Once Upon a Time in China II (1992) Poster

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The two greatest fight scenes ever !!!
cheahcw14 July 2000
I have to disagree with a lot of the comments. This is a great martial arts movie !! The fight scenes are few and far between, and the plot a bit convoluted -- but the quality of fighting is absolutely superb. Tsui Hark has managed to restrain himself and just get some really kick-ass moves out of Jet Li and Donnie Yen (the later movies in this series are just way too fantastical for a classic kungfu movie). I have seen almost all of Jet Li's movies (and several of Donnie Yen's) and I will have to say that the two fight sequences between Li and Yen are the best ever filmed. I found myself skipping over the rest of the movie just to see these two scenes over and over again. Their techniques were simply marvelous...(It was refreshing to see David Chiang, an old favorite of mine back in the 70s, though). How they ever filmed it boggles the mind. "Fist of Legend" and "Tai Chi Master" may have more colorful fighting, and the latter may be a better overall movie, but the true afficionado (and I have been watching these kungfu flicks for about 30 years) will really appreciate the quality of fighting here. Tsui Hark has distilled the essence of HK kungfu movies into these two scenes.
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10/10
More dreams of China and a few comments of "Sino-centrism"
Fox in Socks16 July 2002
Another excellent entry into the series dealing with China coming to terms with foreign influence and an uncertain future, infused with romance, humour and some outstanding choreography. The well-drawn cast includes Dr Sun Yat-Sen which brings some historical credibility, but adds irony as well, since Dr Sun's idealism may have been misplaced. Oh yeah, its got some great fighting in it too...

I find previous accusations implying racism in this film to be misguided and deeply ignorant. The Wong Fei-Hung series highlights the historical turmoil felt in China from external trade interest and internal political pressure. Foreign characters are shown as both villainous and sympathetic (just like the Chinese characters). OUATIC II portrays the xenophobia of the White Lotus Cult as a Very Bad Thing, and the confusion at western objects and inventions varies from the hilarious train sequence to the superstitious fear of the camera. It's self-mockery, but it's bittersweet. If anything, Tsui Hark is implying a loss of innocence.

If the foreign powers are portrayed in a negative light, it's because our presence in China was motivated by greed and imperialism. Hardly the most noble of motives. But then nobody's perfect, and China's human rights record is less than great before and after the revolution.

I'm staggered that anyone could be so utterly stupid as to ascribe Nazi overtones to a film which goes so far to portray nobility, humanism and honour. Anyway, great film.
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Makes The Matrix look like a TV movie
Jellygoose9 October 2001
Two of the finest martial artists still working in action cinema (Jackie Chan in my opinion lost skill in favor of gimmick in the late 1980's) the always incredible Jet Li and the fantastic Donnie Yen (New Big Boss, Iron Monkey, New Dragon Inn) combine with the director who almost single handedly re-invented the genre Tsui Hark and arguably the greatest action choreographer of all time Yuen Woo Ping (crouching tiger, iron monkey, the matrix)to create a powerhouse of a martial arts movie. What it lacks overall in action it more than makes up for in the fight sequences that do take place. Jet and Donnie is a mouth watering prospect and they do not dissapoint. I dont care if wires were used, it takes someone extremely special to perform like these two guys do and you can do little but watch in awe.

The plot is pretty thin so I wont waste time going into it. I will merely say, see this movie, just to experience and appreciate what Jet Li can really do, before hollywood softens him up even more. The fight with the leader of the White Lotus Cult is almost forgotten between the two showdowns with donnie, but wow, just incredible
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9/10
Good introduction to 90's kung-fu movies.
qwazypoo17 December 1998
This is arguably the best of the 'Once Upon a Time in China' series (which now runs to 6). It stars Jet Li as martial arts master & doctor Wong Fei-Hong, a historical figure/legend popular in Hong Kong period pieces, much like Robin Hood or King Arthur in Western culture. It features some of the most exquisitely choreographed and executed fight scenes in any movie I've ever seen, utilizing two truly excellent martial artists/actors, Jet Li and Donnie Yen. And, almost as importantly, the level of absurdness and ridiculousness, so high in many HK movies, in the fights, humor, and story are kept to a reasonable level so western viewers won't be totally put off. In general, production quality is high, story is good/tolerable, and the fights are truly incredible showcases of the actors' abilities. It would be an excellent choice for the western movie-watcher trying to find more Jet Li films after seeing Lethal Weapon 4. It is also an excellent example of how in 20 years the 70's kung-fu chop-socky has evolved after it and Bruce Lee disappeared from the west.

