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Jing wu feng yun: Chen Zhen (2010)
What should have been fun wasn't
Ip Man was an uplifting movie that showed how the spirit of martial arts and national pride overcame oppression from the Japanese military. Legend of The Fist on the other hand is an ugly, mean spirited mess.
A historical drama like Farewell My Concubine or John Rabe is suited for dealing with heavy subject matter like the Japanese occupation of China. Not a movie marketed as a martial arts extravaganza. Especially when the first action scene shows Donnie Yen defeating German Soldiers with the precision of Spider-Man and Daredevil. He pretty much demonstrates that he could end World War I by himself.
I would have been fine with more of that. But the focus of the movie is not on the action scenes or Donnie's crusade against the Japanese military. The main focus is how evil the Japanese military is, and what atrocities they commit. Thankfully it's not as detailed as say Schindler's List, but it's shoved in the viewers face nonetheless.
There are a ton of subplots which also get in the way and ruin the narrative.
Certain characters are also poorly written despite the best efforts of the actors portraying them. They exhibit traitorous behavior but then go back and fourth in their alignment, so it's hard to sympathize with or hate them.
One of the characters even gets raped just to tastelessly move the plot forward and motivate revenge. It comes across as very cheap and does not make the viewer want the hero to beat the bad guys.
If Ip Man could be a good drama with appropriately placed action scenes, why not this movie?
On a 1 to 5 scale, it deserves a 1.