As far as Chinese martial arts cinema goes, Yuen Woo-ping is that dude. The man directed Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master—two films that brought Jackie Chan to stardom—in the late ‘70s, and has continuously blessed his fans with bangers throughout the ‘80s and mid ‘90s. His action choreography work for Fist of Legend (starring Jet Li) caught the attention of the Wachowski brothers, who brought Yuen on board for the Matrix series. And for several years during the aughts, Yuen became the go-to action choreographer within Hollywood circles.
With such a high level of showmanship intact, True Legend’s action sequences are guaranteed to drop our jaws, and entertain us with all sorts of wired action wizardry. Starring Vincent Zhao, Jay Chou (Kato from The Green Hornet), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and David Carradine (the star of Kung Fu who died during the post production of this project), the film takes place in a mystical setting of China, where two brothers must battle each other out with their respective kung fu. As for patriotic sentiments and revenge for previous failures, we won’t say much, since they're common themes seen in films of this nature.
Unlike the original trailer released in China, which was more serious in tone, this American preview shows a stronger sense of humor. True Legend was marketed as the first Chinese 3D film, and failed miserably at the local box office. So selling the film with a slightly different approach doesn’t seem like a bad choice. We’ll find out if it does better in the U.S. on May 13th.