HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 4420 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: