I am about to start posting a series of blogs about Fist of Legend (1994) – directed by Gordon Chan, choreographed by Yuen Wu Ping, and starring Jet Li, Chin Siu Ho, Kurata Yasuaki and Billy Chau.
I don’t devote much space in my blogs to summarizing the plots of movies. Why bother when there are so many well written summaries available already on the internet. I have been working on my blogs for many, many weeks now. Due to being without a computer for a while I was reduced to writing my blogs in (shock, horror) longhand. By pure coincidence, other blogging friends wrote about this film during that time. I can heartily recommend Mike’s fun but discerning review of Fist of Legend on his blog Kiai Kick – http://kiaikick.com/2011/06/22/review-fist-of-legend-1994/
A full cast list can be found here: http://www.hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=7944&display_set=eng
Another blog that I suggest you read is http://dorkarama.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/too-much-fisting-%e2%80%93-chen-zhen-chinese-nationalism-and-the-myth-of-kung-fu/
In it, David West* masterfully discusses issues such as real life martial arts versus screen fighting, and martial arts as an expression of national identity. He also compares 3 films that deal with the iconic martial arts character Chen Zhen: Fist of Legend, Fist of Fury, and The Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen. I have written a lot about the action in this film, and found myself thinking of David’s blog from time to time while writing. I highly recommend you read it.
Now to the blogs I have written. I kick off with an introductory blog in which I look at some of the satisfyingly complex characters in this film. The next cab off the rank is a little blog containing a few ideas I have about the plot structure. Leading on from these 2 is a plot looking at the action, and how well it helps to delineate the characters and support the narrative. This last blog is a bit of a monster (7 pages long), so I am going to post it in 3 installments because I know that readers of this blog** don’t like reading long blogs.
*Author of a terrific book called Chasing Dragons: An Introduction to the Martial Arts Film.
**”readers”. Sounds like I’ve got thousands doesn’t it. Instead of 11. Oh well. I can dream.