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After co-starring in Hand of Death, Jackie Chan was forced into an
early retirement because of the shift in consumer tastes in movies. The
Hong Kong audience was dissatisfied with the action films after the
death of Bruce Lee, leaving an ever-widening amount of unemployed
stunt-men and bit-players. Since Jackie was one of these casualties he
retired to Australia to be with his family. There he did construction
in the day and worked in a Chinese restaurant at night. Then he
received a telegram from Willie Chan wanting him to work in a new film
called New Fist of Fury a sequel to the beloved Bruce Lee film Fist
of Fury. He told him that the movie would be for the newly formed Lo
Wei Productions and that the film would be directed by Lo Wei himself.
Jackie would receive 3000 Dollars (HK) per month for acting (he would
later receive 9000 for being the stunt coordinator.) Little did anyone
know that this unknown actor would become a big boon to the industry;
though, this would not happen for a while and would not happen
(directly) because of this film.
New Fist of Fury is typical of a Lo Wei film, it lacks cohesion and character with an overuse of plot elements. The film starts after the destruction of the Ching Wu School in Shanghai. The remnants of the school, led by the delightful Miss Lee (Nora Miao), are forced to flee to Taiwan to avoid persecution from the Japanese. She will stay with her grandfather Su Onli who is the head of a martial arts school. Unfortunately, the Japanese are ubiquitous in Taiwan too. When her group arrives, they are the target of a thief Helong (Jackie Chan) and his companion Old Chin (Hon Siu). Helong (Ah Lung in some translations) steals a wooden box containing the prize weapon of the late Brother Chen (Bruce Lee in the superior Fist of Fury) nun-chucks.
Later, after Helong is found in a ditch beaten half-to-death by the students of Chin Ching Kai, he is found by Miss Lee's group and is nursed back to health (with the help of his prostitute mother's money, whom he does not know.) For all of this help and their forgiveness of him stealing their property, he refuses to learn Kung Fu so he can continuously be beaten up. Miss Lee has bigger problems than trying to get Helong to learn Kung Fu the Japanese occupancy.
Akumora (played by the muscular Chan Sing) is the Japanese provincial leader who wants to combine the Chinese martial art schools under his Di Wah school. There is a great scene with him catching a knife in his teeth and then throwing it from his mouth killing an attacker. It is so hard to take this scene seriously, but it reminded me what Ed Wood might have done if he directed a Kung Fu film. Akumora is an interesting character that starts off semi-decent and then ends up completely anti-Chinese ("I kill Chinese, just like I kill dogs.") This is another annoyance with the film; it is completely ethnocentric with one-dimensional Japanese characters. This annoyance is especially evident when Akumora challenges a staged Kwong Gung, stating that the Japanese heroes are much better than Chinese's heroes. This infuriates Master Su during his 80th birthday celebration and leads to his death (when he jumps over a large crowd of people and apparently has a heart attack.) With the death of Master Su, Miss Lee decides to revive the Ching Wu School. This leads to an obvious clash with the Di Wah School.
One of the biggest problems with this film (yes even worse than the ever-yelling Jen Da So, the kiai spewing daughter of Akumora) is that Jackie is misused and miscast in this film. He constantly gets beat up by both Japanese and Chinese and yet refuses to learn Kung Fu. He does not get a decent fight scene until at least three-fourths of the film is over and yet he obtained his skills in just a few days (it is amazing what anti-Japanese sentiment can make you accomplish). When he does fight, his skills are quite evident. Jackie is very acrobatic and his fight scenes flow well though he is relegated to using actors who are weak in martial arts (with a few exceptions like Han Ying Chieh) and they slow down many of the action scenes.
I am a fan of Jackie Chan (and many of the HK films of this era), but this is not a film that rises above mediocrity. While it is not worse than many films during the 70's it has a few negative attributes that will doggedly follow it -- New Fist of Fury followed one of the most beloved of Bruce Lee films with a weak sequel and misused a future Hong Kong Superstar. Useless Tidbit: look for a small cameo role for Lo Wei where he portrays an inspector.
The first of several movies directed by Lo Wei to feature up 'n' coming
martial arts star Jackie Chan, New Fist of Fury was devised as a sequel
to Bruce Lee's popular film Fist of Fury (which was also directed by
Chan plays Lung, a layabout thief in Japanese-occupied Taiwan who hates the Japs and enjoys a brawl, but has no interest in learning kung fu, meaning that he regularly gets his ass handed to him by his opponents.
After being discovered left for dead in a ditch after one particularly severe beating, Lung is nursed back to health by the students of a local kung fu school run by kindly Master Su and his pretty grand-daughter, Miss Lee (Nora Miao). Lung is invited to train at the school but refuses, unwilling to give up his freedom as a thief.
However, when Akumora (Chan Sing), the local Japanese official, takes his bully boy tactics too far, eventually causing the death of Master Su, Lung has a change of heart, becomes a highly skilled martial artist overnight (or so it seems) and kicks some major Japanese butt (before being shot to death in the film's closing frames!!!).
