Review: Legend of the Fist Return of Chen Zen

First, a little history lesson on this film. This is not the first time this movie has been made. The original movie starring a character named Chen Zen was played by none other than Bruce Lee, which was released in 1972 and was Bruce Lee’s second major movie. Though it was called The Fist of Fury for the international audience, the US name got changed to The Chinese Connection or The Iron Hand. The first retelling of the Fist of Fury came in 1994, when Jet Li was named to star as Chen Zen in Fist of Legend (by the way also a great film). After those movies came out, a TV show was made in 1995 starring Donnie Yen. The TV series only lasted 30 episodes, and this movie is a continuation of the TV series. Well that’s enough of the history of this film, now on to the review.

If you loved Ip Man and Ip Man 2, you will love this. This is set in the same time frame and same country. Just like Ip Man, it talks about the Japanese invasion of China and the people that resisted them. It starts off with Chen Zen in France, with the Allies fighting against the Germans in WWI and after the war, he returns to China. Once in Shanghai, he joins an underground movement to kick the Japanese out of China and reclaim China back for the Chinese people. He also becomes partners with the person who owns one of the biggest clubs in Shanghai called Casablanca, where the Japanese, British, Americans, and Chinese people congregate, but not usually with each other. From then on, lots of fighting and dying from both the Chinese and Japanese occurs.

The movie pretty much plays like many Chinese action films: lots of martial arts, great choreography, and explosions. The storyline was well written and greatly portrayed on the screen as well. The actors and actresses who were chosen for this movie did a magnificent job. Of course, with international movies, there will be some dubbing of English. I for one, don’t like dubs most of the time, but some dubs in a movie is not too bad. All in all, this movie has what many people are looking for in a Donnie Yen film. So if you want to see Donnie Yen just kick ass and take names later, this is a movie to watch.

Grade: A

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