Friday, March 4, 2011

Fist of Fury

More Bruce! This movie actually breaks the Bruce mold slightly. Bruce's Master dies at the start of the film and Bruce suspects it was poison, however his master told his students not to pick fights with other schools and to stay out of trouble. This of course would ideally be the Bruce limiter for the first hour or so of the movie but instead he just waltzes right into another Dojo (that insulted his master) and kicks everyone's ass about 15 minutes in. This is pretty awesome to say the least though Bruce soons learn retaliation can occur afterward as his school gets beaten down immediately afterward. You would sort of assume he would decide to stop fighting for at least a little while at that point but instead he becomes a master of disguise and sneaks around waiting to discover who killed his master.

Naturally it turns out the most obvious dude possible did and Bruce continues to disguise himself for a while, waiting for an opportunity to strike. Amidst one of his forays into the opposing dojo he discovers a foreigner who bends metal pipes for a living, this guy is supposed to be Russian in the movie but he looks American, talks with an American accent, wears American clothes (including the omnipresent bowtie), and was played by an American. This happens a lot in Bruce movies, foreigners are brought in so Bruce can kick some varied asses instead of just Chinese or Japanese dudes. About 10 minutes before the end Bruce is victorious and I was legitimately clueless as to what would happen next, thus making those last 10 unpredictable minutes more interesting than much of the film.

Clearly this movie is much better than the Big Boss but just how much better? The plot centers around Bruce being a badass that can kill people in one punch (hence the title) and who actually hails from a dojo. He does do the one punch thing several times in the movie and I guess the meaning is he punches people so hard in the chest that their hearts explode, assuming this is possible why can't Bruce do it? Very realistic in my opinion. This Fist of Fury became Bruce's signature move to go alongside the flying Jumpkick (an extremely epic one of those is in this film as well) to match Chuck's Roundhouse Kick to the Face and Seagal's Blank Stare of Death, unfortunately for the other two they never had movies named after their signature moves.

The fight scenes in this movie, along with being more frequent, are also much improved over Big Boss, as Bruce beats down 10-15 people at once and occasionally pulls out the mighty Nun-Chuks and beats down people with swords as well as bare hands. Apart from dispatching people with his Fist and Jumpkick he actually kicks a dude's sword in the air and then places him under it to kill him, which is immensely satisfying. Of course the plot is also much better, even though they use several similar actors and actresses most of them seem to have improved and nothing Bruce does is utterly illogical either. Hopefully the rest of the Bruce films I own will be as good as this one.

Final Score: 8/10

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