Chen Zhen, a Chinese engineering student in Kyoto, who braves the insults and abuse of his Japanse fellow students for his local love Mitsuko Yamada, daughter of the director, returns in 1937 to his native Shangai, under Japanse protectorate -in fact military occupation- after reading about the death of his kung-fu master Huo Yuan Jia in a fight against the Japanese champion Ryuichi Akutagawa. While overcoming suspicion and ambition within the kungfu school, Chen exhumes his master to prove Hou's defeat was the result of poisoning. Both nationalities make the case a test of honor, so Chinese and Japanese pride are at stake when it culminates in Chen's final epic duel against the ruthless, undefeated Japanese general Fujita.Written by
The U.S Version made by Miramax for its release on video in 2000 immediately caused an uproar with the Hong Kong Cinema fan community because it contained only a new English dub/score with alterations to the original dialogue and no original Cantonese option - a process many of their Hong Kong-acquired titles suffered (not to mention the edits). See more »
In the final fight between Chen Zen and Gen. Fujita, every time Fujita falls to the ground his hair is longer, revealing it to be a stunt double. See more »
The Dimension version makes some changes to the original, including a new score by Stephen Edwards, new sound effects, new opening/closing credits, a slightly shortened ending, and to the script. See more »
Up until this movie I had always been let down by Jet Li's flicks except for the "Once Upon a Time in China" series. I bought "Fist of Legend" because it was one of Jet Li's highest rated movies on the IMDb (but it was behind "Hero", which I didn't like so much). I would say I had high but not unrealistic hopes for it. But this movie *needed* to be good or I would have started to consider Jet Li over-rated.
All I can say is that "Fist of Legend" delivers! The opening fight scene was surprisingly brutal and I was instantly hooked. The action doesn't take too long a break in this movie but also found the story compelling and interesting -- something unusual in a martial arts flick. Most of the protagonists are fully developed and the viewer likes and feels for them. The villains aren't nearly so fleshed out and come off as one-dimensional but oh well. Everything else from the costumes to the acting and the settings were decent. The sum package is one of the best martial arts movies I've ever seen and I've seen more than my share. "Fist of Legend" is to Jet Li as "Drunken Master" is to Jackie Chan.
I saw the dubbed Dimension US release. Although I hate dubbing and any editing of a foreign release (are you listening Dimension?), I found the dubbing here mostly okay except for the General's insanely over-the-top "evil" voice. I also felt that some of the dialog seemed to have lost meaning in the translation but it's forgivable.
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