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Book & Film Reviews

FIST OF LEGEND 1994 BLU RAY REVIEW

Gordon Chan's remake of the Bruce Lee classic Fist of Fury is a classic in it's own right and was one of the last hurrahs in the mid nineties kung fu movie boom.

Set in occupied China in 1937, Jet Li excels in one of his best roles as Chen Zhen - pupil of a deceased kung fu master. The plot is more philosophical than Bruce Lee's original and features some interesting internal politics within the kung fu school rather than the tradional "eye for an eye, villains kill the master, pupil must learn the techniques to defeat the villain from an unusual teacher"

The standout here is Yasuaki Kurata whose Fumio Funakashi character would have made for an interesting spin off movie or TV series. Kurata skillfully adapts his aikido and karate techniques for Yuen Woo Ping's award winning choreography, he doesn't suddenly start using some wu shu or wing chun kung fu just because it would be easier to shoot.

The infamous blindfold fight is just a great piece of cinema with some terrific slo-mo Peckinpah moments and some very clear and concise editing (here's looking at you Quantum of Solace)

This Blu Ray is an excellent release for new and old fans alike of new wave martial arts movies. Here's hoping Dragon Dynasty unleash a Region 2 version of the Shaw Brothers film Heroes of The East which features Gordon Liu against various Japanese fighters including Yasuaki Kurata. 4/5

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