Once Upon a Time in China IV
|Once Upon a Time in China IV|
|Mandarin||Huáng Fēihǒng Zhī Sì Wáng Zhě Zhī Fēng|
|Cantonese||Wong4 Fei1-hung4 Zi1 Sei3 Wong4 Ze2 Zi1 Fung1|
|Directed by||Yuen Bun|
|Produced by||Tsui Hark
|Written by||Tsui Hark
|Music by||William Hu|
|Edited by||Marco Mak|
Paragon Films Ltd.
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest
Gala Film Distribution Ltd.
|Running time||101 minutes|
Once Upon a Time in China IV is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Yuen Bun. The film is the fourth installment the Once Upon a Time in China series; and co-written and produced by Tsui Hark who co-wrote and directed the first three installments, co-wrote and produced the film. The film also saw Vincent Zhao taking over the role of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung from Jet Li, who played the character in the previous three films.
The film is set in 1900, during the late Qing Dynasty, when Wong Fei-hung and his companions (his new romantic interest 14th Aunt, his father Wong Kei-ying, and his students Leung Foon and Clubfoot) face new enemies. This time, their opponents include German and British forces, as well as the xenophobic feminist Red Lantern Society.
During a parade, the Red Lantern Society attacks a German church. Before things get out of control, Wong comes to the foreigners' aid and he fights with the society's members, who are armed with rope weapons and ether-filled lanterns.
As the champion of the Lion Dance Competition in the third film, Wong is invited by a Chinese general to join him in representing China in an international lion dance competition. The contest is actually a challenge posed by the Eight-Nation Alliance to China, and the Chinese need to win in order to defend their sovereignty and put on a display of national strength. Since the competition is an international one, contestants are not limited to using lion masks, hence other animal masks, such as dragon, centipede and eagle, are present.
Wong is late for the competition as he was busy dealing with the Red Lantern Society, so the general's dragon dance teams started without him. The contest turned out to be a brutal massacre, as the foreigners' animal masks are equipped with various types of weapons and they are using dirty tricks to ensure victory. The general and several dancers are killed in the contest.
When Wong finally arrives, he is shocked and issues a formal challenge to the foreigners, requesting for a rematch. This time, Wong's teams are better prepared and they emerge victorious. Ironically, after Wong's triumph, he receives news that the armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance have invaded and occupied Beijing, inflicting a crushing defeat on China. Wong has no choice but to leave Beijing with his companions and return to Foshan.
- Vincent Zhao as Wong Fei-hung
- Jean Wang as 14th Aunt
- Max Mok as Leung Foon
- Hung Yan-yan as Clubfoot
- Billy Chow as Iron Fist
- Chin Kar-lok as Tuen Tin-lui
- Lau Shun as Wong Kei-ying
- Louis Roth as Father Thomas
- Wang Zhiwen as Deputy governor
- Kwok Nga-cheung
- Wang Jinhua
- Wong Tak-yan
- Ling Kam-wah
- Ho Moon-chow
- Siu Bing-lam
- Leung Yat-ho
- Lam Chi-tai
- Tong Pau-chung
The departure of Jet Li and the reduced input of Tsui Hark heavily affected the box office takings. However, this also allowed the film to be made with much lower budget. Despite many negative reviews it received, the fourth installment grossed HK $11,301,790, a return significant enough for the producers to go ahead with the next film in the franchise, Once Upon a Time in China V.
- Wong Fei-hung zhi sei: Wang zhe zhi feng aka "Once Upon a Time in China IV" at the Internet Movie Database
- Once Upon a Time in China IV at AllMovie
- HK Cinemagic