Legend of The Fist Return of Chen Zhen, revisits an iconic character originally played by Bruce Lee in Fists of Fury (1972), Jackie Chan in New Fist of Fury (1976) and Jet Li in Fist of Legend (1994). Here, Donnie Yen reprises the role of Chen Yen from a 20-episode television series version of Fists of Fury (1995). I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years this role will be played by Wu Jing or somebody else, the next martial arts legend.
This time around, Chen Zhen returns to China under an assumed identity after fighting with the Allies in Europe. Fighting in France Chen Zhen shows very good technique of the knife fighting, leading and saving the group of volunteer soldiers ambushed on the battlefields of World War I. He is using a bayonet to defend against foreign soldiers. A few ridiculous scenes where Chen is running away from bullets and flying on wires under patriotic music reminds cheap Chinese movies, but how Chen Zhen is using a bayonet, hacking the enemies, will impress anybody. As always fists against weapon. I like to see how Donnie always shows us something new in his films, now it is time of Filipino Kali, the dangerous knife fighting, which you have probably seen in the Hunted movie with Tommy Lee Jones in 2003.
Want to pay your attention that Chinese filmmakers started to use panoramas and this is impressing. After heroic escape Chen ends up under an assumed identity as a part-owner of nightclub Casablanca owned by a local tycoon played by Anthony Wong, who wants to do the right things in the name of China but also wants to continue to make money. Here he is hooking up with the beautiful club singer Kiki played by sexy Shu Qi, I follow her since the Gorgeous movie with Jackie Chan, but unfortunately not so called-for as an actress in China, most people have seen her as an parcel carrying by Jason Statham in the Transporter movie.
As always a Japanese leader shown as a brutal, principle and ruthless guy, who kills his subordinates for a little inadvertence. Where Japanese killers are using hats and bruss knuckles to hide their identity, Chen is using masked costume stolen from a nearest store. Who can tell me that he doesn’t look like Bruce Lee’s character Kato from the Green Hornet Movie? Fighting against 6 killers I was glad to notice that Donnie didn’t forget his skills from the sets of Ip Man 2 film and kicking asses using fast hands.
I liked Kohata Ryuichi as a fearsome General fated to do battle with Zhen. The final scene of Legend of The Fist Return of Chen Zhen is done very well – tough, fast and down to earth.
Do not take too much attention to a plot, it is a martial arts movie first of all, but I recommend you to watch on the well-rounded relationship between Chen and Kiki, which really offered up the film’s best character moments. I liked music and nightclub atmosphere, production design by Eric Lam is excellent.
Legend of The Fist Return of Chen Zhen is directed by Andrew Lau, most famous to as the man behind the Infernal Affairs films. Asskicking action scenes made by Donnie Yen himself and blended with parkour tricks and nice Kung Fu Wing Chun technique.