Fist Of Fury Cover In many-many traditions, your masters past paves the way towards your own future. Well, that's why it is always honorary to respect your elders, and pay homage to those whom are instrumental to your life. Now a good depiction of this would be in this film, Directed by Lo Wei; and Starring: Bruce Lee, James Tien, and Nora Miao. It was made in 1972, and lasts of 108 minutes.

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.

The Cast Of Fist Of Fury
But why do you think they remade this particular film? Well, it’s a classic, that’s why.

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.

Bruce Lee in Fist Of Fury

Fist of Fury Film Poster
But hey! Let’s not stray too far away from the reason why I’m writing this review, right?, Moreover, the said same reason that you are reading it for either - Bruce Lee. As ever, his Kung-Fu prowess knows no bounds, and he has manged to create some very memorably fight scenes in ‘Fist of Fury’ indeed – some of which I am sure will live on in infamy. Granted, acting wise, Bruce's performance is slightly mannered in places – and this is somewhat reflected in his over abundant facial contortions and bold bouts of devilish glee.

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 Film Poster
Now just before I bugger off to god knows where, let me give you some film facts first. (1) Bruce Lee dubbed the voice of the Russian character in English [as seen above], for the Cantonese version of this film. (2) Bruce's appearance in this film was initially meant to be more regal in design - as seen in the opening credits. (3) Lo Wei, the director of this film, was once a matinee idol in Hong Kong. (4) Jackie Chan was in this film - he was one of the students getting beat up in the court yard battle, and he was the stuntman who doubled for the bad-guy who Bruce kicked through the pagoda's doors. (5) The cook who Bruce kills in this film - real name, Ying-Chieh Han - starred with Bruce in 'The Big Boss', and was the top martial arts star prior to Bruce's arrival in Hong Kong. (6) The man who plays the interpreter in this film, Ping-Ao Wei, was one of the first openly gay actors in Hong Kong. (7) This film has many names. Its original name in Asia was 'Jing Wu Men'. Then, in Europe, where it was first released internationally, it was called 'Fist Of Fury'. And finally, in America, by mistake, it was called 'The Chinese Connection'. And (8) I love this film - can't you tell?

End of Fist Of Fury

‘Fist of Fury’ – great film – competent story – and part of a legend in more ways than one.


FIST OF FURY FIST OF FURY Reviewed by David Andrews on March 12, 2012 Rating: 5
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