--ken
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9/10
Yuen Woo Ping, Jet Li, and Donnie Yen are the best
drngor15 March 2000
What this movie lacks in volume it makes up for in weight. The fights scenes aren't as plenty as Tai Chi Master or Iron Monkey, but they rank with and above them. This movie tell the story of Wong Fei Hung dealing with the racist White Lotus cult who wish to drive the foreigners from China. Things are complicating by the arrival of Commander Lan (Donnie Yen) who is trying to crush a rebellion led by Dr. Sun Yat Sen. The movie drags in the middle but picks up with 3 fights that are among Jet Li's best. Donnie proves a worthy opponent in his two duels with Jet. A must see.
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10/10
As Good As A Sequel Can Get, Fantastic Stuff!, Almost As Good As The 1st
callanvass18 July 2005
This is as good as a sequel can get, fantastic stuff and almost as good as the 1st, if that's possible!. All the characters were fantastic again, and the fight choreography was simply incredible, plus i really dug the awesome character development again. The Story is is really awesome, and the fight scenes really blew me out of my seat, and the setting was really awesome, plus the finale is simply amazing!. It started off pretty slowly,but it was never boring, and The opening was very funny, plus Jet Li was simply amazing in this!. i really loved the added humor in this, as it had me chuckling, and while the story is not quite as powerful, it still packs quite a wallop and there are lots of great emotional moments, plus Jet and Rosamund Kwan had great chemistry once again!. This is as good as a sequel can get, fantastic stuff and almost as good as the 1st, and i say it's a must see at all costs!. The Direction is fantastic!. Hark Tsui does a fantastic job here, with some incredible camera work, amazing shots during the fight scenes, great angles, and lots of other amazing shots, plus he kept the film at an incredibly fast pace!. There is a bit of blood and violence. We get gory arrow hits,bloody corpses,knife in the leg, impaling in the neck, and lots of other gory impaling's. The Acting is excellent!. jet Li is AMAZING as always, and is amazing here, he is extremely likable, excellent in the acting department, had very good chemistry with Rosamund Kwan, kicked that ass, and added some great humor as well! (Jet Rules!). Rosamund Kwan is great here as the Aunt once again, although she has a lot less to do, she still was great. Xin Xin Xiongis great here and was pretty menacing. Siu Chung Mok is great as Foon and was very funny.Donnie Yen is AMAZING as General Lan, he was extremely menacing, is a brilliant martial artist, and had one of the best fight scenes ever with Jet! (Donnie Rules!). Ka-Kui Ho is good as Mak and added class Rest of the cast, are great. Overall a must see at all costs!. ***** out of 5
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9/10
The Godfather Part II of the 'China' series
veedragon4026 June 2007
When we last saw Wong Fei Hung (Jet Li), he emerged as a hero to his people in fighting against the invading foreign forces that were wreaking havoc in his hometown. By part 1's conclusion, he has also come to realize that his country is going through inevitable changes and that acceptance to western cultures is the best possible answer to the dilemmas.

Like Wong's change in view, part II shifts from its predecessor's themes of nationalism and self-strengthening to an exploration of cultural and ideological tolerance. With all that said, Once upon a time in China II is one of those rare sequels that manages to cast a shadow over its original and brings the franchise to a new height.

Li once again delivers a towering performance reprising his role as Wong. Although there's very little development to the character since the last time we met him, we are immediately won over the second he raises his first kick to the sound of the beautifully familiar score. Accompanied by Aunt 13 (Rosamund Kwan) and his mischievous student Leung Foon (Max Mok replacing Yuen Biu of the original), the trio travels to Canton only to find a town ravaged by chaos and violence. Instead of foreigners being the chief baddie this time, the White Lotus Sect and its zealous leader priest Kung (played wonderfully by Xiong Xin Xin) takes over as the story's primary antagonists. First introduced by a breathtaking prologue, they are portrayed as a fanatical cult bent on eradicating all foreigners and those that follow foreign ways, even going as far as murdering little children.

One of the film's most refreshing features, however, was the inclusion of a complex villain in the form of Donnie Yen's Charismatic Manchu military commander/imperial guard General Lan. Despite being pitted against our heroes, he is a man that is hard for the audience to despise when he's telling his men not to hurt civilians or having a brief heart to heart with Wong on their country's chaotic state.

Once upon a Time in China II is without a doubt the pinnacle of the series and quite possibly the career peak of everyone involved especially for one Tsui Hark. After this, it is the slow decline for the former new wave auteur who would attempt to dip his hands into mainstream Hollywood (only to stink up his CV with Double Team and Knock Off) before taking a stab at the recent trend of big budget wuxia epic only to come up with the woeful Seven Swords. If any of you were unfortunate enough to have seen those movies I've just mentioned, I can guarantee that Once upon a Time in China 2 is the perfect antidote for you.
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9/10
Once upon a Time in China 2
Tweekums30 January 2019
This sequel sees Wong Fei-hung, Aunt Yee and Foon going to Canton to attend a medical conference. They quickly learn that the city is troubled by a group known as the White Lotus Sect; a group determined to eradicate western influences in China. There are also protests against ceding of Taiwan to Japan and elements who want to overthrow the imperial government and establish a republic in China. As anybody who saw the first film will know Wong Fei-hung isn't just a doctor; he is also one of the most skilled practitioner of martial arts and inevitably gets caught up in the troubles... most notably fighting against the White Lotus Sect and an officer in the Imperial army who is using the situation to ferment more trouble.

This sequel was a lot of fun; there are plenty of amusing moments, particularly in the first half of the film and lots of great action sequences. It obviously helps if you have seen the original film, as it introduces our three main characters, but it isn't essential as they are nicely reintroduced in the opening scenes, particularly the rail journey to Canton that provides many laughs. The comedy moments don't detract from the story or feel overly forced and don't take place during the more dramatic scenes. As one would expect the action scenes are top notch; particularly the final fight between Jet Li, as Wong Fei-hung, and Donnie Yen, as Nap-lan Yun-seut. There are also really fun performances from Rosamund Kwan and Max Mok as Aunt Yee and Foon. Overall I'd say this is definitely one to watch if you enjoy martial arts films with an historical setting.
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10/10
Excellent Jet-Li picture
MovieCriticMarvelfan20 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
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. Typically nowadays Jet to most of his American audiences is known for playing dark, urban crime fighting characters and personalities like in "Unleashed" and "The Enforcer". That takes nothing away from this masterpiece. It's great in every way possible, the soundtrack, acting, story.

His character Huang Feihong (sounds more like Wei-Fong) is well layed out, he has some flaws, but he is great when the time comes. Rosamund Kwan plays Huang's cousin who is very fond of him, I got the feeling she was in love with him as she says "I'll never leave you' 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.
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7/10
Enjoyable blend of fiction and history with a Wushu kick
Keltic-212 July 2000
Set in the early twentieth century amidst civil unrest and nationalist demands for independence, _Once Upon a Time in China II_ is enjoyable and very watchable. Much is made of the clash between Oriental and Occidental culture and the lack of understanding between the two. Comparisons between superstitious, reactionary Chinese nationalism and its more educated counterpart are made in passing.

_Once Upon a Time in China II_ is very similar in feel and approach to such adventure films as _Raiders of the Lost Ark_, and is probably best viewed as such. Although fictional and real-life events and characters are interwoven, it is doubtful that the film was ever intended as anything but enjoyable viewing.
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8/10
A real treat
Mike Astill2 August 2001
Taking up where the first part left off, this is effectively more of the same – which is no bad thing. Li and Rosamund Kwan return, but Yuen Biao elects not to reprise his role of Foon. His replacement Max Mok does a great job in the role.

Most of the wire work action is left for the climax, giving Li a chance to demonstrate just how good he is at stylish (and FAST) kung fu earlier in the movie, when he takes on a mob intent on lynching his beloved 13th aunt armed only with a fan, and faces off against Donnie Yen in a great pole fight.

