Back Add a Comment Share:
Facebook Button
Introduction
For any of you that have read my previous reviews you will know full well that I am a fan of action movies. It doesn't take much to please me on that front; a little action, a plausible plot and that’s me reasonably contented. When Fists Of Legends 2: Iron BodyGuard popped through my letterbox for review, I had never heard of it, but due to the fact that it was a kung fu movie, I thought it was worth a look. The original movie starred Jet Li, so surely this sequel would at least provide some entertainment? Read on to find out if that was the case...

Fists Of Legends 2: Iron Bodyguards
Movie
The premise for this movie is wafer-thin, so I am not going to go into too much depth, so here goes; after facing death in Shanghai, Chen Jen (Jet Le) is forced to fake his death and his life now centres on teaching his fellow patriots the martial arts that he has learnt. During his time roaming China he is approached by the associates of Dr. Sun Yat Sen, who requires Chen to assist him. Chen is requested to accompany and protect the Dr. during his escape from Hong Kong. As you would expect things are not that simple, and Dr Sun's mission is made more risky when he is targeted by the Manchu regime, who want him dead. Will Chen be able to carry out his duty or will his pursuers be too dangerous?

So, is this movie any good? The simple answer is no! It does have its moments and there are some entertaining fight scenes, but overall they are too short and nothing I haven’t seen a million times before. The plot is weak and the film felt twice as long as it actually is, which is a sign of the boredom I felt while watching it. The movie had a cheap feel to it and looked like it had been made with a small budget, which is made abundantly clear with the poor quality of actors and cheap fight scenes. This is a movie which only die-hard kung fu fans will enjoy, and I would even hesitate to recommend it to them. Best to avoid this one, as there are far better kung fu movies about.

Fists Of Legends 2: Iron Bodyguards
Video
MIA have presented this movie in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, which on paper looks impressive, but believe me it is anything but! Previously I have had the displeasure of viewing several Hong Kong R1 discs, which in my opinion had pretty dismal transfers. Well, the transfer with this disc is not much better. The image itself is very hazy and blurred, suffers immensely from a dull colour palette and also has a large amount of grain. Probably the worst aspect of this transfer is the compression artifacts which are excessive and make it look ugly. I haven't seen a transfer as bad as this in a long while, and I hope it is even longer before I see another one!

Audio
The soundtrack for this release isn't much better, but at least it isn't as bad as the transfer. MIA have provided a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which isn't going to impress, but at the same time isn't that bad. The dialogue is clear and precise throughout, however the only language provided is English, so if you find dubbed movies annoying then it is probably best to stay away. It will also come as no surprise to hear that there are no subtitles supplied with this release.

Extras
As bad as the movie is, MIA have still managed to provide an adequate number of extras with this release. First up is the Theatrical Trailer, which isn't going to win many people over, is in pretty bad condition and does not have a narrator. The trailer lasts for just under two minutes and is made up of several of the key fight scenes from the movie. The next extra is slightly more interesting, it is an interview with Robert Tai. The interview is in Tai's native language and has subtitles at the bottom of the screen. The interview covers some of the fighting techniques used and gives a good insight into some of the thoughts behind the movie. This interview lasts for around eight minutes and features footage from other films.

The next extra is called Jet Li - Introduction to Wu Shu, and as the title suggests this is an interview with the superstar himself. This interview is once again in poor condition, with Jet Li giving the interview in his own language with the subtitles being shown at the bottom. Fans of the movie will enjoy this extra as it gives some interesting facts about Wu Shu. It lasts for just over six minutes. The final couple of extras are basically stocking fillers, they are a Production Stills Gallery and Biographies/Filmographies. So, there we have it, a reasonable number of extras on paper, but nothing worth getting excited about. However, compared to the rest of the disc, this section is definitely the highlight.

Fists Of Legends 2: Iron Bodyguards
Overall
I haven't come across a disc as bad as this in a long time. Maybe that's down to the fact that I have been lucky enough to review better quality titles, but even so this is a disc that I am embarrassed to own, and I didn't even pay for it! The movie itself is dire, the transfer is far from clear and the soundtrack is adequate. The only redeeming feature is the extras, which at best I would describe as basic. This DVD should be avoided at all costs, unless you are a fan who is desperate to own the movie and doesn't care about the quality of the disc.


Links: