The 1986 martial arts action flick "Legacy of Rage" has the benefit of being the first starring role of the late Brandon Lee (the ill-fated son of deceased martial arts legend Bruce Lee). It was also the only film that Brandon Lee made in Hong Kong, and likewise the film is spoken in Cantonese (though the voices are dubbed - as the practice at that time was to film movies without sound, and then dub in the actors' voices later). Brandon Lee is in fine form here (despite never hearing his natural speaking voice), though the film itself - written and directed by Hong Kong action veteran Ronny Yu (who would later gain fame in the West with the American horror films "Bride of Chucky" and "Freddy vs. Jason," and the martial arts epic "Fearless" with Jet Li) - is somewhat of a mixed bag; it's more or less a standard action film, with lots of stuff about gangsters, drugs, and John Woo-style gun-play. Also, disappointingly, there isn't much of Brandon Lee using his father's patented Jeet Kune Do skills against the bad guys being sent his way. Lee plays Brandon Ma, a hard-working average Joe with a beautiful girlfriend named May (Regina King, in her film debut) and dreams of buying a motorcycle. Brandon's best friend is Michael (Michael Wong), who is also the son of a local Hong Kong gangster and is looking to take over his father's business and thus make a name for himself. He also has unrequited feelings for May, and he soon cooks up a scheme to get rid of Brandon so that he can have her for himself. This scheme would involve the murder of the undercover narcotics detective that has been hassling his father's organization, and then setting up Brandon as the scapegoat. The plan goes off without a hitch, and Brandon is sent to prison for eight years for the crime. But when he learns the truth about what's happened to him and why, that's when he sets out to get revenge and save May. While we all know Brandon Lee's tragic story (he was killed while filming a scene of his last film, 1994's "The Crow"), "Legacy of Rage" definitely shows the talent the younger Lee inherited from his more-famous father. Brandon Lee may not have been as skilled a martial artist as his father (this is really debatable and a pointless argument, if you ask me), but he certainly may have been a stronger and more charismatic and charming actor. He certainly did not want to be remembered as a martial arts star like his father, but he did want to be remembered as an ACTOR. "Legacy of Rage" may not have much in the way of kung-fu action, but it does show that Lee was a strong and capable action hero, much like he would show in his later English-speaking features "Showdown in Little Tokyo" (1991), "Rapid Fire" (1992) and of course, "The Crow" - his last and most famous film. So "Legacy of Rage" is worth viewing maybe once or twice, as a worthy introduction to the skills of the extraordinarily talented Brandon Lee. 6/10 P.S.: Bolo Yeung (who appeared as a villain in Bruce Lee's last completed film "Enter the Dragon") also has a brief appearance here, as well.
Legacy of Rage
Legacy of Rage
Brandon plays Brandon Ma, a regular working Joe who holds down two jobs, so he can support his girlfriend May and his dream of owning a motorcycle. Brandon's best friend is Michael (played ...
March 21, 2020