Flashback Review: Bruce Lee's "Fist of Fury"
Updated: Mar 25
This Bruce Lee 1972 movie classic Fist of Fury was also known as "The Chinese Connection" in North America. This is the movie that gave Bruce Lee the status of superstar. The movie was directed by Lo-Wei. Fist of Fury is much more than just the revenge of a master's death, but also depicts the tension between the Chinese and the Japanese of the time. Bruce Lee's performance is quite charismatic and has made this movie as one of the most loved. known, and popular among firstly the Chinese people then the world. Through the years, many paid tribute to this film. Among them is Quintin Quarantino's "Kill Bill".
Fist of Fury is about a student, Chen Zhen played by Bruce Lee, who seeks justice of his Master's mysterious death. A rival Japanese School are the only suspects, but there is no proof of their involvement. Chen Zhen investigates by going undercover by using different disguises and discovers that the Japanese School is guilty of the murder of his Master. After his discovery, he takes his revenge on all parties involved before going out in a blaze of glory.
This movie has themes of racism which leads to frustration and revenge. Fist of Fury is set in the early twentieth century when Shanghai was occupied by Japan, and clearly demonstrate the tensions between the Japanese and the Chinese of the time. The movie show a bias towards the Japanese by having some of the characters dressed up in Nazi like costumes from World War II. The film is definitely pro-Chinese, anti-imperialist, and xenophobic to various degrees.
The historical content might be one reason of the Fist of Fury popularity, but definitely the fighting scenes were ground breaking. The dojo fighting scene where Bruce Lee uses the nunchaku (nunchuks or chainsticks) on film for the first time is one of my favourite fight scenes of all time. Yes it is outdated, but the movie came out in 1972, 42 years ago. Check out the scene here:
If you enjoy watching martial arts movies, you will definitely be entertained. Yes you can tell its a dated movie with not the best acting in the world. However just the main fighting scenes are worth taking the time to watch. The many tributes and unofficial sequels that have been produced since the Fist of Fury release is proof that the movie has had an influence through the years and still does today.
The Fist of Fury as The Big Boss is a "B" movie with "A" movie fighting scenes.