As for the plot, this time us dopey westerners are the ones in danger, rather than being the outright villains. After a raid on an embassy, Wong Fei Hung decides enough is enough and takes on the White Lotus cult, who are intent on rubbing out all western influences from China. Cue high-flying kicks, punches and leaps, and a crazy fight atop a construction of tables.

The climax, a memorable fight with Donnie Yen, is an absolute classic, with both giving their all. The speed and technique shown during the double-pole fight is staggering, and Yen's moves with his cloth staff are gob-smacking. It's a real treat to see kung-fu cinema of this quality.
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9/10
That's entertainment
squelcho29 July 2005
Looking coldly and cynically, with one hand resentfully clutching my credit card, and my brain stuck in a Hollywooden formula rut, I might agree with the posters who are down on this movie.

However, as someone who enjoys being entertained, likes a good wire fight, a slapstick rumble or two, some gentle amorous humour, and a hint of historical perspective, I can't find much wrong with this movie.

I learnt to understand the concept of fiction at an early age, I don't expect the kind of anal attention to detail or period authenticity that some on these boards appear to demand. Nor do I see the need to claim some kind of Chinese racist agenda is being enacted to bamboozle feeble western minds. Phooooey!. You wanna see racism and ethnic cleansing? Watch a few 50s westerns. Then pull that beam out of your eye.

Of the three OUATIC movies that actually matter, 2 is by far the most fun. The fights are beautifully filmed, the acting's less hammy than 1 or 3 (even those jolly good chappish Brits), and Donnie Yen is on top form. The wobbly wire fight with the White Lotus guy, which tops off another fine umbrella set piece, is beautifully played for laughs. I enjoy a fight scene more if the participants actually have some technical ability above and beyond fancy CGI tricks and loud grunting noises. Donnie Yen and Jet Li certainly fall into that category. The pole fight is one of the best on film. If only it were five minutes longer.

When Hollywood manages to make a kung fu movie one tenth as interesting or amusing as this, I'll join the moaners and give this the grumpy old man stinkeye. But until that day, I'll just keep enjoying another fine slice of Tsui Hark's escapist entertainment.
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9/10
Best of 3
winner5525 June 2006
Of the three original films by Tsui Hark concerning Wong Fei Hung, this is certainly the best. The construction is tighter than Once Upon a Time in China I, and, although the third film is my personal favorite, this second film does not lapse into martial-arts-film-genre cliché as does the third.

Of course that means that, in order to transcend its genre, paradoxically the fights of the second film have to be razor sharp - and they are. The fight scenes in this film were the best up until its time. The final duel between Jet Li and Donnie Yen is staggering, all the more so for being crafted as to appear utterly realistic. Dam', that wet rope flying at the camera scared the bejeezus out of me! But since the film presents kung fu so convincingly, for that very reason we can take it in stride, as just another element in the film's complex interweaving of traditional culture and modern politics. The film is really about the birth of a new nation, which has yet to be invented - the Republic of China, represented by its highly respected progenitor, Dr. Sun Yet Sen, the only revolutionary figure admired equally by Nationalists and Communists alike. And it should be noted here that Sun Yet Sen strongly believed that the only way the Chinese could rid themselves of Manchurian dictatorship was by adopting the Modernist culture of the West that the Manchurian's utterly loathed and feared.

That, too, is paradoxical. To regain a traditional (pre-Manchurian) Chinese identity meant for Sun Yet sen adoption of a post-Manchurian Modernity - which, unfortunately, as all now know, looks an awful lot like the US. Which is perhaps why the originally intended climax of this series of films was to be Once Upon a Time in China and America (a plan disrupted by personal disagreements between Jet Li and Tsui Hark).

Well, in any event - does the viewer have to know all this to enjoy the film? No; the film is constructed to work on its own as a glance back at an historic moment of decision which could only be completed in another decade. Thus its sense of incompleteness and hanging threads is actually part of the very fabric of the story.

