Drunken Master II (Blu-ray Review)

It’s very exciting times over at Warner Archive, even if the rumor mill wants to be pointing toward certain doom and gloom. As always, we’ll just have to see how true that random information showing up on Twitter will turn out to be. In the meantime, I’m excited to see them dipping into their Jackie Chan catalog with a proper release of Drunken Master II. This is a little bit different version than The Legend Of The Drunken Master film it was released as after Chan broke out in the 90s, but the proper version of the film has never been released here in the United States…until now. Mark your calendars, make your pre-orders (you can use the paid Amazon Associates link below) and get ready for some impressive action and comedy from the master on May 18th!



From a land where honor and tradition reign, comes the legend of a martial-arts hero unlike any other — the “Drunken Master” — who can turn just one drink into devastation and humiliation for his enemies. His technique is fast, furious… and powerfully funny.

When it comes to the sequels of Jackie Chan’s output, one is more or less concerned with where they take a story and character to measure up to the first film. Sure, it adds to the enjoyment, but the true follow up to previous film is where they take the action set pieced and if they can top the stunts and choreography. And in that regard, Drunken Master II easily runs a victory lap around its predecessor, which itself is a terrific martial arts film.

Being separated by 11 years only is at the benefit for this sequel. Chan as a performer and a filmmaker has only grown and pushed more boundaries since then. Drunken Master II is following the second Police Story film, having Jackie play his hand in bigger action arenas. He brings that attitude here to inform the Drunken Master. This film goes beyond just the martial arts fights, there are big sets, props, insane quickness and against all odds battles that really ramp this thing up. Sitting here in 2021, 22 years later, the film holds up exceedingly well. With such great choreography, camera work and editing, the film’s breathtaking action has no problem fitting in with some of the best today’s actions movies and the ones since Drunken Master II.

In addition to the impressive stunts and tumbling, Jackie Chan has some terrific chops for humor. And Drunken Master is one of his comedic based characters and series with his film. With his normal goofiness and some fun lines, Chan is able to charm your socks off. What’s great is how easily he can incorporate both character and jokes into action and fight sequences, putting him in a legendary hall of fame with silent actors like Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin. He’s paired wonderfully with Anita Mui, who plays his step mother. She matches him chop for chop and bit for bit. She miraculously can steal scenes from Chan, which he gracefully welcomes and encourages throughout the film.

Drunken Master II is quite an impressive film and stacks up as one of Chan’s best before hopping over to America in the 1990s. The film is so good, you can’t help but feel impressed by how daring and fresh is still feels over two decades later. Jackie Chan is a rightful honorary Oscar winner and his catalog has some of the most impressive action and martial arts output ever put to celluloid. You don’t even need to see the first film, you could jump right into this, catch on quick and be “wow’d” from the start.


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Drunken Master II features a 4K transfer from the original camera negative. And holy shit, this is right up there with Criterion’s restoration of Chan’s work as well as what they’ve done with Bruce Lee. This looks absolutely love with really strong, bold colors, great contrast and depth.

Depth:  Depth of field is strong and three dimensional. Its impressive to watch people flying in and out and all round the frame. Motion is cinematic and never struggles or displays motion distortions from rapid movements.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and pretty close to natural. They carry a heavier grain in areas and provide a great contrast in the image. No issues with crush or having details hidden in shadows or dark surfaces.

Color Reproduction: Colors are pretty lovely here with really strong reds. Many of the natural looking colors are pretty full and bold looking in the image.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures can be easily seen in close ups and most medium camera angles.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


Audio Format(s): Cantonese 2.0 DTS, English 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono, Mandarin 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English Subtitles from the 1994 Hong Kong Release, English SDH

Dynamics: For what we’re given, they’ve done an impressive job in restoring these audio tracks. Yes, there’s a bit of an analog hiss presence in it and its not quite lift off in terms of engagement, but its effective enough nonethelesee. Punches and kicks have that nice dub feel and are fast and furious. Nothing really sees and peak issues and with proper expectations, the balance is solid with the mix.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals carry a little analog hiss base, but are pretty clear and audible throughout with good presence.


Trailer (HD, 2:28)


Drunken Master II is a rightful action classic and just carries some of Jackie Chan’s best and most impressive work. Its nice now to have its proper cut available on Blu-ray and in the United States. Warner Archive continues their magic with restorations on this one. Unfortunately there’s a lack of supplemental material, but as I like to say; the film itself, here in this form with this care to its presentation, is the bonus material.

This is a paid Amazon Associates link


Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “Drunken Master II (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. bill norris

    Saw this in the theater with my best friend and it Rocked!!!