"I think that this is a must-buy DVD for fans of martial arts films from Hong Kong. This movie delivers, and this DVD also delivers. First, the DVD. It's great. A lot of people have complained about Hong Kong movie DVDs, and rightly so, but this one delivers the goods. First, the video transfer is VERY good. Usually, they do NOT look this good. The print is sharp and relatively clean. There's an artifact or two on occasion, but by and large, it's a very nice transfer. Much better than a lot of other movies, especially for its age (1992). The sound is also very good. I noticed that it was in Dolby Digital 5.1 and there was actually some use of the surround channels. Not like some of those other DVDs in Dolby 2.0 or mono! For the langauges, you get the English dub AND a Cantonese soundtrack with English subtitles. Remember those Jet Li DVDs with only a dub? Well this one isn't like that! And another benefit is that the subtitles are presented extremely well. They are in yellow and in the black bar at the bottom of the screen (it fits since it's 2.35:1). The letters are easy to read since they are large enough, it is a clear sub without spelling errors, and the titles don't move too fast that you can't read them. I've had some really bad experiences with some HK subtitles, but rest assured, this one is good.So the DVD is of high quality, no question about it. But how's the movie? It's also very good! I've seen my share of HK movies, and this one was definitely one of the better ones. There's some very cool action. A mix of wire and non-wire. Jet Li is great and so is Donnie Yen. It may not be wall-to-wall action, but I felt there was enough and what you do get is really good. Oh, and the film's soundtrack is also good, clearly above average. Heck, even the plot isn't that bad. This movie as a whole certainly blows Part III of this series out of the water.I'm very happy with this."
"EXQUISITE" History in the making!
Seal | Hawaii | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"JET LI & DONNIE YEN! (need I say more!)...actually I could go on-and-on about this movie, but I'll try to stick to the essentials. Personally, I think this one's the best of all the other OUATIC sequels. Yes, they're all excellent films, but what makes this outstand; well it has two of the most gifted martial artists of all time.I still get goose-bumps everytime I watch the dramatic scene where General Lan (Donnie Yen), is shown in an eerie-evening setting, and demonstrates his amazing skill and grace using a wet cloth-stick. Its an exquisite visual with glowing lanterns hanging everywhere...and then the scene explodes into a fierce and thrilling all-out battle with Wong Fei Hung (Jet Li) using bamboo sticks. (Talk about tension!)Of course the entire film is done equally impressive; a powerful story about the political turmoils of China. Here, Wong Fei Hung is caught in the choas while visiting Canton for a medical conference. Although the scripts are brief and simple, the story in itself is very dramatic with much credit to the stunning cast performaces. Not to mention, a chilling soundtrack/effects that captivates and brings out the mood of the story. Truly a high-quality film, directed by Tsui Hark, and put it together with the brilliant Yuen Woo-Ping as the action choreographer, well you got one of the best films ever made."
Must have for Jet-Li fans
GreatMovieCriticForever | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Very,very good movie, on top of that it's a great martial arts flick. Any Jet-Li fan needs to have this in their library.
A different reversal of roles, he plays a doctor who looks like a monk helping people and fighting occupation over territories in China.
His character Wei-Fong is well layed out, he has some flaws, but he is great when the time comes.
The martial arts stunts are really top notch, I can even list all the stunts but the fights with the White Lotus bunch is outstanding.
Pretty good acting too all around.
A Great Sequel to a Great Action Movie
Mr. JKW | Honolulu, Hawai'i | 05/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the second film in this series, martial arts film legend Jet Li stars as Dr. Wong Fei-Hung, a real life folk hero of 19th century China. Combining solid martial arts action (as you'd expect from a Jet Li movie) with an equally solid storyline which delves into actual historical elements, this movie is a winner all-around, thus justifying the Hong Kong Film Award that it received.THE STORY:It is 19th century China and Western influence is growing in China bringing with it both good and bad elements. Dr. Wong Fei-Hung, a noted martial arts instructor and doctor, as well as his countrymen must contend with the expanding influence of the West and its impact on Chinese society. The country is in turmoil. An anti-Western extremist reactionary cult, the White Lotus Society, has arisen with a maniacal following bent on destroying all things Western, including Chinese who have begun to adopt Western ways. It is up to Wong Fei-Hung and his loyal followers, his loving "Aunt" Yee and his student Foon, to stop the ruthless destruction of the White Lotus. In addition, the film delves into history further as Wong and his companions meet and aide Dr. Sun Yat Sen, the famous Chinese revolutionary. There are tons of battles as the White Lotus, The Chinese Government, the British forces and Dr. Sun Yat Sen's revolutionaries all battle against each other, with Wong Fei-Hung and his followers all caught in the middle...THE COOL STUFF:If you love martial arts action you've got TONS of it here. The fight scenes are NUMEROUS and ELABORATE as you'll be treated to tons of fighting set in 19th century China is tons of marketplace settings as well as vintage Chinese dwellings and buildings. The sets and costumes are just awesome. The fight scenes between Wong and the White Lotus are just awesome. In addition, though the storyline is serious, unlike in the first film, this film does incorporate some humorous moments into it courtesy of the Westernized Aunt Yee and her interactions with Wong and Koon which lead to some hilarious moments (on the train ride as well as the dinner scene with the dog). Another hilarious scene is the acupuncture seminar that Wong and Koon attend with Sun Yat Sen and the Western doctors.THE DVD FEATURES:The features of the DVD, while not extensive as most new DVDs are, are perfectly acceptable. Included on this DVD are the following:1. Bonus Movie Trailers for the following: a. Once Upon a Time in China IIb. Once Upon a Time in China Trilogyc. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragond. Miracles by Jackie Chan2. Filmographies for Director Tsui Hark, Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan, Donnie YenTHE VERDICT:The most common criticism for most martial arts/action flicks are that the stories [disappoint]. The redeeming quality for them is, of course, the action. Like its predecessor, Once Upon a Time in China II overcomes 8these criticisms by delivering solid action and (lo and behold) a GREAT story. In addition, the film, besides having an awesome story and action sequences also incorporates just the right amount of humor to make it a nice package all around.Overall, besides oohing and aahing to tremendous fight scenes you'll also be treated to a great look at a crucial period in Chinese history.Highest Recommendation"
Great continuation of the series
R. Williams | portland, OR United States | 04/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a great continuation of the OUATIC series. It picks up some time later after the first one, with Wong Fei Hung, his asst. Foon, and Aunt 13 travelling to Canton to attend a medical convention. Unfortunately, Canton is in the midst of riots brought on by a nationalist group, the White Lotus, whom take an immediate disliking to Aunt 13 for her western ways.Great fighting, better than the first. The storyline is also a very interesting continuation from 1; while in 1 we saw the western influence and exploitation seeping into turn of the century China, here we glimpse the other side of the coin, non-exploitative foreigners being persecuted by patriotic groups. This movie is for anyone interested in Chinese history, Jet Li, martial arts or period pieces. Once Upon a Time in China continues to be quite the epic story."