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Bruce Lee Double Feature: The Big Boss & Fist of Fury

Bruce Lee Double Feature: The Big Boss & Fist of Fury

On DVD: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Running Time: 
283 Minutes

Unlike the uneven pairing in the last Bruce Lee Double Feature, this disc delivers the solid one-two punch of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury. There is no downside here, only good martial-arts action.

When The Big Boss released, it would have the highest box office take in the history of Hong Kong cinema. At least until Fist of Fury released a year later, which took over as champ. Pretty much every time Bruce Lee graced the screen, he set another box office record for Hong Kong.

On the other side of the Pacific, however, the US releases were plagued with confusing name changes. The Big Boss was going to be called The Chinese Connection, as a play on The French Connection which was already popular. But they decided to release it as Fists of Fury - notice the plural. Fist of Fury was going to be Fists of Fury but it was released as The Chinese Connection instead. Confused?

Both of these films are worth the price of admission. The Big Boss features Bruce Lee as Cheng who moves from mainland China to Thailand to live with his uncle and work in an ice factory. Something fishy is going on at the factory and when Cheng accidentally breaks a block of ice revealing to a couple other employees drugs being smuggled inside the real action starts. A couple of workers are killed to cover it up and eventually Cheng brings down The Big Boss. Despite loving this film, part of me can't help but notice the similarity to 1989's Tom Hanks classic Turner & Hooch.

In Fist of Fury, Lee in the role of Chen Zhen returns home to marry his fiance and finds his old teacher has died. Mourning the loss, he learns that a rival school may have been involved and that the teacher's death could have been murder. Much fighting ensues, leading up to a final iconic scene - one which was actually reused in the terrible Game of Death they pieced together after Bruce Lee died.

This pair of films is a great way to experience the heyday of one of the finest martial arts action stars who was taken from us far too soon.

Review by Jason Pace
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