By the way - hopefully you will watch this film a second time - please note how much Tsui Hark accomplishes on what must have been a comparatively small budget! I mean, he's only got a couple back lot sound-stages, but he manages to reconstruct an entire world of 19th century China for us - that's really quite amazing!
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9/10
Hueng Fei Hung: Once Upon a Time In China 2
njwrstlr21 August 2005
Jet Li does an excellent job on his Kung Fu he is an extraordinary and gifted martial artist . As a fan of his I'm trying to download the movie as I have purchased the Once Upon a Time in China 1 and Oncce Upon a Time in China 3 . I just cant live without having the complete set of all three movies. The movie has several great fight scenes and develops around a few angles or parts of the story. One of them is the love affair he has with his cousin Lilly and the other is Heung Fei Hungs' fight against a religious cult that has a leader who claims to be indestructible . The Leader is in fact a fraud who tricks his followers into believing he is bullet proof by using a metal type armor under his robes; out hero finds this out and stops the charlatan cold in his tracks. I personally enjoyed this movie immensely. A fan in America
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9/10
utterly transcendent film
miguelsanchez6923 December 2003
Wow. I was expecting a good martial flick but what I got was a great film. This is quite simply one of the most entertaining, moving and cinematically brilliant films I've seen in quite awhile. It reminds me slightly of an Asian version of Gangs of NY (I know, I know, this came first) since it's set amidst a sweeping historical backdrop at a point when nations we now know were being built, and because of its strongly patriotic undertones. The choreography by Yuen Ping is awe-inspiring especially since unlike many of his recent films, this film involves actual martial artists. Tsui Harks direction, from the opening shot is spot on, and the acting is great. Unlike a lot of martial arts films (even those I enjoy) this film's plot is superb. The music is terrific as well and really sets the tone. A minor note, the dubbing isn't terrific (though the movie is still immensely watchable) so try and get the subbed version if you can. This movie completely transcends the genre. Highest possible recommendation.
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Probably one of the greatest martial arts movies ever.
Huang_Gai13 February 2003
I will NEVER understand while so many people hold this movie in disdain.

Once Upon a Time in China II is the sequal (yup, who would have guessed) to Tsui Hark and Jet Li's classic Once Upon a Time in China. Wong Fei Hung is travelling to Canton to give a speech about the technique of acupuncture to foreign doctors. Unfortunately, an anti-Western cult is in the throws of rebellion, destroying and burning anything foreign. Wong Fei Hung makes an uneasy alliance with a military commander (played by the AMAZING Donnie Yen) as well as revolutionary Sun Yatsen, who is at odds with the commander.

Jet Li shows his brilliance once again as Wong Fei Hung, using many moves that will make you wide-eyed in surprise. His acting itself is nothing short of brilliant. Unfortunately, the character Wong Fei Hung is rather one-dimensional, not really changing his demeanor or attitudes throughout either this movie or the first one.

Max Mok replaces Yuen Biao as Foon, which in my opinion is a travesty, as Yuen Biao is just as good, if not better, than Jet Li. Max Mok, though, plays his role very well.

Donnie Yen, whom I'm a huge fanboy of, is best as a villain, which he is in this movie. Donnie Yen's first scene in the movie is a stunning one, with him training in a field of bamboo poles and lanterns, where he displays an eye-popping visual of literally turning a piece of cloth into a staff-whip of deadly power.

Rosamund Kwan, who's name I probably misspelled, reprises her role as Cousin Yee (english version), or Aunt 13 (chinese version). Her character is of course attracted to Wong Fei Hung ("cousins by marriage, not by blood," according to her in the last movie) and manages to add some romance to the movie.

Xin Xin Xiong makes an impressive debut to the series, playing Kung, the possibly insane leader of the White Lotus clan. He is supposedly impervious to sword, axe, and firearm. (Xiong goes on to play the Capoeria-using Clubfoot in the rest of the series)

I do not have any real qualms about the movie, as everything is told with well-organized scenes and is not boring for a minute.

I also do not understand what people have against this movie, saying that it is "blatant propaganda for the Chinese." I say to them:

Think about it, the Chinese were taken advantage of an forced to change, as well as forced to give up most of their land and natural resources, they were heavily taxed and given little autonomy. It sounds like a certain country if you ask me. A country that won independence from Great Britain in the 1700s. Add to the fact that even now, that certain country holds an "effortless superiority" complex towards every other nation because they've been told about how great they are and how inefficient, corrupt, or "evil" other countries are.

