The Kung Fu Master

The Kung Fu Master

1994 (ATV TV Series) (Lead/Action Director)

The Kung Fu Master is set during the late Qing Dynasty when Han people were subjugated, and it follows the story of a righteous martial artist, Heung Hei-kwun (Donnie Yen). When Hei-kwun returns home after a long absence, he disapproves of his father’s employ with the Qing; he later discovers his father is the loyal Red Dragon, fighting in disguise for the cause of the Han. When his parents are killed by the Qing, he travels to a Shaolin Temple for disciplined training so he can avenge their deaths. Wing-chun and Fong Sai-yuk also appear as characters.

Because Hong Kong television shows are filmed on BETA, Yen was able to shoot lots of footage and experiment with all kinds of camera angles, lensing, camera speeds and editing when he worked as action director and lead. Numerous inventive and creative fights are staged throughout the series, and the Temple sequences are interesting for the training process and the progress of the initiates.

Heung Hei-kwun studies Hung Gar kung fu, and therefore his numerous fight sequences include many Tiger and Crane forms. As in Fist of Fury, however, in Kung Fu Master, Yen’s action is always underscored by the motivations and feelings of the characters involved. Yen’s fights are progressive—he works his way through a series of Qing bad guys before taking on the ultimate adversary—so the fight sequences become more complex and distinctive as the series develops

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