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Dr. Wai in
"The Scripture with No Words"
Chinese: 冒險王
Rosamund Kwan and Jet Li
Year: 1996
Director: Ching Siu-Tung
Action: Ching Siu-Tung, Ma Yuk-Sing
The Skinny: A clever storyline and fun co-stars makes this Jet Li picture an enjoyable, but different experience. The fighting is fine, but the rest of the plot may prove too inconsequential and silly to his hardcore fans.
by Kozo:

Jet Li plays Dr. Wai, a professional adventurer/grave robber who travels around the globe in search of...well, adventure and graves to rob. He battles Japanese soldiers and other baddies in 1930s China as they all try to recover the “Scripture with no Words,” which is housed in a small box that seems to operate as a miniature Ark of the Covenant. Takeshi Kaneshiro is his boyish sidekick, and Rosamund Kwan and Charlie Young are the love interests. 

Ching Siu-Tung's adventure flick sounds promising enough, except the real drama is not Dr. Wai's. Instead, it's his creator's, a serial author (Jet Li) whose mundane life of divorce (to a wife also played by Rosamund Kwan) and office politics spurs most of the plot twists that Dr. Wai faces. Something bad happen in real life? The offender gets written in as a bad guy. Takeshi Kaneshiro is not only Dr. Wai's sidekick, but the author's assistant in real life. Kaneshiro even takes a turn at writing Dr. Wai's adventures, as does Charlie Young as one of the office girls. The results are as you'd expect: plot twists all depend on who's writing the story, and Kwan's fictional counterpart is alternately good or evil depending on who's writing her at the moment. 

The plot makes for lots of wacky throwaway gags, including the sight of Li and Kaneshiro in drag. As a Hong Kong comedy, the film is neither special or noteworthy. Ching Siu-Tung reserves his best stuff for the action, which possesses the energy and balletic grace that you've come to expect from Ching Siu-Tung. You just to have to deal with the silly stuff, which is usually not what Western fans of Li come to expect from his movies. Asking the audience to care about Jet Li's marital issues or publication deadlines is a stretch. Those who enjoy narrative cleverness will probably get a kick out of this one, but those wanting the straight up fisticuffs of Fist of Legend will probably be disappointed. (Kozo 1996)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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image courtesy of Mei Ah Laser Disc Co., Ltd. Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen