HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
   
 
Newest Articles
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
   
 
  Fist of Fury It's All Kicking Off
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 ArtsBuy from Amazon
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 4188 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)
Posted by:
Andrew Pragasam
Date:
6 Mar 2011
  By far Bruce Lee's most popular movie among Chinese fans, way more so than Enter the Dragon, probably due to its strong element of national pride. I've always felt he shares elements in common with James Dean here, except where Dean was rebelling against the establishment in Rebel without a Cause, Bruce is trying to reinvigorate old Chinese values with his youth and vitality. Having said that, I really like Jet Li's remake Fist of Legend, since it is also something of a plea for tolerance, going out of its way to show valour exists on both the Chinese and Japanese sides.
       


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: