New Fist of Fury

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

A brother (Jackie Chan) and his sister decide to leave Shanghai and flee to Taiwan, although both are currently controlled by Japanese forces. But their grandfather lives in Taiwan and even runs a martial arts school there, so it seems like the better of the two places, under the current circumstances. The grandfather’s school is not as safe as one might think however, as a Japanese school master wishes to bring it under his control, just as he wants to do with all Chinese schools, since he feels his Japanese style is superior. As part of his plan to overtake the school, the Japanese master hatches a plot to murder the old man, which leaves the brother and sister in trouble, but they manage to remain strong and push forward. The brother is called upon to learn a new style of martial arts and fight back against the Japanese, but he resists at first, though he soon agrees to do his best. Can he and the others hold the school safe from Japanese attack, or will the Japanese continue to dominate the Chinese way of life?

Although I love most of his work, I have to admit that Jackie Chan made a lot of garbage pictures, most of which were created under the banner of Lo Wei. This is one such film and while it some bright spots, it doesn’t have enough of the usual Jackie moments to keep it worthwhile, which is a shame. In these martial arts films, the action sometimes runs in stretches, so you’ll see a string of action sequences, then a period of plot development, to balance out the elements. But in New Fist of Fury, the entire first half of the picture is story based and not even well done at that, which leaves us snoring at the very best, checking our watches often. I do love some of the fight scenes however, with blood, fierce attacks, and even kicks to the nuts, but I still feel like too much time is wasted as the film opens. So yes, you’ll be given some rewards for sticking around through the doldrums, but the payoff isn’t as good as it should be, if you ask me. I do think Jackie Chan fans will want to give this a look, but unless you have to own all of his films, New Fist of Fury is best suited as a rental title, no doubt about it.

Video: How does it look?

New Fist of Fury is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I’ve only seen battered & worn versions of this film, so while this treatment is not flawless, it is a vast improvement in all respects. The print used looks quite clean at times, but often shows heavy marks and debris, so it is a mixed bag, to be sure. But unless a restoration is undertaken, I doubt we’ll see this film look much better on DVD. The black levels are solid and accurate throughout, while colors look washed out, but still decent enough. The image here is not stunning, but all things considered, it looks better than the other editions out there.

Audio: How does it sound?

This edition houses Mandarin and English language options, both of which sound solid, but it is obvious this is an older, low budget picture. I don’t know enough about the dialects to say whether or not this the Mandarin track is the original, as most sources say it should be Cantonese, but then again, this film has no true original soundtrack, due to the methods used during its production, so I can’t say for sure. So there is some age to be heard, such as slight hiss, a little distortion, and thin moments, but considering the material, I can’t be too harsh here. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no bonus materials.

Disc Scores