With the star spending most of this film as a punching bag for his enemies, and very little evidence of the innovative slapstick comedy/fight action that one generally associates with his later movies, New Fist of Fury is bound to disappoint many Chan fans. Unless you are a rabid fan of JC and wish to see all of his early work, you would probably be better off giving this one a miss (or watch either the Bruce Lee original, or the excellent Jet Li version of the story, Fist of Legend).
This is the first film for Jackie as a new Kung-Fu star after the miss of Bruce Lee. Jackie has kept being very popular in Japan since late 70's. When I was a kid,I saw the picture of original Hong Kong made poster of this and dreamed to see this film in the theatre someday -- because this is "part-2" of that Bruce Lee's masterpiece, and the director was Lo-Wei, the same guy who directed original Fist of Fury!!!!...But this one has never shown in Japanese movie theatre at all. Some of Jackie's Kung-Fu films in 70's are so shabby, they are almost garbages (Mostly because of Lo-Wei).But Jackie's Kung-Fu actions in this one is one of the best in his 70's. But if you are Bruce Lee fan and will see this as "Part-2" of his masterpiece "FIST OF FURY", DON'T TOUCH THIS!! Maybe you will be mad and burn this video.
1970s kung fu movies have never exactly been known for outstanding (or
comprehensible) plot. So, if you're anything like me, you were expecting
this movie to be like the rest of Jackie Chan's early career: silly,
unrealistic, and largely nonsensical, but fun nevertheless just because of
Jackie's sheer force of personality. And, of course, his incredible stunts
and fight scenes.
Unfortunately, New Fist of Fury fails even to meet that modest standard. The entire first half of the movie is apparently dedicated to the development of the plot. Bad move on the filmmakers' part. A kung fu movie is about kung fu, not lots of boring... *talking*. Jackie doesn't even start to learn kung fu until the movie is nearly over, for pity's sake! This would be forgivable, I guess, if the resulting plot were at all interesting. No such luck. Besides which, most of it simply becomes irrelevant by the second half of the movie, when everything hinges around a straightforward martial-arts-school showdown. As for the ending... well, I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say it's incredibly abrupt and surprising. And not in a good way.
This isn't to say there aren't fight scenes. There are several of them pointlessly interspersed throughout the tedious plot development, and one big one at the end that *almost* makes the rest worthwhile. But when the fights do break out, even when Jackie is actually involved, this isn't the almost cartoonish, balletic violence we see in his other movies. Rather, it's fierce and bloody -- the actors in the final fight scenes chomp down fake blood capsules like M&Ms -- and seems to hinge around the frequent use of kicks to the groin. (The guys kicked in the groin, inexplicably, are all given lingering closeups.) The fight scenes are still incredibly cool, of course, but not worth sitting through two hours of cheesy dreck.
In brief, this movie is too ridiculous to work in terms of plot, and its fight scenes are too nasty and spaced-apart to redeem it.
A few particularly ridiculous things to look for, if you watch this movie anyhow:
1. The high-pitched whoops and screeches during the old kung fu teacher's speech. (I don't know if that was a loon being tortured to death, or the cries of agony from one of the groin-kick victims.) 2. The old kung fu teacher's leaping-and-shouting related death, and the fact that his body still stands there looking annoyed afterwards. 3. The Japanese army captain's dubbed-over voice. "Weaselly" is a vast understatement here. 4. Jackie's Fist of Fury technique -- described on the back of my VCR tape case as "a new and deadly art, never before revealed on the screen" -- which involves waving his arms up and down slowly during funky 70s hypno-music. Deadly indeed.
First I will say that, yes I did enjoy Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury", but
I also enjoyed this pseudo-sequel as well. There wasn't all that much
reference back to the first movie if you look at it, sure Chen Zhen was
mentioned, as was Jing Wu, but beyond that, then there wasn't all that
much reference. And I found that "New Fist of Fury" was actually an
adequate movie in itself. Watch it for what it is, a Kung Fu movie
meant for entertaining.
The story is fairly simple, a young man living as a thief comes to be forced into learning Kung Fu at the Jing Wu academy during the time when Taiwan was occupied by Japanese troops. And this young man embodies the Taiwanese spirit and fights for an independent Taiwan, standing up to the Japenese occupational force.
Bear in mind that this is an early Jackie Chan movie, and it was before all the slapstick comedy became his trademark, so this is a more serious Kung Fu movie compared to most other of his movies. Being a movie from 1976, you of course have the odd sound effects during the Kung Fu scenes and fairly questionable acting compared to today's standards.
There was a good amount of nice fighting throughout the movie, however I think the last showdown, the climax of the movie, was actually a little bit too much drawn out, taking a bit too long to finish. And then the scene when the movie ends was rather anti-climatic.
The movie in itself is a well worthy addition to any Jackie Chan fan's DVD collection, especially because it is outside of the usual slapstick comedy genre of Kung Fu.
