Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bruce Lee Stardom: Fist of Fury

Hey all we are back again for Day 2 of Bruce Lee Stardom. I had no other title that seemed suiting. This film is Bruce's second lead starring role giving again not just well deserved ass-whippings a plenty but trying to tell a story of a young man paying respects to the mentor that molded him from a young lad into the man he is today. The journey is a man happy in his life's decisions but must put his plans on hold in order to get the justice that is due. This is Fist of Fury a.k.a. The Chinese Connection.

Hope that dojo has a lot of ice...for these punks.

Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) arrives in Shanghai returns to his martial arts school during the time of the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. He wishes to be engaged to Yuan Le-erh (Nora Miao of The Big Boss, The Story of Daisy, Jin xuan feng, The Way of the Dragon, The Devil's Treasure, Tokyo-Seoul-Bangkok and The Skyhawk) and wishes to tell his sifu (mentor or master) the good news when he finds his master has died and the funeral is proceeding as he arrives. A man in such robust health suddenly passes away seems strange.

A shrine of memory.

No sooner have 2 days past in their mourning, a couple of students plus the dojo's intrepreter Wu (Ping Ou Wei of Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Fists of Bruce Lee, Kung-Fu Commandos, Fist of Fury III, The Art of War by Sun Tzu) of (Clan Tang) brings a rude message to the school calling them, "The Sick Men of Asia" and referencing the students lower than dogs, tipping their hands to the students that now suspect the dojo of doing in their master. Regardless of the teachings of his master preaching defense not offense, Chen must satisfy his own lust for revenge and tromp these men that would make a mockery of his teachings. Granted doing so does also mock what his master stood for but you try to rationalize with a pissed off man of his skill and temper.

Sorry. Holding in a sneeze.

As a former student of martial arts what I find most offensive the rivalry between two different schools of thought. Martial arts disciplines mind, body and spirit and both schools are guilty of insulting those very beliefs. That being said though, kick some ass, Bruce! Omg the fight scenes in this flick are sick! Yeah I know the theme offended me but damn Lee was on fire beating the monkey crap out of the rooms. With that however, Chen only exasperates the situation causing more violence towards Japanese on Chinese and vice versa.

Will this bring shame on their collective houses? Can the conflict be resolved? Can't we all just get along?

A quick observation from a Westerner. The depictions of Japanese versus Chinese in this film is very profound and both viewed each other as inferior beings. This staple making the Japanese thugs and with their heirs on end makes them come off as arrogant and heartless but at the same time I cannot speak for how each people viewed one another at this time in life. The Chinese are being shown stout of heart but suffering from the same pig headed stubborn streak as well.

Now this was to take place at this timeline early 19th century during the occupation but a few goofs happened such as: Extras wearing 1970s clothing and haircut styles, cars in the background parked in the distance and an old school phonograph player playing which didn't exist until latter 19th century. The only reason I knew it was the timeline portrayed was due to a narration of this struggle. Most of this was shot in studio and a few exterior scenes so clearly it was a larger budget than The Big Boss and nowhere near as violent but the message showed two cultures not fully aware why they must hate one another.

Whoops, got to close to Bruce.