Movie Review: Legend of the Fist- Return of Chen Zhen
Donnie Yen's portrayal of Chen Zhen was most likely a remake of the Bruce Lee classic which I am yet to see, it is the sequel to Jet Li's Black Mask. It also is apparently a sequel to Jet Li's Fist of Legend: Black Mask. So how's it done? So here, Donnie Yen wears the attire similar to Kato that Bruce Lee wore (note that Bruce Lee is the original Kato). So the story of Chen Zhen is during the Second Japanese-Sino war during the time of the Empire of Japan, long before Japan eventually modernized and adapted to the world and brought Tokusatsu. Back then, Japan was really a feared enemy!
What we learn is that Chen Zhen had assumed the identity of Qi Tuanyuan who was his deceased comrade. Because the Empire of Japan has not been defeated, Chen Zhen assumes the role of the Black Mask (not to be confused with Maskman's Black Mask). He befriends Liu Yitian who owns the nightclub Casablanca where he gets attracted to Kiki (acted by Shu Qi) who unknown to them is actually a Japanese undercover agent. It's been a fact that some Japanese have posed to be Chinese, sometimes it's way HARD to recognize the difference. Like maybe you can think of it that Jerry Yan looks like Tetsuji Tamayama or Vivian Hsu looks like Yu Takahashi (who's not obvious to be half-Filipino). So moving on... I just find it interesting that while the audience discovers Kiki's identity as Yumi Yamaguchi (sorry not Yumi Sugimuto fan boys!) while the others have not discovered it.
I'll really say the film entertained me with its loadful and I mean loadful of action that Toku can't offer due to budget constraints. Also, there are some conspiracies that the Japanese government are trying to silence the Shanghai Times so they could complete their intended Empire of Japan and hold Chinese territory. So the Sino-Japanese wars were really brutal... fist... fist. Also the film felt like saying hey Chinese martial arts is better, no Japanese martial arts is better. And because of that competition it gets better.
So what happens is that Chen Zhen develops a forbidden relationship with Yumi. It gets conflicted to the point that Chen Zhen threatens to kill her, while Yumi falls for him which results to Colonel Takeshi Chikaraishi who is one evil sadistic dolt to hate her. It does also get worse when Chen Zhen is later caught, brutally tortured and well, I'm glad it's not a gorefest... phew! Fortunately Chen Zhen's friends rescue him but poor them, why did those imperialist Japanese have to KILL THEM? Oh boy, can't the villains get any worse? Also, I do think that Colonel Chikaraishi is VERY childish as he can't get over the fact that Chen's father defeated his father. Oh boy, can't that guy ever get a life?! The Hongkou Dojo is all that guy can ever think of? What's really bad is that this guy ASKS Kiki to kill one of her close friends. How bad can this guy get? Come on, what's wrong with this guy?
Things really get worse as if nothing could get the Japanese to stop them from taking over Shanghai as General Zhuo gets killed in action. Three cheers for the Emperor of Japan! Boo! Hiss! Well, so Colonel Chikaraishi sends Kiki to challenge Chen Zhen in the Hongkou Dojo. When all that fails because she still loves Chen Zhen, boy does Colonel Chikaraishi GET SO BAD that he KILLS Kiki. I really had tears in that area... WAH! So what happens is that it's ONE AWESOME BATTLE when Chen Zhen beats the whole army sent against him and eventually Chikaraishi DIES. Woohoo. However the war is far from over, Chikaraishi gets replaced while Chen Zhen still helps everyone oppose the Empire of Japan.
My rating? 8.5/10 stars. It's awesomely insane with lots of drama!