinematography were amazing.

If you're a Yuen Woo-ping fan (The Matrix trilogy, Kill Bill Volumes I and II, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, Iron Monkey, Drunken Master) or just like martial arts movies in general then I'd recommend checking out this movie.

I've got this pre-ordered now and I'm really looking forward to watching a legit copy on blu-ray.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Schizo May 1 2012
By Eric Sanberg - Published on Amazon.com
This is a pretty strange flick. Part of it is very now and wow while other parts read like director Hark Tsui's "Zu Warrior" or "Once Upon a Time in China."

Here's the scoop. Su Can is a great warrior. He and his brother in law, Yuan Lie, finish a particularly grueling battle and Su wants to hang it up and start a school teaching the Wushu style of fighting. He takes his wife and son and heads off to the big city. Yuan, in the meantime, is starting to fume. He has always felt like a second fiddle to Su so he loads up on venom from various creatures and perfects a way to deliver it via the Five Fingers of Death. He now goes after Su and it leads to a really big mess.

This is a pretty wild ride. The opening battle uses a lot of CGI and looks as though it came from a poor man's version of "The Lord of the Rings." It then shifts to something more like "Zu Warrior" with the over exaggerated wire work, the white haired mystical dude and the "God" who will put Su through the paces to get him back up to speed after losing a fight with Yuan. I don't know where this genre is these days. I don't see enough of these to tell, but seeing a guy kick a big rock into pebbles isn't anything I've seen in "Hero" or "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon."

The story is pretty good but it takes an odd turn. It's two hours long but the first part ends in 90 minutes then veers off to an entirely different chapter where Su becomes an alcoholic and, through a changing socio-political condition in China, begins to develop the "drunken fist" method of fighting. It caught me way off guard.

I liked this movie enough. Good story and direction. Good sets and costumes with a decent score. Michelle Yeow is on hand but has a woefully small, underwritten part. Some of what is portrayed is supposed to be based on fact but the viewer can tell that great liberties were taken in the telling.

It's a fun watch, but if you're not a fan of the genre, you might end up going WTF?!
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 and 1/2 Stars: Not Quite True, Not Quite Legendary, But Quality Entertainment Oct. 1 2011
By Edward Lee - Published on Amazon.com
I don't know how much of TRUE LEGEND is either `true' or which is more `legend', but I found the end result of Director Yuen Woo Ping's work to present the story as an incomplete parable - one where perhaps the viewer can draw inspiration from to seek out answers to questions regarding martial arts history - but certainly not a `definitive work.' Or, at least, I wouldn't hope so. I can only suspect that, if this is based on true events, there may be more story here than what made it to the screen this time around. While TRUE LEGEND has moments of great entertainment, it felt only half-baked to me, a somewhat mixed bag of effective acting, tremendous fighting, and excellent choreography. And I couldn't help from wondering what a more accomplished director may've been able to do with the material.

The biggest detraction to TRUE LEGEND is that the end result actually feels more like one, big, sprawling combination of two smaller, incomplete halves. By the conclusion, I found myself wondering if the project had originally started out as two films - a first flick with a planned sequel - that, for budgetary considerations, were merged together. The first half runs about one hour and ten minutes, and it deals with Su Can's conflict with a vengeful brother, Yuan; the second half runs about forty minutes, and it explores Su Can's nearly-accidental "discovery" of fighting which prompts him to modify his Wushu style combat into `the Drunken Fist' style. I say "nearly-accidental" because that's how, narratively, it's structured, with Su Can happening across a demonstration of this new style.)

On reflection, it's easy to see that the first half has plenty of meat-and-bones, though I'm not entirely certain as to how the film could've been expanded despite the fact that the lovely Michelle Yeoh was tremendously under-used here. Perhaps much of her character was left on the cutting room floor? There's no way to tell. Comparatively, the second half is spent almost entirely with fighting as Su Can finds himself battling (to the death!) China's invaders in scenes vaguely reminiscent of territory already explored spectacularly in IP MAN. Of course, the fight choreography is incredible - TRUE LEGEND arguably contains some of the best hand-to-hand contact put to film - but the story suffers as a consequence. These two halves are introduced and bridged by graphics which serve to `fill in the gaps' between Su Can's filmed adventures; it's a serviceable technique ... it just isn't all that interesting.

It's worth mentioning that one of the greatest strengths of the film - aside from the martial arts, of course - is the talent of the actors. As the Su Can, leading man Man Cheuk Chiu brings not only tremendous physical prowess to the role but also he almost exudes a classic `leading man' charisma; when he's onscreen, he owns the screen, and everything accompanying him bends to his obvious charm. As the nefarious Yuan Lie, Andy On snarls his way through scene after scene, doing his best to match Su Can's graciousness with equal parts venom; these two men are brilliantly paired for the respective roles of `good' versus `evil', and the film benefits greatly from their opposing chemistry. Xun Zhou is suitably lovely and demure as Su Can's wife and sister to Yuan Lie; she's photographed beautifully and is clearly seen as the inspiration to these two opposing forces. Like Helen of Troy, it's not hard to see how her loveliness brought these two men into conflict. The remainder of the players all perform suitably, though some feel underused (as was the aforementioned Michelle Yeoh), but they're most inconsequential to the film's narrative focus.

All in all, TRUE LEGEND is entertaining. Throughout, it's smartly photographed, well-staged, and flows gracefully - like a martial arts routine - from start to finish. It just felt more than a bit incomplete to me. I would rather have enjoyed a greater exploration of these characters - perhaps a handful more of the subtle moments explored between husband and wife Su Can and Yuen Ying - which may've ended up on the cutting room floor or were deemed unnecessary to the fight pace set by the film. A few other scenes could've pushed the creative envelope, and they could've gone a long way toward honoring the `truth' and `legend' implied by the film's title.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Legend to True Classic... Dec 30 2013
By A. Valdez - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Hardcore Kung fu fans will love this movie... I've watched Kung fu movies since the early 70's and the revenge formula has been played a million times. With that aside the fight scenes are great and a beauty to watch (even the break dancing moves...)! If you don't own it, get it! You won't be disappointed...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fighting, average story June 16 2013
By BM3 - Published on Amazon.com
I rented this movie because I am a big Michelle Yeoh fan, but she only had a small non fighting role. Nevertheless, I was still enjoying the movie a lot until the story changed into the drunken kung-fu plot line. After that, I sort of lost interest in the story and the over the top fight scenes.

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