FIST OF FURY

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

Chenzhen (Bruce Lee) is a former student of the Jingwu School who returns when his Master dies of stomach flu. Chenzhen doesn’t believe the diagnosis and, when the school is challenged by a Japanese doju, starts to investigate exactly what happened. Unfortunately, his methods involve kicking the ass of anyone he feels may be involved, which starts a mini war between the two schools.

The police get involved and everyone is hunting Chenzhen for one reason or another. He then discovers that his Master was actually poisoned and so begins upping the ante by killing and hanging the perpetrators from a lamp post before he wades into the Japanese dojo to finish the job.

Fist of Fury is incredibly violent considering the amount of characters who die on screen, some via the eponymous appendage, and is all the better for it. There is very little of the impish side of Lee on show here as his character seeks revenge for the unlawful killing of his Master, stopping at nothing to avenge his death.

There are some cracking set pieces here, not least the first time Chenzhen wades into the Japanese dojo and defeats all comers by himself. The artistry and almost ballet-like choreography on show in the fight sequences provide a real insight into the professionalism of the cinema industry of the Far East during the early ‘70s. It’s interesting to see how the law worked, or didn’t work dependent on your point of view, there in the early 20th century, with the Japanese having a real grip on power and almost being above the law.

The romantic  sub-plot involving Chenzhen and Yuan Le-erh seems almost tacked on, but that doesn’t really matter that much as we all came to see some great fight scenes and we are not disappointed. Watching Lee face off against foes and their weapons is a sight to behold and it’s always fun to see that Lee did not consider fighting dirty to be below him – in real life, it’s not always perfectly landed kicks.

A final scene of Chenzhen refusing to go quietly as he is double crossed is a punch in the gut after he offers to take the fall to protect his school and is a moment of melancholy gravitas in a film otherwise powered by brutal machismo.

Regardless, Fist of Fury is a classic in its genre, and rightly so.

FIST OF FURY / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: WEI LO / STARRING: BRUCE LEE, NORA MIAO, JAMES TIEN, MARIA YI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


Suggested Articles:
Long before Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch ever portrayed Sherlock Holmes on our screens
Polish writer/director Walerian Borowczyk was quite the card. In a 40-year career (he died in 2006),
Getting a new release from the BFI following their recent Scorsese celebration, Alice Doesn’t Live
Make no mistake, this isn’t competing with the likes of The Abyss or Das Boot, either for expansiv
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 22 March 2017

THE STORY OF SIN 20 March 2017

ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE 20 March 2017

THE CHAMBER 20 March 2017

THE WARTIME CHRONICLES 20 March 2017

PIECES 18 March 2017

SOLARIS 18 March 2017

WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR 18 March 2017

THE DOCTORS: THE JON PERTWEE YEARS 17 March 2017

FRIGHT NIGHT 14 March 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner