SPRING CLEANING - FILM #12
I couldn't confidently recall the plot details of The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, Tai Chi Master, or any other 90's Jet Li movie. The stories all homogenize into a warm and cozy Kung fu soup. The fights will have a lasting impression but the films don't really distinguishing themselves in any narrative way. But Once Upon a Time in China does.
Tsui Hark paints a broad historical tapestry that includes the US army, French traders, British imperialists, and Jesuit preists. They all fit into the movie's theme of foreign influence and modernization in China. The usual plot of good master vs. evil master is still there, but it's part of a much grander…