Fist of Fury III/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Fist of Fury III

After the death of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee in 1973, different Asian movie studios hired several Bruce lookalikes to take his place. These films started their own martial arts subgenre, often referred to as BRUCESPLOITATION. Bruce Li (Fist of Fury II, Exit The Dragon, Enter The Tiger) was the most popular of the Bruce rip-offs. He looked alot like Lee and had a good level of charisma himself. There was a rumor that Lee and Li may have even co-starred in some films together if Lee hadn't died.

In Fist of Fury 3 (the sequel to both Fist of Fury which starred the real Bruce Lee as Chen Zhen and Fist of Fury 2 which was made after Lee's death in 1973 and starred Li as his brother) Chan Shan (Bruce Li) returns from Shanghai after avenging Chen Zhen's death. He continues to carry a picture of Chen with him in remembrance. Now that Chan Zhen is back in Macao, he has decided to give up fighting and he wants to lead a simple, peaceful life but as soon as Chan steps off the train he runs into a group of local criminals. Li fights them off one by one. Chan Shan goes to see his mother and brother Chow Shan who run a small store in town. He can see his brother Chow is causing trouble and pretty soon the local crime boss is targeting Chow, Chan and their mother.

Chan is taken to the local martial arts school where he meets the best fighter there: Chu Chu Tang. We can see Chan and Tang don't get off on the right foot as Tang snidely says hello to Chan, who he knows is a great fighter himself. The local crime organization which is backed by the Japanese (like in the original Fist of Fury) is looking to expand their operations in Asia and take out the teacher of the local martial arts school next. They hire none other than Chu Chu Tang to carry out the execution of his own teacher for money and a place at the head of the organization. Death and destruction is caused by the Japanese Clan and the traitor Tang as they kill Chan's mother and brother and frame him for the murder of the Martial Arts school's leader. Now, Chan must enter the fight once again and make things right.

One thing that was a cool addition to the storyline is Chan's skill of throwing needles (or toothpicks) with pinpoint accuracy. The end of the film was my favorite part because it was probably the closest the film got to the excitement and style of the original Fist of Fury (aka The Chinese Connection) as the lightning strikes, rain falls and Chan goes looking for revenge against his enemies. Look for another quick homage to the original Fist of Fury as well where Chu Chu Tang becomes enraged at the death of his teacher and jumps into the air as it goes into a freezeframe.


Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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