A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Overcoming grief, striving for self-improvement, protecting your loved ones, and the benefits of teamwork. Revenge is a prominent motivation. Some racism.
Positive Role Models
Chen Zhen is dedicated to his craft, but he is also motivated by revenge. The other Chinese martial arts students work together to overcome the grief of their teacher and improve themselves. The Japanese antagonists are portrayed as racist, disrespectful, and two-dimensional. Some female martial artists shown training, but none of them are among the main cast.
Violence & Scariness
Martial artists test their skills against one another and their enemies. Slaps, punches, kicks, elbows thrown. Also throws and grappling. Most of the time no serious injuries are sustained. But some characters are killed by deadly blows and dead bodies are put on display as a warning. There is also some bleeding shown and bloody marks are left on faces by punches and kicks. Some fighting with ceremonial weapons, such as nunchucks and swords, which cause bruises and bloody wounds but not gore. Characters forced to eat paper. A dojo hall is destroyed. The violence is exaggerated by sound effects.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Dancer strips for an audience and is shown fully naked from behind. Characters often fight shirtless.
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Racist slurs toward Chinese people.
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Products & Purchases
A dojo hall features lots of valuable items, before being destroyed.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol socially.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fist of Fury is a vintage Hong Kong martial arts movie starring Bruce Lee who gets to show of his skill set with many action-packed sequences, some of which involve weapons. Set in 1910s Shanghai, Chen Zhen (Bruce Lee) attempts to avenge the death of his teacher, working together with his fellow Chinese martial arts students. Japanese characters are shown as racist and dismissive toward their Chinese counterparts, mocking their characteristics, appearance, and coloring. Some female martial artists are shown practicing, but they are reduced to minor roles. Violence features throughout. The fight scenes are often lengthy and always highly stylized, with exaggerated trips, falls, and sound effects making them typical of the era and less "realistic" than modern action movies. Most injuries sustained are minor, but several characters bleed from their mouths and some are killed by Chen. He then hangs their bodies on display as a warning. Characters mostly fight hand-to-hand, but sometimes use specialist weapons, including nunchucks and swords, or common objects, such as tables and brooms. In one scene, a female dancer disrobes for the entertainment of a mixed audience. Skimpy clothing only partially covers her breasts and she removes her underwear, before being shown fully naked from behind. Some characters are seen drinking socially and smoking -- as befitting the time period -- although neither is done to excess. The movie is available with subtitles and as a dubbed version, and is sometimes called The Chinese Connection. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A classic of the martial arts genre, this 1972 iconic action movie has left its mark on cinema. Fist of Fury's theatrical fight scenes are still compelling, despite the fact that they are gloriously over-the-top by modern standards. Lee's sheer screen presence is also enough to elevate a story thinner than the paper its script was printed on, which drags when there are no set pieces to raise the energy levels.
Despite an ambitious attempt to inject history and politics into a martial arts story, the portrayal of the Japanese characters as irredeemable racists makes for plenty of clunking dialogue. This is not helped by the habit of dubbing 1970s Hong Kong movies using actors with mostly American accents (a subtitled version of the movie is also available). Still, if you can forgive these artifacts of international movie-making from a bygone era, Fist of Fury still packs enough of a punch to deliver a history lesson for fans of action adventures and carefully crafted combative set pieces.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.