Fearless review

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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