Film Review: Fist of Legend 霍家拳之精武英雄 (2019) - China
Reviewed by Andrew CHAN (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Support me on Patreon:
Rather than holding the same namesake as Jet Li’s all time martial arts classic “Fist of Legend”, the film is better of being titled as a prequel of sorts “Making of the Fist of Legend”. The story follows the happenings prior to Chen Zhen return to Shanghai from his Japanese studies. It is set entirely during the period of his Japanese education and provides a focus on his love life with a Japanese student and the eventual rise of his Kung fu status within the Chinese community in Japan that are being exploited for human experiments. Wen Jie Wang is actually quite solid as Chen Zhen and with a decade of action filmmaking working under the reigns of Hong Kong master filmmakers, Tsui Hark “Seven Swords”, Derek Yee “The Great Magician”, Teddy Chan’s “Bodyguard and Assassins” and also mentors in Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan during the 2008’s “Wushu”. Wang have more then enough physical presence and decent on-screen persona to make it.
With many Kung Fu protege fading into the background and disappearing, it is great to finally witness, Wen Jie Wang getting quality roles to showcase his wushu talents over the past few years. Zhao Chenyu is lovely as the Japanese love interest and is mostly convincing in the midst of a love triangle and family conflicts.
All in all, “Fist of Legend” provides a good showcase for martial artist actor Wang Wenjie for bigger things in the future. Director Daniel Da Wei keeps things relatively straightforward and the extended finale fight scenes are a joy to watch. There are many fight scenes and sets in this film and along with the good looking leads, simple love story, making “Fist of Legend” an adequate prequel and backstory to the all time classic.
I rated it 7/10
Buy me a coffee ☕️ or two to support our Asian cinema film reviews since 2004!