But not Faultless

Jet Lie in Fearless (2006)

As a young boy Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li) was in awe of his father, the head of a martial arts school in China who after his father was defeated suffered a humiliating beating from the son of the man who beat his father. On that day swearing never to be defeated again he trains hard and takes over his father's school where his ability is idolised. Until one day he goes to far and dishonours himself leading to his self imposed exile to the country where the change of pace and the need to do a day's hard work makes him rethink things before returning to the city.

So evidently there really was a martial arts expert called Huo Yuanjia who became an icon amongst his people by defeating foreign fighters who enter China claiming that the Chinese were weak. And "Fearless" gets that across, that in a time when a country was being over run with outsiders he was a hero figure. But was his life how it was portrayed in "Fearless" I would imagine not and instead what we have instead is Huo Yuanjia's life turned into a piece of entertainment with a hero who would fight without fear, a master of all skills and who can pull of moves which are only possible through the use of wire and the editing room. I would imagine that this is great for martial arts fans but only okay for those who come to it unaware of who Huo Yuanjia was.

Of course there is the action and in truth I was surprisingly disappointed because it was all too fantasy like. What I mean is that pretty much ever fight scene not only felt heavily choreographed but also heavily edited with ever single second seemingly cut up to hide how it was done. I know that twenty years ago this would have blown me away but now the lack of free flowing fighting and the skill of Jet Li being sliced and diced only disappoints me. Of course the editing is needed to make the out of the world action come to life but considering this is technically a biopic I would have preferred more believability to it than fancy, clearly choreographed moves.

What this all boils down to is that "Fearless" actually left me feeling disappointed because rather than getting a biopic what I got was a lot of action which lacked flow and not only felt over choreographed but also over edited which made it kind of disappointing.

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