Somewhat a sequel (really in-name-only, although there are minor character references and the dangerous title name method gets used without the same affect) to Lo Wei's "Fist of Fury" that starred martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Wei would go on to direct having Jackie Chan on the main mantle, in what is a virtual remake in the political theme of China vs. Japan and certain story plots. Chinese academies fighting to stay alive against Japanese martial arts school. Spirited, but the impact and charisma of Chan just doesn't feel right. A young Chan is quite raw, in a more aggressive and vengeance-filled role. But it's far from a Jackie Chan vehicle, as he doesn't really come into play until midway through due to his character's reckless and carefree attitude that sees him constantly being beaten up. Still there are some outstanding martial art sequences, namely the final long-winded confrontation where it's brutal and bloody (and those nun-chucks get a work out) with an out-of-the-blue payoff that tries to be as iconic as the film it's wanting to be. Pacing can be a little uneven (excluding those kung-fu slow-motion shots), but director Wei keeps the story straight-forward adding enough interest and tension with Chan Sing making a terrific deadly opponent for Chan and Nora Miao is good too.
This movie is not made by the Golden Harvest, but by a company called
Lo Wei Motion Picture Company Limited. Lo Wei is the director who
directed the original "Fist of Fury". A director who purportedly didn't
get along so well with Bruce Lee, because he was listening to horse
races while he was directing. He's the director in this movie as well.
Good of this movie is the very beautiful Nora Miao, and young Jacky Chan. There's more comedic touch in this movie compared to the intense Bruce Lee's version. Jacky Chan is not the almighty kung fu expert, but more of an average good guy.
Story is similar to the original Fist of Fury. Japanese karate school is harassing the Chinese kung fu school. At one point, grand master dies from heart attack caused by the Japanese. From that point on, everyone at the Jing Wu school unite to defeat the Japanese, with similar result in the end.
This movie out does the original Fist of Fury. Production is better, and the story is exciting. It's one great kung fu movie, and definitely makes it to the A list.
Fairly drawn-out and sometimes frustrating Kung Fu film about the
Japanese occupation of Taiwan. This film is not too bad, you just have
to make it to the final reel - something that I expect only enthusiasts
of this genre will do. So why is it frustrating? Well, Jackie (or Jacky
as credited here), does virtually nothing until fellow Chinese
literally drag him into a Kung Fu school in the last quarter of the (2
Sure, he has one action scene early in the film, but he succeeds only in getting pounded nicely by two Japanese fighters. A nice motive for him to learn Kung Fu, I thought. But I was wrong. He does nothing about it...
Anyway, this is one of the more coherent Wei Lo films, and the tension builds fairly steadily. The main villain played by Sing Chen is a believable and decidedly confronting and dangerous man - he's great.
The references to Bruce Lee are tastelessly rammed down your throat, but the final fight is great and suitably brutal. It's a good revenge story, with an unusual ending.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"New Fist of Fury" is a sequel to Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury" (also
known as "The Chinese Connection"). Bruce Lee's movie takes place in
Japanese-controlled Shanghai, where Bruce Lee's character (whose name
I've forgotten) tries to take revenge on the Japanese who poisoned and
killed the leader of his Chiang Wu kung fu school. Bruce Lee eventually
solves the murder and gets his revenge, but with severe consequences -
both his and the Japanese schools are destroyed, and he is killed in
"New Fist of Fury" starts out with the police inspector from Shanghai smuggling the three remaining members of the Chiang Wu school to Taiwan. At Taiwan, these three plan to take revenge on the Japanese, and the story goes on from there.
In this movie, Jackie Chan plays a petty thief who initially has no kung fu skills and has no interest in learning martial arts or fighting against the Japanese. With time however, he gets fed up with the Japanese oppression, and joins Chiang Wu.
If you are expecting a typical Jackie Chan movie, you won't find it here. "New Fist of Fury" does NOT have much fighting until the latter half of the movie. Additionally, this movie does NOT have the usual goofy Jackie Chan-type humor.
Note that in "New Fist of Fury," the Japanese are portrayed as jerks, and any Chinese that cooperate with them are jerks AND traitors. If you can't handle the extreme one-sidedness, you may not like this movie or Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury," which has a very similar vibe.
For you Girl Power types, it is worth noting that Nora Miao plays a strong female protagonist as the leader of the revived Chiang Wu school.
All in all, I liked this movie, even more so than Bruce Lee's original. It's not a great movie, but good nonetheless. It has some good martial arts action, including some nice weapon fights. And the story is actually not that bad compared to the horrid stuff in other films of the genre.
I've watched this movie for three reasons. The first one is, because this movie is a sequel to Fist of Fury (my favorite Bruce Lee's film). The second one is because Jackie Chan is in this movie. The third reason is because I wanted to see some good Kung Fu fights. I wasn't disappointed. This movie is not a remake of Fist of Fury (not like I expected), it's a real sequel, even Nora Miao and her character returned in this film. Jackie Chan was pretty good. The fighting scenes were great, though the real fights begun only at the second half of the movie. This movie has a similar plot with Fist of Fury, but I think it's good, I would be disappointed if this movie was very different from it's prequel.
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