Fearless review

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With young tykes like Tony Jaa snapping at his heels, it's probably wise for Jet Li to bow out of the wushu genre with this reverent biopic of 19th-century martial arts legend Huo Yuan-Jia. And if Ronny Yu's actioner can't hope to match the best of Jet's pre-Hollywood output, it's still a lavish chronicle with enough mayhem to sate the most ardent chopsocky fan. Beginning in 1910 Shanghai with Huo facing four high-kicking representatives of China's colonial overlords, Fearless backtracks to show how the fledgling hero survived cocky youth and family tragedy to emerge as his country's saviour. Highlights include a well-staged scrap on an elevated platform and a destructive bout in a Chinese restaurant, though enjoy them while you can; the sluggish second half, in which Li finds inner peace, is an extended wallow in sappy sentiment.


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