Once Upon a Time in China II

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Once Upon a Time in China II
Japanese film poster
Traditional 黃飛鴻之二男兒當自強
Simplified 黄飞鸿之二男儿当自强
Mandarin Huáng Fēihǒng Zhī Èr Nánér Dāng Zìqiáng
Cantonese Wong4 Fei1-hung4 Zi1 Ji6 Naam4-ji4 Dong1 Zi6-koeng4
Directed by Tsui Hark
Produced by Tsui Hark
Ng See-yuen
Raymond Chow
Written by Tsui Hark
Chan Tin-suen
Cheung Tan
Starring Jet Li
Rosamund Kwan
Max Mok
Donnie Yen
Music by Richard Yuen
Johnny Yeung
Chow Gam-wing
Cinematography Arthur Wong
Edited by Marco Mak
Angie Lam
Andy Chan
Film Workshop
Golden Harvest
Paragon Films Ltd.
Distributed by Golden Harvest
Release dates
  • 16 April 1992 (1992-04-16)
Running time
113 minutes
Country Hong Kong
Language Cantonese
Box office HK$30,399,676.00[1]

Once Upon a Time in China II is a 1992 Hong Kong martial arts film written and directed by Tsui Hark, and starring Jet Li returning as Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung.[2] It is the second film and first sequel in the Once Upon a Time in China film series. The iconic theme song A Man Should Better Himself (男兒當自強) was performed again by George Lam in the beginning of the film, and by Jackie Chan in the end credits. (Chan also sang the Mandarin version.)


In 1895, during the late Qing Dynasty, Wong Fei-hung travels by train to Guangzhou to attend a seminar on Western and traditional Chinese medicine. He is accompanied by his romantic interest "13th Aunt" and student Leung Foon. He gives a lecture on the benefits of acupuncture while a fellow Chinese doctor, Dr Sun Yat-sen, who helps him translate for the predominantly foreign audience.

The seminar is disrupted by the fanatical White Lotus Society - an extreme nationalist cult led by the sinister and seemingly-invincible Priest Kung. The sect aims to drive all foreigners out of Canton and has been killing Westerners and destroying everything regarded alien to Chinese culture. Wong later learns that his translator friend Sun Wen is actually the leader of a group of pro-democratic rebels aiming to topple the Qing government and establish a republic in China. Sun and his friend Lu Haodong are heading to Hong Kong to continue with their plans for revolution.

Wong decides to assist Sun Wen and the rebels but they encounter a Qing official called General Nap-lan, who stands in their way. Chaos ensue when the White Lotus Society attacks a foreign-language school for children. 13th Aunt brings the students to hide in the British consulate. Nap-lan suspects that the rebels are also hiding in the consulate and he orders his men to disguise themselves as cult members and attack the building. Wong defends the consulate while Sun Wen escapes secretly. Nap-lan then enters the consulate under the pretext of protecting the foreigners from the cult, while using the opportunity to search for Lu Hao-tung. Lu disguises himself as Leung Foon and follows Wong out of the consulate safely, while Leung pretends to be Lu and lures Nap-lan away. To put an end to the White Lotus Society's evil activities, Wong and Lu travel to the sect's headquarters to confront Priest Kung. Wong defeats Kung in a fight and the cult disbands.

Wong, Lu and Leung proceed to retrieve a hidden list containing the names of the rebels but run into Nap-lan and his soldiers. Lu is shot by Nap-lan's troops, but he manages to burn the name list to prevent the government from taking it. Wong fights Nap-lan while Leung helps Lu burn the list. Leung almost burns a piece of cloth that wrapped the list, but saves it from the fire. Lu tells Leung to hurry and meet Sun at the pier, but then succumbs to his wounds. Wong and Leung try to escape, but are cornered by Nap-lan. Wong engages Nap-lan once more and kills him. As day breaks, Wong arrives at the pier just as Sun's boat is leaving. He hurls the cloth to Sun, who opens it up to reveal Lu's design of a flag for the Republic of China.


DVD release date[edit]

On 2 July 2001, DVD was released in Hong Kong Legends at Europe in Region 2.

Two years later, Hong Kong Legends DVD were released on 7 April 2003 at 3 disc set Tsui Hark's Once Upon a Time in China Trilogy.

Three years later, The Donnie Yen Collection DVD were released on 29 May 2006 at 4 disc set including two films they were New Dragon Gate Inn and 2 disc platinum edition Iron Monkey.

Historical references[edit]

  • The White Lotus cult in the film is based on a xenophobic underground society called the "Righteous Harmonious Fists" (also known as the "Boxers" of the Boxer Rebellion). The cult also has references to the historical White Lotus, such as the cult of Maitreya.
  • An "Eastern Extension Australasia and China telegraph company" office can be seen, where the locals are demonstrating outside.

Alternative version[edit]

The Taiwanese VHS release distributed by Long Shong opens with a 7-minute-long recap of the first film in series.

This version also includes scenes cut from the international releases:

  • 13th Aunt tastes some medicine and says that it tasted bitter. Leung Foon tries it and agrees. Wong Fei-hung returns but they are unsuccessful in their prank on him.
  • Lu Hao-tung discloses Sun Wen's plans for revolution. Wong Fei-hung protests angrily by saying that China should not experience any more turmoil.
  • After the scene featuring children learning martial arts at the foreign-language school, 13th Aunt and Leung Foon discovers that they were writing their wills. Unexpectedly, Leung manages to raise their spirits by teaching them martial arts.

Box office[edit]

This was a rare sequel to a Hong Kong film to exceed the original film's box office take. It grossed $30,399,676 HKD.[1] Rotten Tomatoes reported a score of 93%.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]


External links[edit]