Legacy of Rage

Legacy of Rage


Director: Ronnie Yu

Stars: Brandon Lee, Michael Wong, Bolo Yeung

A good kid (Lee) is framed by his Triad buddy (Wong), who then attempts to seduce and then rape his wife while he's in the clink. Lee gets out of prison and goes for revenge.

Yawn... oh, I'm sorry, I must have dozed off while watching this clunker. I'm beginning to think that the one Brandon Lee movie I like (Rapid Fire) is a fluke. Simply put, they don't come much worse than this. The plot is stale with a horrible, by-the-numbers script. Both Lee and Wong are (or, in Lee's case, were) not native Cantonese speakers and it shows. I think if you look up "mook jung" (a Chinese phrase meaning "dead wood" used to call someone stupid) in a dictionary, you would see a picture of the two "actors" in this movie. Watching Lee and Wong (long known as one of the worst actors in HK cinema) try to interact with each other is literally painful. Did I mention that Lee and Wong use their real first names in the movie so they would know when they are being spoken to? Agh. The filmmakers should have saved us a whole lot of trouble and just let them speak in English so we wouldn't have to sit through this slow torture. Then again, neither Lee nor Wong are/were that great in English-speaking roles either.

You might ask why am I spending so much time bitching about the acting in an action film. Well, for a supposed action film, there's very little of it. Most of the movie meanders around, at times trying to be a serious crime/prison drama in the vein of Ringo Lam's On Fire series. Which might have worked if Lee could act, but... anyway, the fights (supposedly because of Lee's lack of talent in that area as well) are so short they're barely noticeable. In one scene, Lee beats up Triad enforcer Bolo Yeung in about 10 seconds. I don't think any of the "fights" last longer than that. Mostly it's just Lee giving a tough look, two or three blows and that's it. Back to another ten or fifteen minutes of boring exposition, another mini-fight, and so on. There is a fairly vibrant shootout near the end, but by that point, it's too little, too late.

Unless you're really (and I mean really) curious to see Brandon Lee in a HK movie, avoid this one. It makes most of Cynthia Rothrock's cheesy US B-movies look like Shakespeare by comparison.


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