Chen Zhen was one of the 150,000 Chinese
sent to World War One Europe to help France
against the Germans. The film opens explaining how the Chinese were expected
to do manual labor with no combat training and mostly without gun as sometimes the war could be happening around them. Chen Zhen and a group of Chinese must fight the Germans as the French forces
retreat. Flash forward to 1925 Shanghai
where Chen Zhen is posing as Qi Tianyuan, who quickly becomes the manager of the Casablanca
club. The Japanese are ready to invade China
even more as the British and French just watch it being done without helping a divided China
Chen Zhen stops the assassination attempt
of the son of General Zeng when he takes up the costume of the Masked Warrior, a symbol of Chinese resistance against the
Japanese (as first shown through a film). The Japanese want a war
between rival Chinese forces: the focus is on two rival armies in this film- one by General Zhuo and the other by General
Zeng. The introduction of the Masked Warrior fuels the tension between
the Chinese and the invading Japanese. Chen Zhen tries to save as many
people Japan sees as a threat.
Also the Japanese do retaliate with brutal force and even place spies among the Chinese people.
LEGEND OF THE FIST does have a lot of threads
going on during the film. I wished the film explored those threads more as I
wonder if 100 minutes can do this film justice. It has very hyperkinetic action
scenes with the battlefield in a European city being the best of those action scenes.
The film is about duo identities, a divided nation no one cared to see united during the early 20th century, and revenge. Still the stand-out factors in this film are the expertly directed hyper-kinetic
action scenes and the production design.
Before the main menu starts, there are
a series of previews for other titles through Well Go USA. The main extras
on the disc are two theatrical trailers and two behind-the-scenes featurettes (one looking at the filming of the battlefield
scene where Donnie Yen is careful not to hurt himself and the other is on the filming of the nightclub).
FINAL ANALYSIS: LEGEND OF THE FIST is an ambitious film with very hyper-kinetic
action scenes. I wish it had more of an ending and the disc had interviews
with cast and crew or even an audio commentary.
this DVD review is (c)6-15-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to email@example.com