Written by Chris Chow and directed by Ronny Yu (Freddy vs. Jason), this is the last star vehicle for Chinese martial artist/action star Jet Li. His Huo Yuanjia is a legendary Wushu master who defeated countless international champions in the 1920s. Along the way Huo experiences personal tragedy, alienating a childhood friend who pays off debts incurred by mooching on “disciples” and accidentally killing another fighter whose family retaliates. Shattered, he takes refuge in a remote farming village; years later he returns to Shanghai, eventually to fight in a contest staged by European and Japanese promoters to humiliate the Chinese. The story is told in flashback and suffers from choppy sequencing, poorly translated dialogue and clumsy expository scenes. But Fearless is often thrilling to watch, with its scenery (think early King Hu), costuming, and fight choreography. Fans of Li and admirers of Chinese antiquities need have no fear.
On the Web
Jet LI's Fearless's Web site: http://www.fearlessthemovie.com/