Movie Review – Fearless / Huo Yuan Jia – Jet Li

Jet Li - Fearless

Master Huo Yuan Jia was a supreme Martial Arts champion, founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. “Fearless” tells his tale.

Yeah I know it’s kind of old, just got around to watching it though, I missed it on the cinema unfortunately.

Touted to be Jet Li’s last movie, must say I’ve been a fan of the boy since he was in Shaolin Temple back in 1982.

As a Ronny Yu film (Bride with White Hair, 51st State), with Yuen Wo-Ping choregraphy, you have to expect it to be action packed butt kicking classic!

And well it pretty much was, I heard some people mention it wasn’t a very good film, but I don’t know why?

I found it very good indeed, Jet Li acted well for once (reminded me of his excellent character representation of Wong Fei Hung).

The fight scenes were beautiful and pretty original.

The movie was well paced with good character developement and a nice non-sequential narration of the story, the scenery was beautiful and although a little cheesy (preaching) at times it is a very morally sound tale.

It did indeed score a very strong 7.5 over at IMDB.

Plus it’s based (very loosely) on a true story, the story of Huo the spiritual founder of the Jing Wu martial arts school.

Sadly it was heavily edited to a more mainstream length, I would love to see the uncut version some day.

However, Fearless is badly edited from the original 150 min version. To fit in the market demand, Fearless has been mercilessly chopped into a 103 min theatrical version. Michelle Yeoh, who makes a special appearance in Fearless, has been unfortunately removed. The duel between Jet Li and Thai boxer has also been removed, sad to say. Somehow, the movie has make the audience wants to go for something more than 103 min version.

I thoroughly recommend it anyway, Jet Li’s best movie for years.

I give it a worthy 8/10.




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22 Responses to Movie Review – Fearless / Huo Yuan Jia – Jet Li

  1. moz monster April 26, 2006 at 2:50 pm #

    Yeah, I thought it was good too – on merit of the action alone. But if you research seriously into the life of Hua Yuan Jia, you’d realise that the movie wasn’t very faithful to the real deal.

  2. ShaolinTiger April 26, 2006 at 2:59 pm #

    moz monster: Yeah the action was excellent. Did you not read the part where I said “Plus it’s based (very loosely) on a true story” 😛 The family of Huo actually sued the film makers over the innaccuracies as they said it portrayed him in a bad light.

  3. eyeris April 26, 2006 at 3:55 pm #

    not last movie lar. last WUSHU movie…

    oh, and there is supposed to be an unedited DVD version coming out soon… apparently lar…

  4. Hijackqueen April 26, 2006 at 4:24 pm #

    Now only you watch ka. I watched them during CNY oredi. Not for women la. From head to tail keep on fighting only. Fight until I also sleep in the cinema. My dad say I dunno anything cos during their days they study their fighting history in school before. Fyi, this is not his last movie. Is his last ACTION movie.

  5. JW April 26, 2006 at 5:29 pm #

    I agreed this is a good movie although it is commented as a below average movie. Would love to rewatch it in complete version.

    However, the final scene/fight is too easy for HuoYuanJia. Especially the Japanese fighter, I expected him to be a though fighter.

    Well, I’m comparing to another movie by JetLi where he’s the student of HuoYuanJia called ChenJen (another popular character kept on replay in movie). Have you watch that one? It’s called “JinWu Hero” (direct translation). One of my JetLi favorite movie too.

  6. JW April 26, 2006 at 5:32 pm #

    … the final fight with Japanese major is a classic. The fella is so tough !!

    Another favorite scene would be the fight between ChenJen against the senior Japanese martial master. Superb!!!!

  7. KY April 26, 2006 at 5:57 pm #

    I liked how the fights were pretty realistic. Unfortunately I got the dubbed Cantonese version tho..

  8. beefstew April 26, 2006 at 8:54 pm #

    Agree with KY,

    Unless, you go to Midvalley or KLCC, you will get cantonese dubbed version. Same goes to CTHD.

    Yep, Mr Huo had a son too. And Bruce Lee was playing Mr Huo’s beloved student in Fist of Fury. They should include that one too.

    From marketing point of view, you can have Episode One (Huo himself intoxicated by the japs), Episode Two (Vengence from his son or students ala Fist of Fury) and Episode Three (I dunno the story but, Jackie Chan do have the movie during the 90’s for this continous historical saga). Hehee.

  9. terry April 26, 2006 at 10:12 pm #

    lucky for you is not JET LI’s last movie.

    is His LAST MARTIAL ARTS MOVIE. but he can do still on love, romance and those action movies 😛

  10. Kenny Lee April 26, 2006 at 11:00 pm #


  11. Dabido (Teflon) April 27, 2006 at 11:32 am #

    I might adopt the films catch phrase as my own:

    Fat made him a worrier, porridge made him ero!

