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This film is a classic but then all of Bruce's completed films are classics. There are strong anti-Japanese messeges (including one Japanese guy having a tash similar to a certain German dictator) in the film but it has been over 33 years since the film was made and so this can be put down to it being dated. Ultimately it is a film about injustice and Revenge. The Bushido School's general evilness, the injustice against the Chinese in Shanghai and Bruce's (called Chen in this one) hot headedness create a circle of violence which escalates completely out of control. This is an intensely gritty Kung Fu film unlike Bruce's later films which were more escapist in nature and Fist Of Fury has the highest body count in terms of Bruce actually killing people with those fists. The legendary 'Sick Man Of Asia' scene is amazing and the end of Kill Bill clearly homage's this so any Tarentino fan's will get an added joy out of watching this beautiful sequence. DO get the uncut version.
The second of the Bruce Lee-starring movies is in terms of plot a lot
less interesting than the first. Here, we have the 'student sets out to
avenge his master's death' which was already the major storyline of
most martial arts films. However, it is handled in a more realistic way
then usual and technically it is far superior. Lee was allowed to
choreograph his own fights and his battle with Japanese martial artists
in their school and climactic duels with a Russian boxer and a Japanese
swordsman remains classic fight scenes.
The film drags somewhat in the middle although the lengthy dialogue scene between Lee and his girlfriend was another step forward for the Hong Kong martial arts movie, vivid proof that Lee was a pretty good ACTOR. By contrast, Lee's final farewell to his girlfriend is all the more powerful for being done completely without dialogue at all. The ending is the most powerful and moving of all the Lee films, the final freeze frame managing to encapsulate Lee's grace and power in a single shot.
Many mock Lee's films as being silly and just consisting of fighting. Both accusations are completely untrue. They have far less fights than most films of this kind and, at least in the three Hong Kong films he made, there is a clear message that violence does not solve anything. They may not have the polish of the more recent works of Jackie Chan and Jet Lee but their power remains undiminished, as long as of course one does not watch the awful dubbed versions!
Film maker Lo Wei directed this Bruce Lee classic Fist of Fury immediately
after the success of Lee's first martial art film, The Big Boss. Fist of
Fury tells the story of Chen (Lee) who arrives in Shanghai to his martial
art school, only to learn that his beloved teacher has died and the funeral
is going on when he arrives. Soon it is revealed that the death was without
a doubt a murder and our fierce hero is going to solve the mystery..With the
power of his fists and kicks.
This film is prehaps little too racist towards Japanese since they are depicted as dirty and greedy criminals here and some lines in the script are very underlining and judge the Japanese people too much. Then again, the film makes me wonder about racism in general since there is so much mayhem in the film and so many Chinese and Japanese get killed by each other, so maybe this film was not meant to be racist at all. Maybe the intention was to tell something about us who cannot live in peace with each other. All these things happen even today, 30 years after the film's release so the subject matter is definitely universal as it was back then in 1972. Still I would have toned down some of the dialogue bits since they are little too strong, and I think Bruce Lee himself didn't like the film's racial elements.
On the other hand, this film is really beautiful as it depicts the sensitive love between Bruce and Nora Miao, who is very beautiful and sweet female in this film, and also in other Lee's films. The scene at the teacher's grave is one of the most sensitive scenes of love I've ever seen, and those two characters are hand touchingly full of emotion. The themes in this film are mainly about relationships between individuals and humans in general, so the film has many things to offer moreover mere action. This is action classic with heart.
The film is famous for its legendary first nunchaku fight scene at the Japanese' training camp as Bruce shows for the first time his personal fighting tool and weapon, a pair of nunchakus. That fight scene even before nunchakus is among the greatest ever filmed since the choreography and timing is totally marvellous as the one take lasts very long without edits, and Bruce kicks and hits about ten victims during that, and the timing and stunt men had to be really sharp in order to not to get hurt for real. Also, the nunchaku fights in the film are incredible as Bruce uses his weapon without flinching an eye and with fierce look on his face. This all is even more powerful in his next film, Way of the Dragon.
The film was shot mostly in studio and there are only few exteriors in Fist of Fury. The staging is very convincing and the film's bigger budget compared to that of The Big Boss' really shows. The last fight in night time at the Japanese yard is very beautifully lighted and full of cinematic magic. The film is full of details and elements from Chinese culture and traditions, so this is little more personal and interesting film than The Big Boss, which had some irritating little flaws like the sound of Bruce' necklace he got from his mother and the scene where Bruce punches a guy through a wall with funny and campy result, which director Lo definitely didn't meant to look that funny.
Fist of Fury is a stunning piece of Hong Kong and world cinema and easily among Lee's greatest films. The atmosphere is created so convincingly that even people who usually don't appreciate action films should appreciate this, since this film is many more things than just action and fighting. Fist of Fury hasn't lost any of its power and punch during these 30 years and will remain one of the most important martial arts movies ever made. 9/10
Undoubtedly Lee's most intense performance, Wei's powerful kung fu classic is ripe with anti-Japanese hysteria and propaganda, so much so that there's not a single pleasant Jap' in the movie (unlike the up-to-date modern re-make). That aside, essentially this is a riotous Bruce Lee vehicle, kicking out trademarks and smashing up all evil in the process. The plot (Lee's sifu poisoned by Japanese school in turn-of-the-century Shanghai) is a valid excuse to string a great line-up of fight sequences together, and what great action this is: Bruce pounds the lights out of a dojo full of evil Japs using only fists, feet and nunchakus, and the duel with Baker (Lee's real-life personal bodyguard) near the movie's end is sheer entertainment typified. Though based on factual events, the subject matter is vastly exaggerated. Nevertheless, as kung fu theatre goes, Fist of Fury is an immensely satisfying experience, and stands as probably Lee's best Hong Kong work.
