Once Upon a Time in China‘ from 1991 is an action martial arts epic from director Tsui Hark. The movie stars Jet Li as Wong Fei-Hung, Yuen Biao, Rosamund Kwan and a motley group of students like Jacky Cheung as Buck Teeth So, Yuen Gam-Fai as Kai and Kent Chang as Porky Wing.

While this film holds immense significance in Jet Li’s cinematic legacy and enjoys widespread popularity, its impact may not resonate equally with all viewers. While many perceive the film as a tale of foreign encroachment on Chinese soil, the heart of the story, lies in the intricate dynamics of rival gangs. Throughout the film, these factions intersect and clash, overshadowing the influence of foreign military forces.

Undoubtedly, Jet Li’s prowess in action sequences remains unparalleled, with his impeccable body control and movements leaving a lasting impression. Yet, even amidst Li’s stellar performances, certain shortcomings become evident. Director Tsui Hark’s storytelling falters, with crucial plot elements often unfolding off-screen. This lack of coherence extends to character development, leaving actors like Yuen Biao feeling underutilized and relegated to the role of a sidekick.