    [Ero is a Japanese term … I’ll let you look it up!]

  12. ShaolinTiger April 27, 2006 at 12:47 pm #

    Ok ok, not his last movie, his last martial arts movie 🙁 But isn’t that what we all love him for? He hasn’t made any other kinds of movie..Unless it’s just last Wushu movie, and he’ll be doing other kinds of fighting or action films, then it’s ok.

    Hijackqueen: Yah la so busy, what to do.

    JW: Yah I agree, the movie you talk of is called Fist of Legend in English, it’s a remake of Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury. My favourite is still Tai Chi master, followed by Once Upon a Time series.

    KY & beefstew: Ah unfortunate, I got the original Mandarin version, with decent-ish English subs too. I guess dubbed version must have killed out some of the good acting. Fighting was realistic indeed, not too much wirework.

  13. spiller April 27, 2006 at 2:25 pm #

    8/10? You were being generous dude.

    I think the movie was so so. The entire part where he met another woman in this village was a waste of time, no?

    In the beginning, he wasn’t allowed to practice kung fu by his dad. Then a few years later, he’s good at it. WTF?

    For me, the best Jet Li movie is still Fist of Legend.

    Btw, would Jet Li beat Bruce Lee in a real fight??

  14. Mossie`Ol Chin April 27, 2006 at 4:14 pm #

    yakah, last i heard he making another action movie somewhere in canada now?

  15. yhtan April 27, 2006 at 11:15 pm #

    the DVD that selling out now is edited(103min) or unedited(150min)?

  16. zbjernak April 28, 2006 at 9:57 am #

    not last movie…
    just his last martial art movie
    he still will do hollywood movies though

  17. Dabido (Teflon) April 28, 2006 at 12:17 pm #

    Spiller – Yes, Jet Li would beat Bruces Lee as it isn’t difficult to beat up a bunch of bones. 🙂
    [Or was Bruce cremated … in which case Jet would be kicking a can of ash].

  18. ShaolinTiger April 28, 2006 at 5:32 pm #

    spiller: Yah quite generous, still can’t beat Wong Fei Hung series for me, or my alltime favourite Tai Chi Master! I reckon Bruce Lee would kick his ass tbh.

    Mossie`Ol Chin: Yah, heard about that, can’t recall the name.

    yhtan: Edited version.

    zbjernak: Ah ok cool, my bad.

  19. JW May 1, 2006 at 3:40 pm #

    For me, JetLi is no match against BruceLee.

    JetLi fights for movie/camera angles. If you watched the interview with YuanHoPing (director of HuoYuanJia), those moves come from YuanHoPing for beauty & gracefulness instead of practical real fight.

    I must admit that JetLi is a great martial artist though.

    BruceLee fights out of love for martial arts. His high spirit is still amazing to this day. You’ll see the sign from his fit body. Whew … this fella is a kungfu maniacs.

    TaiChi Master is a great movie too. Feels so good watching it first time, but looks fake after watching for several times.

    The TaiChi movie that I like best is acted by this guy called errr … (he acted the assasin in ShaPoLang). The movie is called TaiChi … something like that. Still looking for this title. This guy showed the true essence of TaiChi.

    Of course, “Xiao TaiChi” (direct translation) by Donny Yen is one of my childhood favorite. Can’t find this action comedy now a days.

  20. CZ May 2, 2006 at 6:41 am #


  21. ShaolinTiger May 2, 2006 at 4:09 pm #

    JW: Totally agree, Bruce Lee was a true martial artist to me, he did fencing, boxing and wrestling along with escrima to try and make his style cover the whole circle. Then he came out with jeet kuen do, amazing athelete. Jet Li is good at wushu, no doubt, but to me, it doesn’t prove he could actually fight if it came down to it. Bruce Lee trained himself in the harsh reality of Hong Kong rooftop Wing Chun fights, sometimes to the death. I know the movie you mean, english name is just Tai Chi Boxer (Jacky Wu I think), it’s a great movie too. The Donnie Yen one is ok, a bit cheesy.

  22. Kevin June 5, 2006 at 2:30 am #

    I bought the DVD Fearless. It is very good. I have seen pretty well all of Jet Li’s movies and I liked them all. I went to the theatre to watch District 13 and it showed the preview Fearless. I am going to watch it again because I love to watch martial arts on the big screen. In my opinion, Jet Li is the best when it comes to Chinese martial arts. I would like to see him go against Tony Jaa from Thailand.

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