Original vs Dubbed version: The Original Cantonese version has some great acting, especially for a Chinese flick. The Dubbed version uses the same actors from the first movie, which aren't terribly bad, and for the most part, the lip-synching is not that bad.

I think I'd give the movie a 7/10, as so far, the only other martial arts movie I've seen better is Iron Monkey (which is far from perfect as well).
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9/10
Wong Fei-Hung and Kung Get it On!
higherall724 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The exposition or inciting incident felt to me like the beginning of FROM Russia WITH LOVE. I was filled with excitement to once again be entering the world of Wong Fei-Hung in this return to his adventures. I was more than ready to pick up where last we left our hero. But this time there are protests in the streets as Wong Fei-Hung travels to a seminar on medicine with Aunt 13 and the White Lotus Sect prepares under the mantle of religious ceremony to expel all Western influence from the provinces of China.

There is even more substance with regard to thematic content as children become involved in this explosive mix of cultural upheaval and political intrigue. At the seminar on medicine, there is a scene where the merits of Western and Eastern medicine are clearly demonstrated in a lecture given on the central nervous system. This scene alone is worth the price of admission as it continues to develop the theme of East-West confluence in a meaningful way.

This thematic thread once again runs throughout the narrative with touches of light humor and more serious overtones that inevitably lead to the baroque martial artistry of action choreographer Yuen Woo Ping. Donnie Yen makes his appearance in this film as military officer Nap-Lan Yun-Seut, and the combat scenes between him and Li represent the height of visual interest as they both brilliantly display their martial arts prowess. The supporting characters are even more fully realized than before and we are securely in the second part of a sequel that promises in its own way to rival and perhaps surpass the renown of Sergio Leone's The Man With No Name Trilogy.

There are scenes with children here that give the story more poignancy. This is paralleled and inter-woven with ceremonies where gods are entreated and appealed to strenuously for supernatural support. When Wong Fei-Hung enters the Temple of the White Lotus Cult in order to finally confront its leader High Priest Kau-Kung as played by Hung Yan-yan, we actually get a taste of meditation about the nature of divine power mixed in with martial acrobatics. There is even a passing indirect reference to Myamoto Musashi's quote about how we must not rely on the gods. Even the saga of Christ is viewed from the Eastern perspective of the hero and this adds to the richness of the narrative in a brief, incidental way.

When Wong Fei-Hung finally draws the curtain back on Kau-Kung's religious antics and trickery, there is wailing and grieving galore among the followers of the White Lotus Cult. Even Wong Fei-Hung finds his friends causing death and one in particular finding for his toils martyrdom. The stakes are even higher this time for those who seek the light of knowledge as they are pitted against those who wish to enshroud themselves in the warm embrace of mysticism and blind faith. How will our hero prevail in an atmosphere where there are no easy answers and the force of pain and death makes its own argument?
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9/10
Not as good as 1 but better than the others.
sycho31614 August 2001
In Once Upon a Time in China 2 (OUATIC), Huang Fei Hong must fight against the White Lotus Sect, and a Manchu commander whose mission is to capture Dr. Sun Yat San. I'd have to say that this movie is better than the rest of the Once Upon a Time in Chinas, but not as good as the first one. Xiong Xin Xin is Kung (who also plays the part of Clubfoot seven in the rest of the OUATICs) the invincible leader of the White Lotus Sect puts up a good fight, but not as good as Donnie Yen's commander Na Lan Yuan Shu. Recommended that you see this over the other OUATICs.
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7/10
Slightly inferior sequel chock full of great martial arts bouts
Leofwine_draca22 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The sequel to the Hong Kong classic features a returning Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan, as well as returning director Tsui Hark, but the same team can't quite match the dynamism or magic of the original movie. ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA II is a sometimes leaden movie, that deals with a fun but seen-it-all-before plot involving lots of East-meets-West culture clashing, except this time from the Chinese point of view.

The movie isn't totally bad, indeed there are some splendid action sequences which help to redeem it, but as a whole it feels slightly spoiled by a leaden pacing and a plot which, as is the case with a number of Hong Kong movies saves all the major action for the last half an hour. Things begin with a virtual repeat of the opening of the first movie, as we witness some impressive strongmen who are impervious to bullets, fire and blades. Of course Li must fight these guys in a stunning battle which is expertly choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping, but nevertheless seems shoe-horned onto the rest of the political plot.

