Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997) Once Upon a Time in China IV

also known as: Once Upon a Time in China IV

Once Upon a Time in China an AmericaDirected by: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo
Starring: Kwok-Pong Chan, Rosamund Kwan, Jet Li, Xin Xin Xiong

Tagline: "Cowboys and Kung Fu dudes"

Wong Fei Hong (Jet Li), Seven, and Auntie Yen have travelled to America to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of the clinic that a student of Fei Hong's has set up for the Chinese workers in the gold rush.

Of course being the 'old west', locals aren't too friendly towards the Chinese and they are picked on by cowboys and indians alike, which gives Wong Fei Hong an opportunity to kick some arse.

During a fight with the indians that attack their travelling party, Wong Fei Hong and his two companions end up falling in the river and get separated, which is when the story really begins.

According to Jackie Chan's biography, the idea for this story was stolen from him by the director. This may or may not be the case, but at least it is a good excuse to see Jet Li reprise one of his most famous roles and beat some people up.

The stunts may not be as spectacular as those in the first two movies, but the settings and characters really make up for it. Even the bad guys aren't too annoyingly stereotypical which they can be in these type of films.

While this is not the best movie in the Once Upon a Time in China series, it does make up for the rather disappointing third instalment. I thought it really could have been any character in the main story though.

I wish someone would make 'Once Upon a Time in China and Australia' along similar lines as there are a lot of stories about the Chinese migration to Australia that would be interesting. In light of the recent incident at Cronulla Beach (December 2005) a story about the Lambing Flat riots from 1800's gold rush Queensland would be very topical.

The storyline of this movie reminded me a bit of A Man Called Hero and Peace Hotel so I recommend this movie if you have seen either of those two movies and enjoyed them.

Rating: 7/10

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