Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who's on Fist?

Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen is Donnie Yen's tribute to Bruce Lee's Fists of Fury. But actually, I didn't get that from watching, only from reading about it on IMDB. Watching it, I got the impression that someone (maybe director Andrew Wai-Keung Lau) wanted to make Lust, Caution as a martial arts film.

The movie takes place in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation. Drifter and secret martial arts hero Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen) gets friendly with a casino owner to undermine the Japanese. In the process, he gets involved with a beautiful, self-destructive singer, played by Qi Shu - she was the cargo in the first Transporter movie. Eventually, he gets a Kato-like black leather outfit and starts kicking butt.

However, if it's butt-kicking you are here for, you're not going to see a lot. It is quality Donnie Yen action, but that is not the focus of the film. Instead, you're going to see some fine period costumes and architecture, a few nightclub acts and some Casablanca-style intrigue and melodrama.

I probably should have watched Lust, Caution instead. Or Fists of Fury.

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