A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
Fist of Legend
To avenge his masters death, He'll fight like never before!
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 Hou Ting-An in a fight against the Japanese champion Ryuichi Akutagawa.
"Aren't we fighting?"
"Only animals fight."
Remember that scene in Lethal Weapon 4 where Mel Gibson is shocked at how Jet Li is able to take his gun away from him and dissemble it while he's holding it? This film is sort of like that, only put me in Gibson's place, and instead of taking a gun apart, Jet Li takes people apart for an hour and a half. Some of the fight footage is aided by being sped up, but even when it isn't, he moves so fast it's practically a special effect.
Also, the film is aided by having a bad guy so EVIL that during the climactic martial arts duel he (Spoiler) kills a tree by kicking it in half and carries on fighting like it ain't no thing.
Really loved the earnestness of this film.
Loved the fight between Jet Li and the older Japanese master and their exchange of dialogue afterwards, wonderful respect for each other.
The last fight is brutal!
The belt is mightier than the Katana.
"Fist of Legend" sees Jet Li play Chen Zhen, a character originally brought to life by Bruce Lee and later on also played by Donnie Yen.
Chen Zhen returns to his native Shangai that is under Japanese military occupation at the time. He's out to avenge the death of his Kung Fu master in a fair fight and no one is up to the task. Neither giving him a real fight as an equal opponent nor a fair one. Ass kicking ensues.
"Fist of Legend" features the typical patriotic story chinese movies always tend to have when they're set during the second sino-japanese war. It's not as over the top as in "Legend…
Plot? Pah! Who needs plot when you have Jet Li twisting arms into bows?
Always amazes me that Jet Li was able to remake a Bruce Lee movie and pull it off.
Ended up being a little disappointed in this one, given its reputation as The Greatest Martial Arts Movie Ever. The fights are great of course, but they lack the show-offy intricacy of other Yuen Woo-Ping movies like Dreadnaught or Tai Chi Master.
The rest of the movie is sort of like a more nuanced, "realistic" retelling of the Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury. I prefer the original.
A Shakespearean epic in scope with terrific choreography (the acknowledged influence on THE MATRIX is obvious, particularly in the final fight) and a ton of humor. Might be the first time I ever saw Jet Li as the hero, so that was nice.
(And yes, I realize the irony of comparing this to the works of a British writer, but it was all that could think of through most of the key scenes. Did I mention the choreography was great?)
Fist of Legend just features some of the best, speediest, most furious fighting of early 90s. Jet Li and the choreography are fantastic in this film, and are enough of a reason to get over the terrible (typical) dubbing that Miramax did here as they did everywhere.
The fight choreography was superb, I haven't really watched any real Jet Li movies as I always assumed Jackie Chan was better. I have to say with this movie proved me wrong about Jet, so many great fights and a much stronger plot than most martial arts films.
In questo Remake di Fist of Fury al centro della storia ci sono le tensioni culturali dopo L'invasione Giapponese della Cina nel '37. Il sottotesto politico funziona cosi come Le Coreografie, i combattimenti sono ritmati e fatti molto bene, è infatti l'azione a rendere memorabile il film, si va da una classica lotta uno contro tutti, a un divertente duello bendati fino ad un epico scontro Finale con un odioso villan, ma non basta, il problema è che il film soffre di una trama noiosissima e senza alcun Pathos, tolte quelle tre o quattro scene d'azione rimangono due ore di dialoghi piatti che non vanno da nessuna parte, la differenza fra momenti di azione e momenti narrativi è gigantesca e questi enormi sbalzi di ritmo danneggiano in modo grave l'intera opera.
One of those rare kung fu films that tackles some weighty themes and issues and never feels like a live action cartoon. The action is stunning with a number of great fight scenes, all of which have a physicality that most lack, there's no dancing in the air to be found here, just Jet Li taking on man after man and causing serious damage. The plot revolving around Japans occupation of China give the film an intelligence that most of the genre lack, though it's all rather simplistic and actually the better for it.
Prob the most bangin 1 on 1 fist fight in human history
Hadn't seen a martial arts movie in a long time and man, this one is going to cause me to go on a martial arts binge.
Les Japonais étaient pas ben fins... Ça m'a fait de la peine...
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.