Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious stranger arrives from overseas and befriends a local mafia boss. That man is a disguised Chen Zhen, who intends to infiltrate the mob when they form an alliance with the Japanese. Disguising himself as a caped fighter by night, Chen intends to take out everyone involved as well as get his hands on an assassination list prepared by the Japanese.Written by
Well-choreographed story of a masked freedom fighter
Another fest of ass-kicking from Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen, LEGEND OF THE FIST is loosely based on the same legend as Bruce Lee's FIST OF LEGEND and Jet Li's FIST OF LEGEND. Yen plays a masked freedom fighter battling against imperial Japanese forces during their occupation of Shanghai during the 1920s, and the film is a rousing, action-packed slice of superlative entertainment.
Okay, so the action doesn't quite have the edge of the similar IP MAN and its sequel, but generally speaking it's very good indeed. There's a particular viciousness to the scenes involving Yen going around and battling or murdering his beleaguered city's oppressors, and an involved, conspiracy style-storyline means that nobody can truly be trusted. The ending, which builds to one final bout with the enemy, is predictable in the extreme but nonetheless crowd-pleasing and hugely entertaining.
Yen sleepwalks through his role a bit, having played this type of character loads over the years, but he's given strong support in the likes of established names such as Shawn Yue, Anthony Wong and Shu Qi. The fast-paced story is handled well by Andrew Lau's Infernal Affairs, who brings the same kind of twisty, gritty vitality to this story as he did with that hugely influential cops vs. gangsters movie. And, of course, there are lots and lots of scenes of Yen kicking ass as only he knows how, including a spectacular opening that celebrates the little-known Chinese role in WW1.
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