HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Fist of Fury It's All Kicking OffBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Lo Wei
Stars: Bruce Lee, Nora Miao, James Tien, Maria Yi, Robert Baker, Fu Ching Chen, San Chin, Han Ying-Chieh, Riki Hashimoto, Jun Katsumura, Huang Chung-Hsing, Kun Li, Feng Tien, Yin Chi Lee, Tony Liu
Genre: Thriller, Martial Arts
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) returns home to Shanghai after some time away, but when he reaches his old martial arts school, hoping to meet again with the teacher who guided his life, he has a nasty surprise waiting. The teacher has died, supposedly of pneumonia his students say, and he is currently being buried when Chen walks in. The young man is distraught and throws himself on the coffin in the grave, wailing and beating on the lid with his fists; after he has calmed down he refuses food and drink, but he is not simply mourning. He is also drawing up his plans to find out what really happened to his mentor...

So Bruce Lee turned detective after his first major hit with The Big Boss, although in truth his character didn't have to look very far to find out who bumped off the old man. Fist of Fury, also known as The Chinese Connection or Jing wu men as it was originally called, was revered among the star's works for featuring two of his most ferocious fight sequences, but what was often forgotten was that too much of this was taken up with the non action scenes. So there was a lot of dawdling about between the memorable combat in the first half hour and that classic final confrontation at the end.

When Lee was in fighting mode, there was nothing to worry about as far as entertainment went: he was as graceful as Fred Astaire and as powerful as Muhammad Ali, and his moves here were as iconic as anything he ever came up with - naturally, he choreographed himself to show his style off to its best advantage. But reportedly he was not entirely pleased with the way Fist of Fury turned out, mainly due to clashing with director Lo Wei, although there were few fans grumbling about the end result at the time. What may jar with modern audiences will probably not be the longeurs between the flying fists and feet, but the way the villains in this are solely Japanese, which would have struck a chord with Chinese audiences of the day.

Now we're all supposed to be on friendlier terms, their characterisation might make you uncomfortable, although there's also a Russian baddie (Robert Baker) the rival Japanese school adopts late on the in the story. But it's not as if this prejudice came from nowhere, and it's not as if there were no other Hong Kong movies that took the Japanese as their main antagonists, so you simply have to accept this part as a product of the age. We can tell the rival school were the ones behind the murder pretty much from the first act, as they send their representatives to see Chen's Ching-hu lot and give them a present: oh, how nice - er, no it's not, it's a sign accusing them of being the "Sick Man of Asia".

Chen isn't going to take that lying down, stomps over to the bad guys' building with the sign, and promptly wipes the floor with them, in a justly celebrated sequence of Lee's prowess, even if they do resort to having him fling a couple of dummies about at one point - he does manage to pick someone up and throw him over his head without special effects, however. From then on the police are seeking to track Chen down, and he has to hide out in a graveyard, cooking and eating what looks like a monkey (yum!), with only his girlfriend (Nora Miao, Lee's regular leading lady from this period) knowing what he's up to. In addition, he becomes a master of disguise to infiltrate his opponents, giving the star a chance to show off a little range, which is amusing enough but you really want to see him get back to kicking ass. Your patience will be rewarded for that denouement, one of the greatest extended fights ever filmed, illustrating why Lee is so highly rated: such a pity that there wasn't more of it. Music by Joseph Koo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3432 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: