Friday, 6 July 2007

New Fists of Fury (1976)

English title: New Fists of Fury.

New Fists of Fury (1976)This isn't 1 of my favourite Jackie Chan action flick, but a 'milestone' film in a sense. It's a film that illustrates the whole wave of Bruceploitation that HK martial art film industry gone through for the rest of the decade after Bruce Lee's death.

After his untimely passing, everyone was trying to succeed him. There were plenty of Bruce Lee imitators revolving around his legacy like vultures circling around a carcass. A whole slew of films that were made in his name with Frakensteinian creation like Fist of Fear, Touch of Death, which can be quite amusing to watch if you don't take it seriously. Why would you take it seriously when it doesn't? (There's a Bruceploitation list in IMDB to give you some ideas).

Lo Wei (or Lo Wai), who previously directed Fists of Fury(1971) and The Chinese Connection (1972), wanted to name Jackie Chan as the possible next heir to BruceLeeDom. To this end, Lo cast Jackie Chan in this action flick. It's very obvious that New Fists of Fury was made to succeed Bruce Lee's Fists of Fury.

To make his intention clear, Lo Wei came up a new Chinese name for Jackie Chan - Shing Lung. The name literally means 'Becoming Dragon', or 'Succeeding Dragon'. And 'Dragon' refers to Lee's Chinese given names, which is Siu-Lung, meaning 'Little Dragon'. His movie titles like Enter the Dragon, and The Way of the Dragon allude to that name.

This poster (if they don't change it) has the large name - Jackie Chan spreads across the top. This is probably a relatively more recent DVD poster. In the original Chinese movie poster, it has the words "Starring Shing Lung, the second Bruce Lee" spread across it. But the words "Bruce Lee" are 5 times larger than the rest. From a distant, only the name "Bruce Lee" could be seen.

This is just 1 of the several kungfu flicks that Jackie Chan made during this Bruceploitation period. Of course, he regretted doing that. We all made mistakes. But Jackie Chan soon realised, like many other Bruce Lee aspirants, there's only 1 Bruce Lee. Nobody could become the next Bruce Lee. But Jackie Chan's new Chinese name Shing-Lung stuck because he was an unknown before that new name.

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