The Chinese Boxer review by Bobby Blakey
I love all things martial arts and grew up with the iconic Kung-Fu Theater on TV that often times featured films from The Shaw Brothers. In 1970 they debuted the film The Chinese Boxer written, starring and directed by Jimmy Wang Yu. This film took a different direction in the genre focusing more on physical prowess and athletic proficiency over the more mythical elements of the wuxia era. Now The Chinese Boxer is getting the Blu-ray treatment from 88 Films.
The Chinese Boxer follows Lei Ming whose martial arts school is viciously attacked by a rival gang of Japanese thugs and he swears to bring them down with violent justice in a story of resilience, skill and a battle against the odds and one of the first true modern classics of the genre.
While most will see this film as just another martial arts flick it offered up a lot more than most realize. The focus on the training and hand to hand skill was more grounded here despite it still going a bit over the top at times. This film helped to push the genre into a new era inspiring films like my personal favorite Bruce Lee film Fist of Fury from 1972. The story is a pretty simple tale of revenge that gives just enough depth to drive the tale to something more than just the action. Have no fear there is still a ton of action throughout complete with flying kicks, iron palms and spewing blood.
I love these old school fights. I know they aren’t the fast paced flashy fights we have today, but there is just something just pure about these old school ones. They aren’t overly impressive or fast, but like a well-choreographed dance that is beautiful and violent in the best possible way. They also set the tone to things to come and this film delivers all of that. Sure there are some sloppy techniques and botched moments, but that is also part of the charm.
I love this film for what it is and happy it has gotten this great release. In addition to the beautiful transfer of the film from the original 35mm negative, this release offers up bonus content including commentary, interviews, and trailers as well as brand new artwork for the slipcase, poster and booklet.
Grab your copy of the martial arts classic The Chines Boxer available now on Blu-ray from 88 Films.