Fist of Fury
(Chinese: 精武門; aka The Chinese Connection
and The Iron Hand
in the United States. It starred Bruce Lee in his second major film after The Big Boss. Bruce Lee
plays Chen Zhen, a student of Huo Yuanjia, who fights to defend the honor of the Chinese and to bring to justice those responsible for his master's death. The movie has themes of racism and the consequences of revenge.
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This movie contains examples of:
- Action Hero: Chen. Deconstructed.
- Badass: Chen, obviously.
- The Russian expatriate as well.
- Berserk Button: Looking down on Chen for being Chinese. This is one for Bruce Lee as well, and hey, who could blame him?
- Also, killing Chen's master.
- Beware the Nice Ones: People keep being racist, abusive, or disrespectful to Chen.
- Blood Knight: The only reason Petrov dirties his hands in the mess with Chen is because he sees a good fighter and he'd really like a chance to test his mettle.
- Bruce Lee: Obviously.
- Bullying a Dragon: A semi-literal case since they're bullying BRUCE LEE.
- One which might easily be missed. The Jingwu school is massacred but didn't go down without a fight. The karate school is annihilated killing them.
- Combat Pragmatist: Chen, unsurprisingly if you know anything about Jeet Kune Do. While he prefers to use his fists, he makes no attempt to continue fighting 'fair' once the Japanese start cheating.
- Petrov manages to get Chen in a very decisive arm lock. Chen responds by biting his leg as hard as he can.
- Death by Racism: Not quite death but Chen kicks the ass of numerous people who are racist towards him.
- A more literal example occurs with Chen himself. While guilty of a ridiculous number of crimes, there is absolutely no justice in his arrest. The Japanese rule Shanghai and not even the massacre of the kung-fu school would have gotten the karate school punished.
- Dirty Coward: Virtually the entire karate school. They team up 20-on-1 with Chen early on, frequently resort to using weapons, murder a rival martial arts master with poison, and otherwise show themselves to be honorless jerks.
- Downer Ending: Chen sacrifices himself to the Japanese and certain execution to spare his friends from being arrested.
- Not just certain execution. We see it happen outside of the dojo.
- Some people, of course prefer to think he's just hiding. This is complete Fanon though.
- Face Death with Dignity: See Downer Ending.
- Fanservice: A strip-tease by a Geisha in the middle of the movie. No, seriously.
- Fighting with Chucks: The most triumphant example in cinema.
- Groin Attack: Chen crouches and gives the last mook before fighting Petrov the old one-two punch. The mook is so stunned he doesn't move until Chen nonchalantly tips him over.
- Heroic BSOD: Chen at first seems like he would pull through the funeral once arriving, but then utterly snaps when he sees his teacher being buried. Going as far as trying to dig him back, up while they were burying him. However once calmed, he spends most of the movie in this trope. That is until Suzuki's men come to the funeral and insult the Teacher along with the entire Chinese community.
- Idiot Ball: The first attack on the kung fu school, in retaliation for Chen's first attack. There's no reason for them to believe Chen - who just wiped the floor with the entire school - wouldn't be there. Only plot contrivance caused them to avoid fighting Chen and lots of back-up.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Virtually the entire kung fu school other than Chen. They react remarkably well to a pretty horrific series of events.
- Improbable Hairstyle: The story is supposed to take place around the early 20th century, but most of the haircuts (or rather lack thereof) are clearly from the time period the film was shot, very evident on Petrov the Russian.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Chen does this twice, once on the two men that killed his teacher. It didn't work because Chen got too emotional and beat them to death. The second time, he does this with the Interpreter by throwing him and his rickshaw, demanding information on Suzuki. He succeeds, but ends up killing him anyway, because the Interpreter tries to sneak attack him with a brick once let go.
- Katanas Are Better: Played with. Wielding katanas are the only time the two heads of the karate school are ever threatening to Chen.
- Played with as the weapons aren't portrayed as inherently awesome, just... well... swords in a fist-fight.
- Kick the Dog: The Japanese school gets a RIDICULOUS number of these. Here's a short count: crashing the funeral of Chen's master, poisoning Chen's master, trying to get Chen to bark like a dog to enter a park forbidden to Chinese, siccing the police on Chen, plotting to MURDER the entire Kung Fu school. The list goes on and on.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's difficult to feel sorry for the Interpreter during his abuse scenes.
- Mighty Whitey: An interesting aversion. While Chen is the absolute biggest badass in the movie, the ONLY person who gives him a hard time is the Russian expatriate.
- Perhaps not coincidentally, the Russian is the only one who actually fights him alone and with pure martial arts.
- Chen also has no grudge against Petrov. He's just a bystander visiting the karate school.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Chen keeps trying to avenge his master's death, only for the karate school to retaliate against his dojo rather than him.
- Nice to the Waiter: Horribly averted with the karate school. There's a particularly horrible one where they humiliate their Interpreter who has been nothing but supportive.
- One-Man Army: After Chen kicks the ass of the karate School, you think that the karate school either sucks or Chen's school is better. No, it turns out Chen is just that good.
- Punch Clock Villain: Petrov, the Russian friend of the Japanese dojo.
- Subverted with the Interpreter. He tries to plead for his life, invoking this trope. It does not work.
- The Quisling: The Interpreter.
- The Red Baron: Fist of Fury is the title Chen is given after he beats down the karate school.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Played with. It's obvious the karate school considers the Interpreter no better than any other Chinese person and abuses him during a party. The Interpreter gleefully laps it up.
- Rival Dojos: More or less the premise of the movie. It's a fairly one-sided rivalry as well with the kung-fu school seemingly unaware of the seething hatred the karate school bears them at the start of the movie.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Several.
- The first is a Crowning Moment of Awesome where Chen heads to the karate school after they interrupt his master's funeral and proceeds to kick the entire school's ass by himself.
- It gets worse when he discovers his master was actually murdered. He goes back to the karate school, grabs the first guy he finds, and immediately beats him to death while demanding information.
- Satellite Love Interest: While Yuan Le-erh is well-acted, it's fairly obvious she's only there to add pathos to Chen's plight.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: A Real Life Example. After this movie was filmed, Bruce Quit Lo Wei's production, because of the unnecessary violence and racism. To make it even more awesome he practically took Golden Harvest and the cast with him as seen in Way of the Dragon.
- Suicide by Cop: Chen didn't really have a choice, though.
- Touch of Death: Chen can kick or punch anyone with fatal force.
- Tien, the chef who poisoned Chen's teacher, dies from an extremely hard punch to the abdomen.
- Feng Guishi dies from getting punched to death in the abdomen.
- Petrov dies from getting his windpipe crushed by a right-hand chop.
- Hiroshi Suzuki dies from getting his windpipe crushed by a jump kick.
- Tragedy: Obviously, one for Chen Zhen.
- Tranquil Fury: Played with. Chen absolutely SEETHES virtually every moment he's on screen but only shows it in small ways.
- Quite possibly the most epic example in all of fiction.
- There's one exception, when Chen tries to throw himself on his master's coffin.
- You Killed My Master: The plot of the movie.