Production values are fine as is Tsui Hark's assured direction, and there's no faulting the performances or the martial arts moves on show. Particularly good is the returning Rosamund Kwan, who has a more romantic and funny character this time around. Li is an able centrepiece for the action, although some moments are stolen by the brilliant Donnie Yen, whose martial skills are unbeaten. His skill here is with a piece of deadly cloth, and there's plenty of high-spirited pole-fighting too to enjoy. The final neck-slashing climax is wicked, but this still doesn't take away the feeling that this is a virtual reprise of the original movie, lacking its integrity if not the action.
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6/10
Outshined part one...
paul_haakonsen21 December 2015
With a shorter running time and a more coherently constructed storyline "Once Upon a Time in China 2" (aka "Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung") was a better movie than the first movie from 1991.

Jet Li returns to play legendary Wong Fei Hung and continues fairly much where part one left the audience. However, the stakes are upped in part two as there is a grand show off between Jet Li and Donnie Yen. And if you get the Hong Kong Legends version, the interview with Donnie Yen is quite worth watching - despite his cocky attitude. It was a nice detail to find out that they were given free hands to go at each other with the bamboo poles.

The action and martial arts were amazingly well-choreographed and executed. But of course everything that Yuen Woo-Ping is involved with is fantastic.

The story in "Once Upon a Time in China 2" is good and well-paced, right from the very beginning.

As in the previous movie, the dialogue and characters of the Western foreigners in China were campy, ridiculous and downright awful. I didn't think anyone ever spoke the same way as they did.

If you enjoy Asian martial arts movies then "Once Upon a Time in China 2" is definitely a movie well-worth sitting down to watch.
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4/10
Now way near the first movie! 4/10
leonblackwood14 December 2014
Review: I didn't think that this movie was in the same class as the first movie. I missed his trusty sidekicks and the script lacked wit and entertainment. The helper that he has in this movie was a bit poor and the action scenes wasn't as great as the first movie. As for the storyline, Dr. Wong is now helping the foreigners against some radical mercenaries who want rid of them. The radicals also have the help from the police who come toe to toe with Jet Li and his companions. The storyline didn't really grip me and the showdown at the end was quite disappointing. On the plus side, there isn't any fighting on strings or flying in the air so the action scenes looked real. The thing that really let the movie down was the poor storyline and the dull characters. I just hope that the 3rd one is better. Disappointing!

Round-Up: This is the problem with making sequels! If you give your all in the first movie, you really find it hard to replicate that success. That's exactly what has happened with this film. There was so much going on in the first movie but in this film there just seemed like there was something missing. Maybe it's because I watched part one and two, back to back. Anyway, although I found the movie disappointing, it's still a watchable movie which is better than some martial are movies I have seen recently.

Budget: N/A Worldwide Gross: HK$30.4million

I recommend this movie to people who are into their Jet Li movies about a doctor who is trying to save the foreigners from radical mercenaries. 4/10
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7/10
Almost as good as the first.
dave13-112 April 2012
Jet Li returns as legendary Chinese patriot Wong Fei-hung. Here Wong finds himself reluctantly forced to switch sides and to hinder pro- Chinese terrorists bent on massacring Europeans, since the result might be revolution for China! Driving the white from China's shores will have to wait...

Like the first in the series, this is an ambitious, historically accurate and very good looking production. Some viewers have complained about the film's complicated plot, finding it distracting and hard to follow. A passing knowledge of Chinese history and politics does help, but really, there is enough exposition as the story plays out to keep the attentive viewer apprised of the various intrigues. Indeed, the complicated plotting is a welcome change from martial arts movies with just enough plot to barely hold themselves together between punch-ups, and it is nice for once to have a REASON for all of the fighting. The movie sprawls all over historic China's rural areas, cityscapes and dockyards, and the period look is quite convincing, thanks to some excellent exterior cinematography.

