Fists of Fury

Fists of Fury

Year: 1971
Directed By: Wei Lo
Written By: Wei Lo

RYAN’S REVIEW

One of the most frequently searched questions that brings people to our site is about Bruce Lee breaking his back, as seen in the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.  In the movie Bruce Lee is drop kicked from behind by an opponent he has beaten and his back is broken after the blow. He goes through a long recovery process in the hospital in which his wife motivates him to continue with his work.  This did not happen, Lee did fight that opponent but not under those circumstances and he was not attacked from behind.  Lee did spend time in the hospital due to a back injury he sustained doing an extreme weight lifting exercise.  He didn’t actually break his back however.  There is also a scene in that film that takes place during the filming of this film, Fists of Fury/The Big Boss. The brother of the man who “broke Lee’s back” comes after him and they have a violent and elaborate fight.  Cool idea, but it never happened.  I like Dragon, but it is nowhere close to the truth.

I have discussed Bruce Lee to an exhaustive length over the past few letters in the movie collection.  For my thoughts on Lee’s life and career see these reviews: The Chinese Connection, Enter the Dragon, and the link attached in the first paragraph takes you to our review of Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.  I am a big fan of everything Lee did, and this movie is no different.  We see him in the beginning of his career in this movie. He was still developing the charisma that would make him such an electrifying celebrity, but it wasn’t there so much this first time around.  His fights are all good, but he seems raw at times, obviously still working on and perfecting his fighting style.  Overall I like this movie though, I don’t sit all the way through it often but I did for this review.  It isn’t a bad movie at all.  In a couple of Lee’s films (not Enter the Dragon, obviously) I would suggest just skipping to the fight scenes but this one I could sit through and still like.

Please check out our other reviews of Bruce Lee films but otherwise I am done talking about him until we get to Return of the Dragon in the movie collection.  By my best estimation that might be two or three years from now at least and I might have altogether different things to say about Bruce Lee then.  I idolize him, but I have written about him enough as of late.

NEXT MOVIE: Flatliners (1990)

The Chinese Connection

Year: 1972
Directed By: Wei Lo
Written By: Wei Lo.

RYAN’S REVIEW

Bruce Lee was a God among men.  One of the biggest icons of all time. Probably the biggest icon when you take into account that the main body of his work was done over a two-year period before his death. His physical perfection, his discipline, and his philosophy are all things that every one of us can learn from.  He only gave us four full films before his tragic and untimely death and we must cherish all of them because they are all we have. Die young as a celebrity and you will live forever.  That is especially true for Lee who is still an icon to this day.  He died when he was 32, and he was only then beginning to blossom into the mega superstar he was becoming.  I will discuss Bruce Lee at greater length when we get to some of his other films.

This is a really campy movie and I wouldn’t recommend actually watching it because it isn’t worth your time in that sense.  There are long retarding points to the story that don’t make the movie worth watching.  What makes this film worth watching are the fight scenes, and the skill and choreography of a true master.  Lee is incredible in any and all fight scenes.  He was still developing as an actor and there are plenty of silly scenes where he goes a little over the top, specifically in the film’s opening. This was Bruce Lee’s second film and the first in which he displayed his skill with the nunchuks.  For all practical purposes Lee made the weapons the popular fixture in martial arts that they have become today. As a matter of fact, for all practical purposes Lee is the father of martial arts films in America.  He popularized the movement in American films that is still growing to this day.  He was the best, and the fight scenes in his movies still rival those of today.  People have a natural thirst and desire to see fights. It’s a guilty pleasure for some and an open fascination for many of us but it is there in all of us all the same.

Bruce Lee was the greatest martial artist of all time and everyone should see all of his films to understand why.  Don’t bother wasting time with the story when you watch this one, just fast forward to the fight scenes and enjoy the show.  It doesn’t matter what they are fighting about, Bruce Lee is the good guy and he probably has a really good reason for kicking the asses of all those bad guys.  There are messages about racism in this film and a loose footnote of actual Chinese history but personally I’m not interested in that.  Chinese Connection is my least favorite Bruce Lee film, but all Lee films hold weight with me because there are only four.

NEXT MOVIE: The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)