Fists of Legend Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Jeong-min Hwang, Woong-in Jung, Yo-won Lee
  • Director: Woo-Suk Kang
  • Format: Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: CJ Entertainment
  • Release Date: February 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 155 minutes



            Fists of Legend has the feel of a blockbuster; one of those feel-good predictable pieces of popcorn entertainment that the masses indulge in ever summer and holiday weekend. These films aren’t always great, because they often play it safe rather than taking chances, but they are a reliable source of distraction. In a lot of ways, this is a slightly more believable Korean Here Comes the Boom or Grudge Match.


            The story uses the popularity of MMA and reality television, which is apparently just as rampant in South Korea as it is in the United States. A television show called “Fists of Legends” matches aging men with reputations of being great fighters as kids against real MMA fighters and each other for prize money. Lim Deok-kyu (Hwang Jung-min) agrees to go on the show in order to make the quick cash and publicity for his humble noodle shop owner. He is soft-spoken and is struggling to deal with a teenage daughter who is either a bully or being bullied, which brings back memories from Deok-kyu teenage years.


            The film bounces back and forth in flashbacks to reveal the true nature behind Deok-kyu’s high school fighting, including the less noble aspects. It also focuses on the friendships that he had in high school, all of which end up being conveniently relevant to the reality program. When Deok-kyu is forced to fight his former friends in the ring, you might think that there would be some relevant statements being made, but mostly this is just entertainment to cheer for.


            Most of the action is thrilling enough to keep this film above the pack of MMA films, though it may be a bit too sparse for a two-and-a-half hour film. The drama is also somewhat difficult to take in this quantity, though more due to the Blu-ray disc’s missing option of watching the film in its filmed language than for the performances. Although this is an action film, there are many dramatic scenes which are damaged with the English-dubbed track.


            The special features on the Blu-ray include a making-of featurette, as well as footage from the premiere, poster photo shoot, and the original soundtrack recording.


    Entertainment Value: 7.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance: 5/10

    Special Features: 6/10


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