Fearless (2006)

Watched at least once before.
Watched 20130705 (Netflix, Instant, HD) (Theatrical version) (Mandarin audio, English subtitles)*
*While Netflix gave no choice regarding audio and subtitles for this title, these would have been my preferred language settings for this movie.
Fearless (2006) Ronny Yu. 103 min

Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li)

Relevant Links:
Jet Li's Fearless (RottenTomatoes.com)
Fearless (IMDb.com)
Fearless (2006 film) (Wikipedia.org)

Huo Yuanjia wants to be a great martial artist like his father, but has asthma and his father doesn't allow him to train. Nevertheless, Yuanjia practices anyways, particularly motivated to fight and win after seeing his father lose a sanctioned match. It should be noted, however, that his father could have won the match, but withheld a lethal attack to the head.

Huo Yuanjia's father.

Years later, Yuanjia (Jet Li) is fighting in matches similar to his father, winning them all and winning them ruthlessly. Unfortunately, Yuanjia remains discontent and his personality eventually leads to a misguided fight between him and another martial arts master, Qin Lei. While Yuanjia is victorious, he has killed Lei with a lethal blow to the chest. In an act of revenge, Lei's godson kills Yuanjia's mother and daughter. Later Lei's godson admits to the killings and commits suicide. While all this is emotionally unsettling, Yuanjia goes over the edge when he learns his reason for fighting Qin Lei was unfounded.

Yuanjia leaves the city and after almost drowning in a river, is recovered and brought to a village outside the city. Staying there a while, he slowly begins to work along with the villagers and builds character.

Eventually, the time comes for Yuanjia to return to the city. Arriving, he finds things have changed and foreigners have begun to affect the area. In particular, he learns of an American wrestler who's been defeating Chinese martial artists and viewing them as weak. In response, Yuanjia challenges the wrestler, Hercules O'Brien, and wins.

As Yuanjia continues to represent the Chinese people and gains popularity, his old friend Nong Jinsun sees it as an opportunity to open a school of martial arts. This, however, is not the end for Yuanjia, but you'll have to watch the movie or find another summary to find out what happens next!

As a fan of martial arts, I'll gladly overlook any flaws this film might possibly have and watch it again and again for the fight scenes. I should, however, admit that I started the film with the expectation that content-wise I'd be watching Hero (2002). Unfortunately, Hero is not available on Netflix streaming.

If you like martial art movies and/or Jet Li, then check this movie out.


Instant Comments:
It's interesting that the audience is privy to his father sparing his opponent the strike to the head, which would possibly be fatal. Though there's no clear sign that it registers to the crowd. It certainly doesn't register to the child.
Oh wow, later as a grown up he realizes the moment. How strange.
While I've had discussions on the topic before, the idea of imparting tastes is a bit of a gray area to me. I'll eventually make a post on this topic.
Great ending.

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