While Jet Li had been accomplished as a star overseas, it wasn't until his role in "LETHAL WEAPON 4" that American audiences took note of him. Som crappy films followed, but, on occasion, some really good ones too. "FEARLESS" is one of the really good ones! Jet Li stars as a Chinese martial arts specialist, Huo Yuanjia. The time is the end of the 19th century, and Huo, fully aware of his skill, seeks fame, only to be plagued by one tragedy after another, ultimately causing him to search inward. The film begins with great action, sustained for a large portion of the film. However, about mid-way through, during Huo's search for enlightenment, the pacing changes drastically, and Li's fans may find the slower, dramatic narrative, challenging. These fans need to be patient, because upon this slight, if extended detour, Huo returns with even more energy and the last part of the film, exceeds the beginning in entertainment value and action.
UNIVERSAL has chosen to provide three versions of the film for this blu-ray release! Here, for the first time, viewers can choose between the PG-AMERICAN version, the unrated International version, and the Ronny Yu "director's cut!" The director's cut is the best of the three, offering scenes cut from the PG-13 version, previously only available in the International version, but also offering a stronger narrative. Even while longer than the other versions, it actually plays better and tighter.
UNIVERSAL has presented this release on a BD-50 Dual layer disc, with VC-1 encoding. It's a spectacular image, and all three versions are accessible via flawless branching. Yu pushes the visual palette to extremes here, but colors are never over-saturated, and one of the artifacts popping up on the hd-dvd version appear here. Detail is amazing in every scene. "FEARLESS" offers high-definition detail, ranking it up there with the best blu-ray presentations available.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, offered on all three versions, comes to life with deep bass and a flurry of non-stop surround effects. In fact, surround effects come close to overshadowing dialogue(for those understanding Chinese!) at times. Still, music, effects and dialogue are generally balanced enough to create a thoroughly immersive experience from beginning to end!
A 16 minute featurette is included, but only in standard resolution.