Rise of the Legend
by Bobby Blakey
There is no company out there delivering the kind of quality martial arts films like that of Well Go USA. Their latest, Rise of the Legend brings the story of iconic martial arts legend Wong Fei Hung back to the screen. For those not familiar with the character he was previously portrayed throughout the years by both Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Now Eddie Peng Yuyan is taking on the iconic role with a great supporting cast including Angelababy, Jing Boran, Zhang Byron Mann and martial arts icon Sammo Hung. Can this latest film adaptation do justice to this legendary figure or will it be fight they just can’t win?
Rise of the Legend follows a martial artist with extraordinary power who returns to the town where his father was murdered to face off against a ruthless crime boss and bring justice back to the people. From the moment this movie opens you know that you are in for a martial arts treat. There is a great action sequence opener that uses just as much martial arts as it does the visuals of the rain to pack its punch. This lets the audience know that the person we are about to follow is something special. From the film never lets up, offering just enough story with twists and turns to keep you intrigued and never steering too far away from some great fight sequences. There have been very few films in the last few years that have really stood out in the martial arts, but this one manages to do just that with a barrage of feet and fists that are as fast paced as they are graceful. Eddie Peng is a revelation to the martial arts genre injecting it with the young blood it needs while still offering up and old school vibe. Sammo Hung delivers the acting and action like only he can adding yet another notch on his impressive resume.
While the story is great, it’s the fighting that is the real star and action director Corey Yune delivers on every sequence showcased. It is rare that you get a martial arts epic that offers up so many fight sequences with each better than the one before it. There is plenty of classic wire work in play alongside sheer human skill making for some great and often bloody fights that will have any martial arts fan yelling with excitement. The final fight of the film alone is sure to become one that stands out in the genre as one of the best between two great martial arts of different generations. Often times these films get lost on themselves, especially with a long run time as this one, but they have streamlined it enough to not feed you anything more than you need and breaking it up with plenty of action to keep you wanting more until the very end.
In addition to the film this release includes a making of featurette that takes you behind the action. Witness the birth of a legend when Rise of the Legend hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 24th from Well Go USA.