Chen Zhen, for those who are uninitiated, is beloved by martial arts fans on a level commensurate with Batman — an iconic character, first played by Bruce Lee in the 1972 classic Fist of Fury, and then by Jet Li in 1994’s Fist of Legend. A 1995 TV series resurrected Chen Zhen, then played by Donnie Yen, who returns as the lead once again in this feature film.
Unlike Batman’s Bruce Wayne, however, Chen Zhen comes from the opposite end of the social spectrum. He’s a poor laborer, and in this film finds himself among the imported Chinese workers toiling in Europe at the height of World War I, resulting in a bravura action-rescue sequence featured in the film’s new trailer. See for yourself, and marvel at the imaginative, acrobatic attack of a simple worker-turned-super-soldier.
From there, he returns to his homeland during the swinging jazz era of the 1920s, and finds himself embroiled in the coming invasion by Japanese forces. Legend of the Fist, directed by Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs, the inspiration for The Departed remake), opens in limited release on April 22.