Rise of the Legend (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 19, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Rise of the Legend” does an exciting job of showcasing legendary Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung. The fight choreography is top-notch and actor Eddie Peng does a solid job taking on the mantle of the legendary hero. For those who love hardcore action and martial arts, you’ll no doubt love Roy Chow’s “Rise of the Legend”. Recommended!
© 2014 Edko Films Limited. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Rise of the Legend
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 132 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Mandarin and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English subtitles
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Directed by Roy Hin Yeung Chow
Written by Chi-long To
Produced by Ivy Ho, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Executive-Producer: Ryuhei Chiba, William Kong, Hugh Simon
Cinematography by Man-Ching Ng
Music by Shigeru Umebayashi
Edited by Ka-Fai Cheung, Man To Tang
Art Direction by Pater Wong
Costume Design by Stephanie Wong
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung as Master Lui
Eddie Peng as Fei
Luodan Wang as Chun
Boran Jing as Fiery
Cho-Lam Wong as Big Tooth
Junji Qin as Food
Byron Mann as Black Crow
Tai-Yu Gao as Wing
Tony Ka Fai Leung as Fei’s father
Angelababy as Orchid
A martial artist with extraordinary power (Eddie Peng) returns to the town where his father was murdered to face off against a ruthless crime boss (Sammo Hung) and bring justice back to the people.
When it comes to action films, Wong Fei-hung (a real Chinese folk hero) has been immortalized on many films and television.
While in reality, known for being an expert in Hung Ga style of Chinese martial arts and teaching acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine, in movies, he legendary status has taken on different forms.
From Jackie Chan’s 1978 film “Drunken Master” and 1994’s “Drunken Master II”, Gordon Liu’s “Challenge of the Masters” and “Martial Arts Club”, Jet Li’s “Once Upon a Time in China”, Donnie Yen’s 1993 film “Iron Monkey”, Sammo Hung as Wong in the 2004 film “Around the World in 80 Days” and now with Eddie Peng in the 2014 film “Rise of the Legend”.
Directed by Roy Chow (“Lust, Caution”, “Nightfall”, “Murderer”), the film would star Sammo Kam-Bo Hung (“Ip Man 2”, “My Lucky Stars”, “Martial Law”), Eddie Peng (“Unbeatable”, “Hear Me”, “To the Fore”), Luodan Wang (“The Continent”, “Caught in the Web”), Boran Jing (“Monster Hunt”, “The Bullet Vanishes”, “Lost and Love”), Cho-Lam Wong (“Come On, Cousin”, “La comedie humaine”), Junjie Qin (“Curse of the Goldden Flower”, “Painted Skin: The Resurrection”), Byron Mann (“Catwoman”, “Red Corner”, “Street Fighter”), Tony Ka Fai Leung (“Detective De: Mystery of the Phantom Flame”, “Bodyguards and Assassins”, “Election”) and Angelababy (“Hitman: Agent 47”, “Tai Chi Zero”, “Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon”).
And now “Rise of the Legend” will be available in May 2016 courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment.
“Rise of the Legend” revolves around Wong Fei Hung (portrayed by Eddie Peng) during the late Qing Dynasty, and during a time when two crime factions are running the Huangpu Port: The Black Tiger and the Northern Sea.
Wong Fei Hung has been wanting to get revenge for the death of his father (portrayed by Tony Ka Fai Leung) and the abduction of his childhood friend/girlfriend (portrayed by Wang Luodan).
So, he finds a way to get into the Black Tiger gang led by Master Lui (portrayed by Sammo Kam-bo Hung) and his three sons who rule different territories in Guangzhou.
Master Lui makes a proclamation that if someone can get the head of the leader of the Northern Sea, they will become Master Lui’s fourth son.
And so, Wong Fei Hung must do what he can to infiltrate the Black Tiger gang and become the fourth son and take out the three crime leaders and Master Lui.
Can he do it?
“Rise of the Legend” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:35:1 aspect ratio). The film looks vibrant and full of detail. Closeups show great detail and visual effects look good as well. For the most part, the film does a good job of blending in the special effects into the choreography.
But the film looks fantastic in HD.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Rise of the Legend” is presented in Mandarin and English (dub) 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and features a lossless soundtrack that has crystal clear dialogue, music and offers a good amount of surround sound during moments of action (which there are many in this film).
Subtitles are in English.
“Rise of the Legend” comes with the following special features:
- Making Of – Featuring a short making-of featurettes that got into the characters, Eddie Peng, injuries suffered on set, cinematography and special effects.
- Trailer – Theatrical trailer for”Rise of the Legend”.
Actor Eddie Peng is no doubt in good company when playing the legendary folk hero Wong Fei-hung.
The role has been played by Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Gordon Liu and Vincent Zhao, to name a few.
And if you are going to play Wong Fei-hung, you are going to have to be physically fit and ready for the action (and also injuries that comes along with shooting martial arts action films).
And suffice to say, Eddie Peng did a magnificent job playing the role, considering a lot of his past roles were dramatic and he was a popular pop singer in Taiwan.
In “Rise of the Legend”, Eddie Peng plays a younger Wong Fei-hung, who has seen a lot of corruption by the local gangs, seeing his father killed in a fire (note: The real Wong Kei-ying did not die this way but in each of the films about Wong Fei-hung, his father was instrumental in making Wong Fei-hung a caring man) and seeing his childhood girlfriend being taken to become a courtesan (many girls were taken from their families or kidnapped or sold to become prostitutes or servants).
And now returning back home to the land where his father was murdered, Wong Fei-hung must infiltrate the Black Tiger Gang and take out all of the leaders in order to give the locals their life back but also getting the revenge that he has been waiting for, since he was a child.
While the film can be a bit banal, in terms of one man taking on hundreds of enemies, taking out the bosses in order to fight the grand boss, there is a bit of strategy on Wong Fei-hung’s part in order to make it all happen, despite also trying to sell the fact that he can be ruthless and a worthy fourth son to Black Tiger leader, Master Lui.
The fight choreography is very well-done and there was a lot of attention focused on various fight moves and as one can watch on the special features, a few of the actors got injured while making this film.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic with good attention to detail, especially showcasing the gorgeous production and costume design. The lossless soundtrack showcases the many action scenes throughout the film. And for those who do not like to read English subtitles, the film also comes with an English dub. And there are a few short special features included as well.
Overall, “Rise of the Legend” does an exciting job of showcasing legendary Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung. The fight choreography is top-notch and actor Eddie Peng does a solid job taking on the mantle of the legendary hero. For those who love hardcore action and martial arts, you’ll no doubt love Roy Chow’s “Rise of the Legend”.
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