Howdy ladies and gents, and welcome to another quick review and today I get to talk about a film I’ve wanted to review on this blog for a while and it is one of the classic martial arts films, Fist of Fury. So is this film a good watch or not? Well read on and find out! 😀
The plot can be summed up as the following: “Returning to Shanghai to marry his fiancée, Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) a student of renowned martial arts teacher Huo Yuanjia, discovers his sifu has died. During the funeral, members of a local Japanese dojo show up and insult the Chinese students. What follows is a quest for answers and tale of revenge..“
The interesting thing about Fist of Fury is that I’ve seen it before this film, well at least the last 30 or so minutes, however, I’ve never seen it in full and have been meaning to for years and since it arrived on Amazon Prime Video recently I thought it was a perfect opportunity to check it out. So now that I’ve seen it I can say that, without hesitation that I really liked this film. It could be just because it is a Bruce Lee film and I’m a bit obsessed with him and his films, but I thought the film was genuinely entertaining and captivating. I felt like the story felt a little simple, however, as the story unfolded it showed more layers beyond just a tale of revenge and a feud between two martial arts schools, it touched upon the difference in culture, racism, and the complicated moral and ethical issues that come with taking the law into your own hands. By the latter half of the film, you feel like you’ve been on quite the journey. Beyond the serious elements, there are a good few humourous moments too with certain jokes, physical humour during fight scenes or with the English dubbed voices haha. That isn’t to say the story doesn’t have some issues, you have to suspend your disbelief as certain things take place and you’d wonder why the authorities hadn’t gotten involved already or why certain characters would make some decisions, and sometimes realism is just thrown out the window, but these are minor issues at best.
The performances in the film are good from everyone, for the most part, I especially liked Nora Miao as Yuan Li’er (Chen Zhen’s fiancée), Riki Hashimoto as Hiroshi Suzuki, and Paul Wei as the slimy translator Wu En. But of course, you watch the film for Bruce Lee and he was really good as Chen Zhen, here we have a guy who is strong-willed, confident, smart and passionate, however, he’s got a bit of a temper and doesn’t always think about his actions before heading off to do something. I was surprised he was able to get away with so much in a lot of ways but at the same time the fact that he went around just doing what he wanted just made me love him more. He’s like a volcano that you don’t want to be in front of when it erupts, then he becomes this force of nature that takes out people left, right and center with style and ferocity and I love it. Visually the film is pretty good. The cinematography is handled well, like many of Bruce Lee’s film, I like the way the camera lurks on the actors on-screen allowing you to see the fight very cearly from a distance and different angles as well. Whether it is from a high angle, close up, medium shot or those intimate first-person shots, you get to experience the action in a variety of ways with cuts between actions used effectively. The fight choreography is really fun, you get to see punches, kicks, grapples and the use of weapons is cool and brutal ways, some hits do lack impact, but when Lee is throwing down everyone gets owned is such beastly and creative ways, I love when Lee does his combos and final blows, they are so beautiful. Oh, and I also like how slow motion and the use of sound and music is used to highlight the really dramatic moments too. Also, the film score from Joseph Koo was good and had some lovely and sweet moments especially with the scenes with Chen and Yuan. In conclusion, Fist of Fury was a very interesting, intense and fun martial arts film which has a story with more depth than I expected, a magnetic central performance from Bruce Lee and some super fun and slick action scenes. For fans of this genre, it is a must watch.
So have you seen Fist of Fury and if so what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