Fist Of Fury
In the early half of the 20th century, a martial arts student called Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee), returns home to the Jing Wu school, which is situated within the Shanghai International Settlement.
However, as soon Chen arrives at this lo-cal, he is aghast to discover that his master, Huo Yuanjia, has recently died from an unexplained illness. Worst still, is that at Huo's funeral, two rival Japanese students from the ‘Hongkou’ School show up, and disrespect Jing Wu with a slur shaped in a sign.
Now what is Chen going to go about this, huh? Kick-Ass? No - afraid not - because the Jing Wu school want him to remain reticent in his composure - as it is a sign of respect to their fallen master.
But what do you think he does the same thing later in the day? Huh? Correct - he goes to the Hongkou school - and turns their dojo into do-do.
Ooops! Bad idea - because in retaliation to this battle, the leader of the Hongkou school, Hiroshi Susuki, carries out two ploys to get his own back at Chen.
For a start, he gets a couple of his men to kick in Jing Wu's jalopies - which isn't nice - because they barely manage to defend themselves against this onslaught. Plus, after that, he instructs the police to capture and arrest Chen - which they can't - because the Jing Wu school has reprimand him for his brash behavior, and he reluctantly agrees to go back to Shanghai, to lay low for a while (Please Note: 'Lay Low' is not an oriental name).
And does Chen do this? Ha! Like Nunchuk he does!
Well - he can't you see - because before he goes to leave, he discovers that the Hongkou school was behind his masters death. So, one, by one, by one, he fights back on the sly, using his 'Fists of Fury' to do all the talking for him, KA-POW!
The dupes - the interpreters - the henchmen - the Russian strongman - all of them dare crosses his paths, and in turn feel Chen's might. Though that is why what next transpires is a right pain in the wok I can tell you. As villains attack - Chen covers his back - Schools find a new rule - and the police turn out to be nobodies fool.
Or do they? BANG!
This is Bruce Lee’s 2nd film to come out of Hong Kong cinema; and in some way it is his own personal best. Now just think about it for a moment [THINK HERE], all of Bruce Lee’s contemporaries have re-made 'Fist Of Fury' in one way or another – Jackie Chan did – Donnie Yen did – Jet Lee did – and even some of his clones did as well, such as Bruce Li.
From my own researched sources, I have discovered that ‘Fist of Fury’ is loosely based on a true story - one about an old Kung-fu master who died under mysterious circumstances. However, also due to my research, I can not say that this film is a particularly truthful or accurate account where the truth is concerned.
On the one hand, both the names and locations appear to be the same. Whilst, on the other hand, the events and the overall story appear to be a lot different - because it transposes certain aspects of the 'masters life', onto the life of Bruce Lee's character, Chen.
Please note, that is not to say that this is a bad film at all, oh no - rather - that it’s just not what I would call an accurate dramatization of true events.
Still, the reason behind Bruce's acting method - care of Hong-Kong film expert, Bey Logan - is that he had to act this way so as to reach the Hong Kong film market – replacing subtlety with audacity, yet still managing to make it work within this forced environment.
Oh! And while I am on the subject of ‘environment’, I best mention the sets, huh? OK, at a glance, you can tell that they are ‘sets’. Nevertheless, the intricate detail in which they are all produced in, doesn't distract that they are actual artificial edifices. Plus, in addition to this, this false backdrop does enhance the design of the fighting scenes also. Here, check this out...
‘Fist of Fury’ – great film – competent story – and part of a legend in more ways than one.
THE RATING: A-