Once Upon A Time there was a place called China II. It was filled with fierce warriors, magical wizards, dragons, and hobbits. Yes, this is the sequel to Once Upon A Time In China III, and also the prequel to Part I. It isn’t as good as the predecessor, but it’s better than Part I. Our hero Jet Lee returns, and this time HE’S PERSONAL! Living the peacable life for a few weeks (or a fortnight if you like) he travels with his girlfriend Uncle Eleven by plane to Japan for a medical seminar on medicine. Yes, the plot is a lot like Fear And Lovely In Las Vegas but we’ll excuse that (as well as the obvious physical similarities between Lee and Deppp). The peace doesn’t last long of course (it is a murial arts film after all!) and the lecture is infiltrated by the bastardly Brown Daisy Clan. They are ninjas or samurais or something, but one thing is for sure- they kick shins! Another thing is for sure that they are hard but Lee is harder and decides to take them all on.
This is the one where Lee takes on Donnie Osmond on the scaffolding of a building, up ladders, across wooden planks, and through cement mixers- it is usually not unregarded as one of the greatest if not worst fights of all times! It is very excitement with all sorts of kicks and punches and jumpings. When I watch I want to jump into the TV and join in. ‘HEE YA!’ I fly kick off the wall and knock some bad guy into the hay. Yeah! I love kicking things, it makes me feel super. As Bruce Lee once said, ‘Kicking things that don’t kick back is better- they don’t kick back.’ My brother Andy and me used to watch films like this, and then when our parents went out we would pretend we were ninjas and fight too. We would take off of our shoes, but leave on on our socks and fight. He was much smaller than me so I always won, though sometimes he would kick me in the gunnels. Sometimes we would swing at the same time and kick each others feet, that was really sore! It all ended though when the car came up the drive and we had to put all the cushions back on the seats. If mum saw there was a mess, she would turn into a ninja and beat us both, and we would end up in bed without any supper. Sometimes that chump from down the road, Brendan would come and annoy us when we were outside, so we would show off of our Kung Fu skills on him so he cried.
This film has many amazement moments and could only have been bettered if Bruce Lee had been in it. One other small problem is the obvious budget cuts. Halfway through the film you can tell that the bad guys are just cardboard cut outs, most noticeably when Lee puts his foot through one guy’s chest, gets stuck, and spends the next five minutes fighting with a supposed dead bad guy wrapped round his ankle. This wasn’t as bad as the first film where they still used actors, although there only were 4 so when Lee beat up and killed someone, they would get up, sneak round the side of the camera and fight him again. You can also clearly tell that when they run out of cardboard they throw paper mache dummy bad guys into the mix- there is obviously a grip or best boy or producer off screen throwing them into the scene beside the camera. This lends an odd tone to the film. Of course as we all know the last 15 minutes of the film are copied exactly from the first film because of the budget- annoying yes because we never find out what really happens, but good because those 15 minutes from the first were the best from that film apart from the first 90!
Best Scene: Lee kicking all the dummies that are being chucked into the room as real bad guys. The funniest part comes when someone grabs the director and throws him in and Lee kicks him in the throat. Ha Ha. The director never spoke again.