New Fists of Fury
Martial Arts, Action, Drama | 114 mins | Released: 1976
Director: Wei Lo
Starring: Jackie Chan, Nora Miao, Ming Cheng Chang, Shen Lin Chang, Chao Yung Chen, Jen Chen, Sing Chen
Our Rating: 6
In New Fists of Fury, a brother and sister escape from Japanese-occupied Shanghai to Japanese-occupied Taiwan, to stay with their grandfather who runs a Kung-Fu school there. However, the master of a Japanese Karate school in Taiwan has designs on bringing all other schools on the island under his domination, and part of his plan involves the murder of the siblings’ grandfather. Undaunted, the brother and sister reestablish their grandfather’s school, leading to a final confrontation with the Japanese Karate master.
Jackie Chan plays a young thief who at first does not want to learn Kung-fu, but finally realizes that he can no longer stand by and let the Japanese trample the rights of the Chinese people. He proves extremely adept at the martial arts, and carries the fight to its final conclusion.
New Fist of Fury is a 1976 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei and starring Jackie Chan. It is the first of several films that Lo directed Chan in, and the first using Chan’s stage name Sing Lung (literally meaning “becoming a dragon”, by which Chan is still known today in Asia). The film gave Chan his first starring role in a widely-released film (his first starring role was in the Little Tiger of Canton which only had a limited release in 1973).
The film was a sequel to Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, one of Lo Wei’s biggest successes.
New Fist of Fury was part of Lo’s attempt to market Jackie Chan as the new Bruce Lee and did not contain any of the comedy elements that were to be Chan’s career trademark later on.
In 1976, the film was released in Mandarin with a counterpart English version for export.
To capitalise on Jackie Chan’s success with The Young Master, the film was re-edited (removing 40 minutes of footage), given a Cantonese soundtrack and re-released in 1980.
From FactFiend blog”s Karl Smallwood:
“There is an official sequel to Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury starring Jackie Chan called, New Fist of Fury. the movie was directed by the same guy and was literally written with the intention of making Jackie Chan into the new Bruce Lee. We understand if you feel a little uneasy learning this.
Before we continue, no this isn’t an April Fools prank, there is genuinely a sequel to Fist of Fury starring Jackie Chan and it’s not a comedy! It’s a serious film that was explicitly created after Bruce Lee died with the intention of replacing him with Jackie Chan.
The film which is … called “New Fist of Fury” was released in 1976 (three years after Bruce Lee was hired as God’s personal bodyguard) and it was directed by the same guy, Lo Wei. If that wasn’t weird and creepy enough, Wei specifically wrote the film to launch Chan’s career and position him as “The new Bruce Lee“.
To make the entire thing even more uncomfortable and disturbing, Wei gave Chan the stage-name of, Cheng Long for the movie. If you’re not versed in Chinese, that literally translates to “becoming the dragon”, a play on Bruce Lee’s nickname of “Little Dragon”. Just so that we’re all crystal clear on this, Lo Wei gave Jackie Chan a nickname that suggested that he was literally becoming Bruce Lee in a movie starring his fiancée from the previous movie. Just when you don’t think this whole thing could be any more insulting to Bruce Lee’s memory, just look at how they advertised it.
Yes, they genuinely tried to suggest that Jackie Chan was the “One Legend” capable of using the “one style” in a movie where he was literally copying Bruce Lee, the guy who invented the “one style”, just three years after he died. Now we’re not trying to belittle Jackie Chan because we love that guy, but he just isn’t Bruce Lee and we don’t want him to because no one could replace Bruce Lee.
Imagine for a second if Arnold Schwarzenegger died and then two years later they remade The Terminator starring a completely unknown actor with a tagline suggesting he was “the original giant killer robot”. People would flip their shit. That’s basically what Lo Wei tried to do with this movie and to top it all off, the fight scenes, one of the most important parts of the movie, aren’t even that great because Jackie Chan was wholly unfamiliar with Lee’s fighting style.
Fortunately Jackie Chan managed to find his own niche (without desecrating the memory of a martial arts legend) when he later starred in Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and then Drunken Master which introduced the world to his now signature comedic action style. Lo Wei on the other hand continued trying to milk Fist of Fury for all it was worth, casting Jackie Chan in several more films in an attempt to push him as the “next Bruce Lee“, even after it became clear that the world would pay good money to see him just being Jackie Chan.
Wow, that’s actually kind of depressing.”