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"It's The Only Way To Survive"

       8th London Korean Film Festival Review

                         For our full feature on the event visit our feature page here.

             Fists of Legend

Starring : Hwang Jun-Min,  Yoo Jun-sang ,Yoon Je-Moon

Directed By: Kang Woo Suk

2013

 

 


FISTS OF LEGEND


Our fourth viewed film at this years London Korean Film Festival sees the latest film from Director Kang Woo Suk who has six films playing at the festival this year, of which three we have reviewed for the event.


Now Fists of Legend ( not to be confused with the Fist of Fury remake starring Jet Li) is South Korea's first film dealing with the Mixed Martial Arts scene , now being that as a whole the South Korean film industry does not churn out martial arts based films one after another unlike their other South East Asian counterparts I always get buzz from a new fight film from Korea.


Even though your see films that will feature some martial arts within the action scenes ,but this is due more to the national sport of Taekwondo .


So naming Korean Martial art films is not a easy task , I can only think of four or five that spring to mind and they span quite a few years , so unlike films from Hong Kong or Thailand there's not many films from the same region to put up as a benchmark .


Of course in the past many top Korean martial artists have starred in many Hong Kong and Taiwanese films that have made them famous to the fans ,masters like Hwang Jang Lee, Whang In-sik and Joon Rhee .


So now in Korea there's not a barrage of famous martial arts stars to set the film market alight.


And any how nowadays film producers making decent budget films prefer to use established actors and get them to train for the part . So that's what director Kang Woo Suk done, he assembled a cast of solid actors that physically could actually do the training and sent them all to learn the fighting techniques they needed.


As that has been discovered it is easier to send a actor on a intense training course to learn a art then send a martial artist to learn acting and we all know that screen fighting is a different ball game ,what works in real life does not always look good on camera.


So after a six months of preparation shooting started .


Fists of Legend follows a group of high school friends who as youngsters fell foul of the criminal element and ended up doing time.


We have Deok Kyu who was a hopeful for the Olympic boxing team but gets bi-passed because of age who in later years ends up running a local noodle shop.


Next up is Sang Hoon who now is a corporate business man who craves the promotion he may never get .


Jae Seok a street thug who after time in the slammer has become nothing more then a gangster .


The we have Son Jin Ho whose father a wealthy business man managed to get his son released, Jin Ho now in charge of a large company and the boss of Sang Hoon,


When a TV production company decides to create a reality TV show that focuses on the mixed martial arts scene they use a different method of getting their fighters ,what they do is to find out about legendary fighters from two or three decades ago ,whether their prowess came from boxing in a ring or just being the hardest guy in the school at the time.


The idea is to get these forty something former wide boys to face each other in the ring to determine who is the best of the oldies .


With prize money being 20million Won ( $18'000) every round it seems like a offer stupid to refuse.



At times the film plays like a televised UFC match with commentators and match-ups just like the real thing, but there's also the view from the producers and directors view ,there goal to increase the ratings and make the show a hit.


The only way to do this is to get personal with the fighters by literally invading their private lives to showcase to the viewing public.


The film also is just as much about how these men have aged and moved on with their lives over the years as much as the fighting.


The story focuses primarily on Deok Kyu and Sang Hoon, will Deok finally get to become a contender for the title which in the past he lost out on and will Sang Hoon gain the respect from his seniors who little him more then often.


Maybe the film is as much as standing up for yourself and for others around you and thus gain respect and honour.


The action in the film will make you sit on the edge of your seat while the story will engage and make you hope that Deok Kyu and Sang Hoon make the right decisions in life once and for all.


All of the actors went through rigorous training to make the film and no stunt doubles where used for the action.


Yoo Jun-sang injured his Cruciate Ligament whilst filming and underwent surgery on October 30th 2012. Quite intense as filming ended on November 28th 2012.


Yoon Je-moon actually had his rear teeth knocked out and had to go to hospital to.


We where lucky after the screening to have Yoon Je-Moon and director Kang Woo Suk on stage for a Q&A , which gave us the insights to the filming process and action scenes.


Fists of Legend is a entertaining and gripping film , Kang Woo Suk has crafted a modern day fight film which offers not just more fist for your buck but a passionate story that spans decades .


Score out of Ten = 9


Review Date : November 2013


Reviewer : Sertes Nake

 

                                   Posters and Event Photos

Director Kang Woo-suk (right)  Actor Yoon Je-moon (center) with Interpreter Sah (left)

Yoon Je-moon at the introduction before the film showing (above)

 

 

Kang Woo Suk (left) and Korean Film Critic Oh Dong-jin (right)

 

Yoon Je-moon (above and below)

 

                                                    Credits
Directed by Kang Woo-suk
Produced by Jung Sun-young
Son Jeong-woo
Written by Jang Min-seok
Based on Legend Punch 
by Lee Jong-gyu
Starring Hwang Jung-min
Yoo Jun-sang
Yoon Je-moon
Lee Yo-won
Jung Woong-in
Music by Jo Yeong-wook
Cinematography Kim Yong-heung
Lee Bong-joo
Editing by Ko Im-pyo
Studio Cinema Service
Distributed by CJ Entertainment
Release dates
  • April 10, 2013
Running time 153 minutes
Country South Korea
Language

Korean

                                      Cast and Characters

 Hwang Jung-min - Im Deok-kyu

Yoo Jun-sang- Lee Sang-hoon

Yoon Je-moon - Shin Jae-seok

Lee Yo-won - Hong Gyu-min

Jung Woong-in - Son Jin-ho

Park Jung-min - young Im Deok-kyu

Goo Won - young Lee Sang-hoon

Park Doo-sik - young Shin Jae-seok

Lee Jung-hyuk - young Son Jin-ho

Sung Ji-roo - Seo Kang-gook

Ji Woo - Im Soo-bin

Kang Shin-il - Director Jo

Kang Sung-jin - announcer


 source : wikipedia

                                                   Trailers
             Other films by Kang Woo Suk reviewed on site

Silmido - 2003-  another film featured at the 8th Korean Film Festival in London.

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