Legend of the Fist highlights the status of Donnie Yen's increasingly successful career to a point. Reprising the incredibly popular spirit of Chen Zhen while filling the shoes worn by both Bruce Lee and Jet Li, Donnie Yen's titular interpretation takes place seven years after the events of his own television series Fists of Fury. Set during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the torch of martial art's legend Chen Zhen is in safe hands because as we all know, Donnie Yen isn't just an artist of the body but one that can dramatize damn near any role. So while he may get caught up on the burlesque portrayal of the cruel Japanese or the visually stimulating violence, it's been declared a safe passage which allows for some of the greatest recent escapism to flood through your nostrils and soak your brain in hair-pin mixed martial arts. And for what it's worth, The Return of Chen Zhen houses an indescribable charm, potent and out of place for this historically fantastical oddity.
These allegations haven't impeded the success or longevity of talk-back concerning Legend of the Fist but I found them peculiar and irrational enough to discuss within my written reflection. Within the elements of Legend of the Fist exists a storyline all too political concerning China's struggle with the Japanese vowing to occupy and control the "weaker" of their yellow brethren. The truth couldn't really be any closer to what is displayed in this film. The never-ending conflict between the Japanese and Chinese has been revisited many times within the years and I've recently finished Iris Chang's chilling documentation of the cruelty the Japanese have perpetrated in The Rape of Nanking. With the fresh ideals of a "better" holocaust in mind, Legend of the Fist doesn't offend or betray anyone with the depiction of the Japanese and if anything at all, serves as a mixed drink to be consumed by damn near anyone, especially after the realization of how diluted the product is in retrospect. The absurdity of these claims reaches a new peak as my tangent switches rails from the incredible choreographed fight scenes with Chen Zhen donning Kato's costume from The Green Hornet to the reverse-engineered understandable resentment of the Japanese by the Chinese. To be blunt, I'm relieved at the absence of the asinine German crowd control that most cliched villainry seems to adopt with doe in their eyes. And seeing as the Eastern film industry has been modeled meticulously after our own, do we not enjoy staring back at the beast?