...most of you have seen the dubbed, cutted version.
this review is for the uncut version.
bruce lee makes his most memorable performance in this excellent martial art film. the main character is not the perfect kind forgiving guy you always see in these types of movies. he cannot forgive all he can think of is revenge. he's even prepared to kick down some innocent people on the side if need be to achieve his goal.
martial art movies often suffer from the same problems as porn movies do. the lack of a decent plot.
in this one bad guys are really bad guys, the good guy is like 'the punisher', shows anger in every turn but is unable to show his emotions towards his girlfriend. here even the ending is an unconventional one.
a very good film, compared to the remake with jet li bruce lee's movie loses in great fighting scenes, but wins in attitude and depth. jet li wasn't very believable as chen zhen, but you can see the fire burning in bruce's eyes in every single screen.
What makes this Kung Fu classic stand out a bit more is the entire
basis for the film: a group of Japanese in Shanghai (probably during
the Japanese occupation of this part of China) are abusing the Chinese
locals, and insulting them greatly. Constantly referring to the Chinese
(as a whole) as the 'sick men of Asia,' and even thinking them lower
than dogs (as is shown in some of the scenes).
The entire basis of this Kung Fu film becomes a real reaction to the pain of discrimination and the hatred of a sense of racism that the Japanese dished out to the Chinese, and is based actually off of a real story that followed similar tones. What makes this film very special is the commitment that Bruce Lee has to defeating the Japanese whose goal is to crush the will of the Chinese -- a very accurate reflection of the sentiment that existed.
Overall, this is a very good film that was well done; it has a lot of the defects that films similar to its' genre have (having the grainy feel of Kung Fu films of its' time) but other than the typical, it really sets a standard for Kung Fu and film in general. One can see it, in many ways, as being a good basis for subsequent action and Kung Fu films. A lot of the things in this film were very original and very interesting -- overall, a must see film for anybody who enjoys Action, Kung Fu, or 'political resistance' so to speak. A film for the downtrodden striking back.
After seeing Fists Of Fury(a.k.a The Big Boss) on T.V, I was surprised that they showed his next movie The Chinese Connections(a.k.a Fist Of Fury) and I really enjoyed and I still love it, Bruce Lee was amazing, and his martial art skills were terrific, but what really amazed me the most was seeing him beating the s**t out of those japanese people, and fighting that Russian. This is the best movie Bruce Lee has made before starring in Enter The Dragon, and if you're a Bruce Lee fan please watch this movie, you'll love this.
'Jing wu men' aka 'Fist of Fury' is a classic action film carried by the late Bruce Lee. I've always admired his work and in my opinion his energetic presence alone makes his films worth the watch. Having said this, 'Jing wu men' does have its share of flaws e.g. the sound effect is very poor (good background score) and it's very anti-Japanese. However, one must take into consideration that this is a film made more than 35 years ago. The choreography of the action scenes is superb as Lee leads them with a lethal grace. The acting is competent, though most of the villains appear as caricatures). Lee shines and he excels in the emotional scenes, particularly the graveyard scene and the sequences with his beautiful co-star Nora Miao. The plot is well handled, making the film an entertaining experience that ends on a powerful note.
From start to finish, the Chinese Connection (originally released as Fists of Fury) is probably the most entertaining and satisfying of all the Bruce Lee movies. Well paced, with creative and fairly realistic fight scenes distributed evenly, the movie keeps the audience's attention all the way through the long fight scene near the climactic end (I won't spoil the actual ending for you). The predictable revenge plot provides the emotional trigger to release Lee's rage-filled fights and his now-famous smashing of the "No Dogs or Chinese Allowed" sign. Equally famous is his "this time you eat paper, next time you eat glass" line. Viewers are also treated to the only on-screen kiss by Lee, some comical moments with Lee playing a bumbling telephone repairman, a cameo by director Lo-Wei as the chief inspector, and a soundtrack which effectively builds tension in the fight scenes. You won't recognize Jackie Chan as the stuntman for one of the Japanese martial artists who flies through the screen door. The most memorable part of this movie is Lee's dynamic vitality as he goes about his business, cocksure and confident, and with the goods to back it up. I am forever grateful to those who, in marketing this movie to the west, decided to dub only the dialogue and to leave Lee's original fight sounds untouched. As is evident in the US version of Return of the Dragon (aka Way of the Dragon), dubbing Lee's fight sounds is nothing short of a sin.
This is the one film of Bruce's where I have actually seen him act (Outside
of fighting scenes) with any credibility at all.
This film clearly demonstrates the anti-japanese feeling that Hong-Kong and mainland Chinese still posess. This is partly based upon WWII and partly on the thousand years or so of history before then, when China tried to invade Japan, Japan invaded China ect etc.
In fact, the way the Japanese are portrayed in this film is a very stereotypical Chinese one, long, thin pencil moustaches, usually large round glasses, oiled hair and well, evil.
This film goes over the top with this kind of view, and it's a pity as it tends to lessen the impact they were trying to make with the now infamous sign.
The end scene was excellent. It's truly disturbing how close this was to what happened to Brandon.
Shots to the head: Bruce acts - Better storyline than most of the genre - martial arts scenes ok from Bruce
Shots to the foot: Anti-Japanese characterisations go too far - martial art choreography of Bruce's opponents bad - "Kick" scene patently ridiculous.
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