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FEARLESS aka HUO YUAN JIA
USA: Rogue Pictures / Focus Features
UK: UIP (UK)
Cast: Jet Li, Nakamura Shidou, Betty Sun, Dong Yong, Collin Chou, Nathan Jones, Masato Harada, Jon T Benn, Anthony De Longis, Mike Leeder, Jean Claude Leuyer, John Paisley, Qijing Bao, Ian Powers, Brandon Rhea, Darren Richardson, Nan Sun, Bobby White
Director: Ronny Yu
Countries: Hong Kong / USA
Language: Cantonese (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 104 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for violence and martial arts action throughout
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong violence
USA Release Date: 4 August 2006
UK Release Date: 23 June 2006
Based on a true story, Jet Li's FEARLESS tells the life of legendary martial arts master Huo Yuanjia. For as long as he could remember, Yuanjia (Jet Li) wanted to learn martial arts. His father (Collin Chou) was a great fighter, but he did not want his son to follow in his footsteps and refused to teach the boy. This only made Yuanjia even more determined to learn. With the help of his friend, Nong Jinsun (Dong Yong), Yuanjia sets out to teach himself how to fight.
Yuanjia throws himself into training and as the years pass, fight followed fight and victory followed victory until he became known as a skilled and powerful fighter. But as his fame grew, so did his pride. Yuanjia had become an arrogant hothead who was always spoiling for a fight.
When one of Yuanjia's young apprentices is injured by a master named Chin, Yuanjia is full of vengeful spite and indignation. He forces Chin to fight him, and kills him with no remorse. Only when he returns home does Yuanjia discover that his victory has cost him the lives of the two people he loves most - his mother and his daughter were killed in brutal revenge.
Crazed with grief and shame, Yuanjia flees Tianjin. He wanders for thousands of miles, no longer caring whether he lives or dies. But just as he is ready to give up all hope, he is saved by Grandma Sun and her blind granddaughter, Moon (Betty Sun), who bring him back to the idyllic village where they live. Guided by their simple kindness and generosity, Yuanjia - who felt he had nothing to live for - slowly began to forget his pain and his desire to fight. At last, he has found peace with the world, and he knew that he had to return to Tianjin so that he could find the same for Chinese martial arts.
Back in Tianjin, an American strongman named Hercules O'Brien (Nathan Jones) is making headlines by defeating China's fighters and dismissing them as 'Sick men of the East'. Yuanjia challenges the hulking wrestler, and beats him easily with his graceful Missing Fist. This startles members of the Foreign Chambers of Commerce, who worry that Yuanjia's victory would fan the flames of anti-Western sentiment in the Chinese people. They hatch a plan to humiliate Yuanjia by pitching him against four fighters representing the four major foreign powers in China. Yuanjia's childhood friend, Jinsun (Dong Yong), suspects a trap, but Yuanjia sees this as a good opportunity to demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship.
The battle of the century begins! A British boxer (Jean Claude Leuyer), a Spanish swordsman (Anthony De Longis), a Belgian soldier - three formidable fighters step into the ring, and one after another, Yuanjia defeats them all. But the Chamber of Commerce has been saving the best until last. The Japanese challenger, Anno Tanaka (Nakamura Shidou) is by far the most skilled competitor. As the two men stand face to face in the arena, the thousand-strong audience waits with baited breath.
What happened that day in September 1910, is something that nobody would ever forget.