Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen brings his customary eye-popping martial arts to Andrew Lau's period action drama, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen
, which revives the titular folk hero originally played by Bruce Lee in 1972's Fist of Fury
. Yen also played Chen in a 1995 television series, and his reprisal here again succeeds due to his natural gravitas. Opening with an astonishing sequence that pits Chen and his Chinese allies against the Germans on a World War II battlefield, Legend of the Fist
soon shuttles back to China, where Chen joins a growing resistance against the invading Japanese. Donning a black mask, he takes to the streets to wreak vigilante vengeance against the imperial forces, which have marked several prominent citizens for death. The fight sequences are naturally the high point of Legend of the Fist
, with Yen incorporating elements of Lee's Jeet Kune Do system into his kinetic moves. Where the picture stumbles is in its various subplots, including a tentative romance between Chen and Shu Qi, who plays a nightclub singer with connections to the Japanese. These scenes and others lack the same energy as the fight sequences, and slow down the film's forward momentum, which pits Chen against main heel Kohata Ryu. The mix of action, politics, and emotion in Legend of the Fist
doesn't work as well as Yen's Ip Man
, but viewers who watch purely for Yen's extraordinary fighting won't be disappointed. The two-disc collector's edition features eight behind-the-scenes featurettes, which run in total for about 40 minutes, and cover everything from set construction to fight choreography by Yen himself. Interviews with key members of the cast and crew are also concluded, as well as original theatrical trailers and previews for other Well Go USA titles. --Paul Gaita
In 1920s China, the nation is divided by infighting. Japan has become the most powerful force in Asia, taking over Northern Shanghai. With the city torn in half by international conflict, the popular nightclub Casablanca has become a hotbed of spies, mobsters, English officials and the Japanese military- all looking to gain control of the country, with little regard for what happens to its citizens.
Into this den of intrigue enters Chen Zhen, once played by Bruce Lee in FIST OF FURY and Jet Li in FIST OF LEGEND. Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen), has returned to China after fighting alongside the Allied forces in Europe, bringing some dark secrets from his past along with him. During the day, he's known as "Ku", and appears to be just another wealthy playboy. But at night, he takes to the street as a masked warrior, determined to subvert the Japanese invasion while becoming entangled with the sultry Kiki (Shu Qi), who has a dangerous secret of her own. When his past catches up to him, Zhen is faced with near impossible odds- but his skills are formidable, and he's up to the challenge.
Combining the best of today's martial arts and superhero action with the classic spy thrillers of the past (and a healthy dose of film noir on top), LEGEND OF THE FIST is the rare action film that truly gives the audience something they've never seen before.
Behind The Scenes
Cast and Crew Interviews
Optional English Dub