Every society boasts heroes who have left an indelible mark on pop culture, and if you’re a martial arts movie movie aficionado in the slightest then you probably already know the name of one of the biggest heroes in the East: Wong Fei-Hung. The 19th century Chinese martial artist has had his life dramaticized on-screen countless time already, with the brilliant Once Upon a Time in China arguably being the most famous and best adaptation (featuring a young Jet Li in the role).
But just because it’s already been done masterfully, doesn’t mean this story can’t be told again. Which brings us to Rise of the Legend, the latest movie to bring Wong Fei-Hung’s story to life, and which aims to do so with modern in-your-face action choreography. And Sammo Hung. Because every martial arts movie worth its salt always needs some Sammo Hung.
Especially since Rise of the Legend actually breaks from the tradition of having established martial arts greats like Li, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan and even Hung himself portraying the folk hero, and instead sees Taiwanese actor Eddie Peng in the lead role. Peng – who does have some martial training, and is well known for completely transforming himself physically for a role – apparently took the aspects aspects very seriously though, training hardcore for a year until he was able to perform all the necessary feats himself, including punching through concrete blocks and leaping off three story buildings. The training apparently paid off as Peng was honoured with a nomination for Best Actor at Hong Kong Film Awards.
And you can check out his work in the trailer below!
That is certainly taking a much more modern Hollywood action movie approach than previous Wong Fei-Hung movies, but if reviews from the film’s 2015 Chinese release are anything to go by, then it still delivers the goods.
Rise of the Legend is directed by Roy Chow and also stars Wang Luodan, Jing Boran and Angelababy. It’s unclear if or when the movie will be getting an international release.
Last Updated: March 17, 2016