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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Movie Review: Putting the fear in ‘Fearless’

    Movie Review: Putting the fear in Fearless

    Jet Li’s “”Fearless”” shows Li battling his way to fame with glory, honor and courage in a Chinese backdrop of the early 20th century. “”Fearless”” recounts the story of Huo Yuanjia, a Chinese martial arts fighter in the early 1900s. Yuanjia lives for fighting but ultimately learns that one should not kill in a battle to win.

    Li is able to take the audience into the mentality of a fighter. Yuanjia is eaten up by pride, and Li does a remarkable job in portraying this idea. After Yuanjia has beaten everyone in his town of Tianjin, the only person he has to beat is himself.

    It’s that fight of man versus man that makes this movie different than any other action movie. The plot takes you into the psyche of Yuanjia by making you feel for his wins and losses. The audience feels a sense of pride when he wins but also a sense of sickness when his pride makes the best of him.

    The storyline also takes you on an adventure that has you glued to the screen. The events make perfect sense and blend into one another.

    The scenes of the movie are magical. When Li balances his way to the top of a fighting circle by jumping on posts of wood, you know he’s not going to fall, but you’re ready to catch your breath in case he does.

    The last fight scene is the best scene of Li’s career. Not only is he fighting for his life, but there is immense feeling involved with each move Li makes. With every kick and block, Li’s face contorts and stretches to correlate.

    The fights are choreographed to perfection, without all that “”Matrix”” nonsense. There are no scenes that freeze in the movie. Instead you get a fluid fight scene, with combination kicks galore and Li’s graceful martial arts style, reminiscent of the composure and accuracy you get only in ballets. It’s like watching “”The Nutcracker,”” except with lots of kicks and no tutus.

    The scenery is remarkable. When the camera zooms out to show the cities of Shanghai and Tianjin, you get that grainy look familiar to the landscapes of “”Moulin Rouge.”” Tianjin has beautiful scenery when the camera closes in on it as well. The town has a hazy glow to it and the buildings are facades of light blues and grays.

    Symbolism runs around as much as the fighting in “”Fearless.”” Make sure to watch out for the way the colors are used. White symbolizes not only life, but also death.

    Rated PG-13
    103 minutes
    Focus Features
    Rating: 9/10

    Li’s last work of film is a masterpiece that doesn’t require much explaining. All has been said, and very few future movies will accomplish anything new or better than Li.

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