Format: Criterion BluRay
Director: Wei Lo
So, if the *last* Bruce Lee movie I watched I wondered "hey, why didn't they use more of the snow cone girl?" - friends, I have learned that is Nora Miao, and I was not the only one who thought she should get more screentime. Here she plays the childhood sweetheart of Bruce Lee's Chen Zhen, and she appears in a few of Bruce Lee's big-name movies.
First, I loved Fist of Fury (1972). Great story, interesting character arc, complex scenarios and amazing fight scenes. Nothing to not like. I don't know if the film had a much higher budget than The Big Boss, but it just *looks* better than the prior film, and the story is infinitely tighter.
The story will feel a bit familiar to those of us who've seen Fist of Legend (which you should 100% see), and I'm unclear if this movie is based on a true story of any kind. I don't think so, but... the movie says it does?
When a Master of a martial arts school dies under mysterious circumstances, his star pupil, a passionate young Bruce Lee, returns to Shanghai to mourn - and, once he's clicked to the fact the death made no sense - seek out justice. The story takes place in The Settlement, something I had to look up, an international portion of Shanghai that has a fascinating history.
The Japanese come to the funeral for the Master and basically bully multiple schools at once, knowing that the Chinese can't push back. Except for Chen Zhen, who comes to the Japanese dojo and kicks the living crap out of *everyone* in a dynamic fight sequence. However, this leads to retribution on several fronts and an impossible situation for Chen Zhen's school.
|Bruce realizes this was the girl selling shave-ice in the last movie|
At the heart of the film is Chen Zhen's romance with Nora Miao, and their interrupted dreams of settling down and running a martial-arts school, and the opportunity for Lee to do some dramatic acting alongside his angry-young-man work.
Anyway - shocker, this is a good Bruce Lee film.