FOOT FIST FRIDAY: It’s East vs West as Jet Li and Jerry Trimble Throwdown in 1992’s THE MASTER!

By: John M Jerva

Welcome to another bone jarring, fisticuffs fueled edition of Foot Fist Friday! I know what you’re all thinking and that it’s Saturday not Friday and yes I have to admit that I’m a day late with this but like I always say, better late than never and this week, I’ve picked a good one and one that not to many people talk about nowadays. The scene of the hour is from 1992’s martial arts flick The Master which stars one Jet Li who was in his prine when the movie was shot and here he’s taking on former kickboxing champion turned action star Jerry “Golden Boy” Trimble in a rousing display of East vs West in a winner takes all, no holds barred fight for the ages.

The Master was helmed by legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark and in it Jet stars as you guessed it someone named Jet who while visiting America must defend the honor of his master who is now working as a medicine man in LA when he is targeted by a former student named Jonny who is looking to take out his teacher so he can show the world who truly is the one and only master. Trimble’s character is way over the top and his reasoning for what he is doing is sociopathic but it works for this kind of movie and Trimble goes all in with his gleefully villainous performance. This conflict leads to the inevitable showdown between Jet and Jonny and it is a thrilling spectacle to say the least as the two brawlers take eacgother on on top of a high rise building.

Now this film isn’t one of Jet Li’s best offerings and it is a little goofy at times but it still contains numerous fight sequences and like I said earlier, Jet was in his prime. Now this movie was shot in 1989 but it wasn’t released until 1992 when Jet found success with his classic period martial arts epic Once Upon a Time in China. I remember when the movie hit video and when I watched it, the film became a favorite of mine and while I was already a fan of Jet, I immediately became a fan of Trimble and would later watch his other DTV action offerings in the 90’s like Full Contact, Live By The Fist and Stranglehold which were all action guilty pleasures.

It’s interesting enough that during filming, Li and Trimble were not on the best of terms and while they were still professional with each other, they were very competitive with one another due to the different backgrounds each man had in the martial arts. This wasn’t a problem for the audience as their finale throwdown is definitely jaw dropping and both men are on their A game displaying dazzling moves and kicks that defy gravity. They, without a doubt, deliver the goods and genre fans are treated to non stop fight action and signature Hong Kong style theatrics.

The sequence is extended and clocks in at around almost 10 minutes in length. It is a marathon of fluidity and brutality and Trimble matched Li move for move with the Hong King style fight choreography which was created by Chun Yeung Yuen and Wah Yuen and both fighters get ample opportunity to shine and showcase their physical prowess for the fans. Trimble’s kicking combos are amazing and Jet is his usual flow like water self so the differences in fighting styles highlight the sequence even more.

If you’re a fan of these two martial arts legends then you should be able to ignore the silliness and mistakes and simply enjoy the non wire work fight scenes with both men at their best and the ending is certainly worth the price of admission alone. Check out the complete, unedited scene below and get ready for a thrilling East vs West matchup like no other!

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