Arrow Video’s ‘New Fist of Fury’ Blu-ray: The Conskipper Review

If you ask any Kung-Fu cinema fan what the best Jackie Chan films are,most immediately jump to Drunken Master or Police Story.

Those two films, as well as a slew of others, rocketed Chan to the top of the Shaolin temple of cinematic action films and it is hard to fathom that Chan started his career as a Bruce Lee clone.

Like many other actors trying to break into the martial arts film game after Lee’s untimely death, Chan was cast in a sequel of sorts to Lee’s Fist of Fury entitled New Fist of Fury. Original Fist of Fury director Lo Wei cast Fist stuntman Jackie Chan as the lead in his 1976 sequel, and opened the door for the future Kung-Fu star.

Chan quickly broke free of the Lee comparisons, and years later, Wei re-cut and re-released the film with a much more Chan-centric version.

Arrow Video is now brining both versions to Blu-ray with a 2K HD restoration that lets audiences see the action in the best light possible.

The restoration process cleans up the original grainy film quality and scratchy audio track, and perfection should not expect a crystal clear version of either film, however the improvements are entirely noticeable.

If you are unfamiliar with the original film, there is a somewhat convoluted attempt to tie Lee and Chan’s stories together, but we aren’t here for complex story elements and dialogue; we want spinning roundhouse kicks and the film delivers. While New Fist of Fury doesn’t feature a ton of Chan’s comedic antics, there are glimpse of the techniques that would eventually make him a star, and it is interesting to see Chan attempt to ape Lee.

Arrow Video aficionados have come to expect a ton of extras, and New Fist of Fury doesn’t disappoint, with two commentary tracks (one for the theatrical cut with Frank Djeng and Michael Worth and one for the re-release with Brandon Bentley), a visual essay Dueling Furies by Bentley, a trailer gallery, and an image gallery. You can also view the first cut of the film in English, Mandarin, or Cantonese, and in Cantonese or English for the re-work. Both versions are available with newly translated subtitles.

In addition to the Blu-ray extras, New Fist of Fury includes a slipcover, an illustrated collector’s booklet, a reversible foldout poster, and a reversible liner to display one of two covers by artist Tony Stella.

The Arrow Video New Fist of Fury Blu-ray is a film that gives viewers a glimpse at future greatness in a deluxe package.

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