The script is lively, mixing adventure and intrigue with a little comedy and romance, and is well played by principals Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan as Wong Fei-Hung and his Aunt / girlfriend.
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10/10
Ladder Match
mrspasm29 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Once Upon A Time there was a place called China II. It was filled with fierce warriors, magical wizards, dragons, and hobbits. Yes, this is the sequel to Once Upon A Time In China III, and also the prequel to Part I. It isn't as good as the predecessor, but it's better than Part I. Our hero Jet Lee returns, and this time HE'S PERSONAL! Living the peacable life for a few weeks (or a fortnight if you like) he travels with his girlfriend Uncle Eleven by plane to Japan for a medical seminar on medicine. Yes, the plot is a lot like Fear And Lovely In Las Vegas but we'll excuse that (as well as the obvious physical similarities between Lee and Deppp). The peace doesn't last long of course (it is a murial arts film after all!) and the lecture is infiltrated by the bastardly Brown Daisy Clan. They are ninjas or samurais or something, but one thing is for sure- they kick shins! Another thing is for sure that they are hard but Lee is harder and decides to take them all on.

This is the one where Lee takes on Donnie Osmond on the scaffolding of a building, up ladders, across wooden planks, and through cement mixers- it is usually not unregarded as one of the greatest if not worst fights of all times! It is very excitement with all sorts of kicks and punches and jumpings. When I watch I want to jump into the TV and join in. 'HEE YA!' I fly kick off the wall and knock some bad guy into the hay. Yeah! I love kicking things, it makes me feel super. As Bruce Lee once said, 'Kicking things that don't kick back is better- they don't kick back.' My brother Andy and me used to watch films like this, and then when our parents went out we would pretend we were ninjas and fight too. We would take off of our shoes, but leave on on our socks and fight. He was much smaller than me so I always won, though sometimes he would kick me in the gunnels. Sometimes we would swing at the same time and kick each others feet, that was really sore! It all ended though when the car came up the drive and we had to put all the cushions back on the seats. If mum saw there was a mess, she would turn into a ninja and beat us both, and we would end up in bed without any supper. Sometimes that chump from down the road, Brendan would come and annoy us when we were outside, so we would show off of our Kung Fu skills on him so he cried.

This film has many amazement moments and could only have been bettered if Bruce Lee had been in it. One other small problem is the obvious budget cuts. Halfway through the film you can tell that the bad guys are just cardboard cut outs, most noticeably when Lee puts his foot through one guy's chest, gets stuck, and spends the next five minutes fighting with a supposed dead bad guy wrapped round his ankle. This wasn't as bad as the first film where they still used actors, although there only were 4 so when Lee beat up and killed someone, they would get up, sneak round the side of the camera and fight him again. You can also clearly tell that when they run out of cardboard they throw paper mache dummy bad guys into the mix- there is obviously a grip or best boy or producer off screen throwing them into the scene beside the camera. This lends an odd tone to the film. Of course as we all know the last 15 minutes of the film are copied exactly from the first film because of the budget- annoying yes because we never find out what really happens, but good because those 15 minutes from the first were the best from that film apart from the first 90! Best Scene: Lee kicking all the dummies that are being chucked into the room as real bad guys. The funniest part comes when someone grabs the director and throws him in and Lee kicks him in the throat. Ha Ha. The director never spoke again.
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10/10
Expect for the best
Sanou_san15 October 2007
Once again I always appreciate highly martial arts movie of Chinese origin. They are so unique and so eye-catching, you wouldn't even drop your eyes for a moment to miss a glimpse of every exhilarating action scenes. Once again Jet Li proves his somewhat innate talent in portraying a real Kung Fu master, whose almost invincible at every angle you see. This sequel to the first Once upon a time in China movie attracts once again all action movie addicts especially of Chinese martial arts genre. Undeniably Chinese movies concerning martial arts action offer the best of them all, unlike nowadays some movies gets tired in furnishing the best product of their movie career. Foremost, even though the story is a bit eccentrically confusing the substance reminds us to look for something else noteworthy. Glad I have it in cheap original copy, watch it I promise you'll never be disappointed.

And oh, this is the first movie where I saw Donnie Yen played his character.
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8/10
Very impressive fight scenes
aznthug121428 July 2002
This movie did a great job of coordinating fight scenes. It follows traditional Kung-Fu fight scenes with the wire fights but it does not go overboard like some other movies. This movie had an OK plot and dialog. But the fight scenes were well worth it.
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