Anthony's Film Review
Fist of Fury (1972)
Bruce Lee really kicks butt in this entertaining martial arts movie...
Fist of Fury, also known in the United States as The Chinese Connection, is one of Bruce Lee's better martial arts movies. It's good enough that people who are curious about Lee and want to avoid his forgettable movies could certainly check this one out. It has plenty of cool action and a story that isn't too bad. It's certainly better than this previous movie, The Big Boss (known in the U.S. as Fists of Fury, confusingly enough), which somewhat bored me.
The plot is really simple. Bruce Lee is a guy named Chen whose martial arts teacher has died. As he and his class try to move on, a few men from a Japanese martial arts school, driven by pride and racial intolerance towards the Chinese, stop by their school and attempt to stir up trouble. While everyone else tries to turn away, Chen decides to take the matter into his own hands. He storms into the Japanese martial arts school, which leads to a brutal fight with the students as well as the instructor. From there, the conflict between the two schools intensifies, resulting in violence and death traded both ways.
The fight scenes are quite good, to say the least. When Bruce Lee punches, kicks, blocks, jumps, or dodges, he does it with incredible speed. I doubt there was any camera trick done to capture this. The post-production sound effects added to each blow, which are mainly slapping noises and other similar sounds, make the action exciting. While Lee mainly fights with only his hands and feet, he does use nunchucks against his opponents now and then. There's even suspense when Lee is up against fighters with deadly samurai swords.
I liked how the story in between the action isn't boring or pointless filler material. It was fun to see the tension between the Chinese and Japanese schools escalate, the characters on both sides planning their next move, Chen's discovery that his teacher did not die of natural causes, and even the police stepping in to investigate the deaths of various characters. I was most pleased by how the story ended. It's not one of those predictable endings with the hero celebrating victory. Rather, it makes us wonder if there is any honor or glory in fighting.
If I had to rate Fist of Fury on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 7. It's a typical martial arts movie, but it's fun to watch if you have a guilty pleasure of watching good martial arts action. If there's one thing that's definitely not in doubt, it's that Bruce Lee is a real star. He has the looks, the masculinity, and the talent in hand-to-hand combat. It's no wonder that he became a cultural icon late in his life. Fist of Fury delivers a solid punch in martial arts entertainment.
For more information about Fist of Fury, visit the Internet Movie Database.