In 1920s China, the nation is divided by infighting. The popular nightclub “Casablanca” has become a hotbed of spies, mobsters, English officials, and the Japanese military all looking to gain control of the country, with little regard for what happens to the people. In this Andrew Lau Film, Hong Kong action superstar Donnie Yen stars as Chen Zhen, a soldier who fought along side Allied Forces in Europe. When he returns home he takes the name Qi, just another wealthy playboy in China, getting as close as he can with those that are behind the in-fighting. But one fateful night he dons a Kato costume and fights to stop the Japanese invasion.
Like most Hong Kong action flicks, there is a lot of history behind the fiction. It takes place during and after the first World War. During this period in time there was major corruption in China, not only from outsiders, but from their own government officials as well. The interwoven of history and fiction plays out very well in this film. The action is incredible, Donnie Yen once again proves why he should have greater success as Jet-Li and Jackie Chan both as an actor and a martial artist. The background and colors of the film do wonders visually and fit well into this story. The choosing of the Kato costume was an homage to Bruce Lee, but being able to come up with anything creative vigilante wise or for the era for which the story plays out would have been cool to see. There is of course a love interest, Kiki, played by the beautiful Qi Shu, who acts as Casablanca’s entertainment. By no means a damsel in distress, the character will hopefully make it more interesting then the usual bad girl in Hollywood movies.
Andrew Lau Wai-Keung was the director behind “Infernal Affairs”, the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed”. He is no stranger to working on films involving martial arts, working on such films as “Storm Riders and “A man named Hero”. He has achieved success not only in Hong Kong winning many awards, but has also received worldwide recognition.
Donnie Yen has starred along side Jet Li in Fist of Legend 2 as well as Jackie Chan in Shanghai Knights the follow up to Shanghai Noon. His other Hollywood notables are Highland Endgame and Blade 2. Donnie Yen has made many strides in the world of martial arts film both as an actor and as fight choreographer.
Legend of the Fist opens on April 22nd 2011 in limited engagment. Check fandango or the film’s website for a list of theaters in your area.